Sure, you could always be more timely, more organized, more patient, more understanding and more on top of every detail, but you’re not perfect, no one is. We all make mistakes. The problem is when we end up feeling guilty after making a mistake, we do not know how to resolve it.
Guilt is a very negative emotion and if left unresolved, it can lead to resentment and anger. While it may be impossible to be totally guilt-free, you can take some steps of eliminate some of the mommy guilt you might be feeling:
- Look at your schedule objectively. Prioritize and be realistic; Get the essential things done first, then see what else can be squeezed in. You don’t have to do everything today. You are not superhuman, despite what your husband and children believe 😉
- You cannot spend all of your time with your children. Try and set aside a little bit of quality time each day. The dinner table is the perfect setting for this. Giving your children 30 minutes of your (quality) time and attention at meal time, is very realistic and obtainable. Keep in mind that a little can go a long way.
- You probably feel that if you have commitments outside of your kids or if you have to be absent for one reason or another then your child will perish. On the contrary, spending time away from your child can be a good thing. Whether you work outside of the home during the day, or you take a weekend away, allowing yourself to miss your kids can be a healthy thing. Creating some space will increase your desire to reconnect with your kids. Forcing yourself to spend all of your free time with your children may lead to resentment and exhaustion. Give yourself permission to recharge your battery once in a while, knowing it will benefit everyone.
- Examine your cognitions. Are your thoughts telling you, “I’m not a good mother,” “I don’t spend enough time with my kids.” These automatic thoughts can become a runaway trains for your thoughts and emotions. Replace them with positive messages such as “I am a good mother,” “I spend as much time as possible with my children as I can.” The more these negative thoughts are replaced with more positive ones, the more you will find yourself believing them!
- If you work outside of the home, there is probably a good reason why: you like your job, you need the money, you get satisfaction. Not everyone is cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. If a woman isn’t satisfied in her set role, then she may become miserable, which will also affect the children. Make a list of the reasons why you work, this will provide you with reassurance that you are doing the right thing for your family.
Mother’s guilt is the natural outcome of wanting to be a good mother to your children. Just remember, it can be toxic and it can weight you down. Remind yourself often that you are doing the best you can and in the long run you will feel lighter, happier and better able to embrace everything that comes along with the blessings and the challenges of motherhood.