Mom guilt is a real thing. I never understood it until I became a mom. It can stem from so many different things.
What is Mom Guilt?
Mom guilt is something a mom feels when she feels like she hasn’t done her best for her children, whether it is warranted or not. Maybe she lost her temper and yelled at her kids when they hadn’t listened to a single thing she asked all day long. Maybe instead of being engaged with the kids all day, she was tired and just wanted to sit on the couch and watch the kids play.
Maybe she told the kids they would go to an activity, but something came up. There are so many different things that cause us all mom guilt on a daily basis. Some days it can feel all consuming. So how do we overcome those feelings and not let them consume us?
Overcoming Mom Guilt
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to give yourself a break. Motherhood is HARD! First off, it is something you have never done before and even if you have 2, 3, or more kids, each one is different and comes with their own set of challenges. Where you can master some things like diaper changes or giving a tub, every kid develops at their own rate and has their own personality – which means they act and react differently in different situations.
I know this is much easier said than done. When you feel overwhelmed, try to take a few moments to yourself. Cry if you need to. Take some deep breaths. Whatever it is that lets you release some of the tension that builds up from all of the responsibilities that are put upon us as moms.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Moms take on so much – we feel like we need to do everything for everyone and be everything to everyone. It’s perfectly ok to not be. Ask for help – whether it be from your husband or significant other, a family member or a friend. There are always people willing to help and sometimes they don’t know you need it unless you ask. You should not feel bad over asking for it! We all need breaks sometimes.
Take time for yourself. This one is HUGE! Motherhood is a 24/7 job. The kids are always there and always need our help or attention. Make sure to carve out some time to spend with your significant other or just by yourself. You could go to get your hair or nails done, or even just go to a store and spend an hour browsing by yourself! It’s important to take a little time away in order to feel better about yourself.
Another way to do this is to get up before the kids do and sit and have your morning coffee with no one else around. I just started doing this about a week ago and while it does not work out every day (sometimes they just sense you are up!), when it does, it is heaven! I find that the little time to myself while starting my day really helps me get through the day.
One last thing – get hugs from the kids. Something about the little arms wrapped around me tight really lets me let go of any guilt and makes me feel better. We usually think of hugs to help kids feel better or loved, but parents need them just as much, and sometimes more!
At the end of the day, every day, you’ve done the very best that you can. Your kids aren’t going to remember every detail of every day. Even if you lose your temper and yell one day, they are going to be ok. They know you love them and that’s what matters.
How do you overcome mom guilt?
This story originally appeared on Dresses and Dinosaurs