Your house is a mess, you yelled at your kids over something small, and you have no idea what’s for dinner. Maybe you and your husband decided to take a weekend away and you feel guilty for leaving the kids with a sitter. Or perhaps you do it all by the book but still feel like a bad mom. This is mom guilt. I struggle with it, you probably struggle with it, and most moms struggle with it.
So why do we have this overwhelming mom guilt? Why do we all feel like someone else out there is a way better mom than us? And how in the world do we start getting past it?
Why We Feel Mom Guilt
Most of it is due to comparison. We compare ourselves to other moms we know or this perfect mom that we imagine. We assume most other moms are better than us. Or at least that they do certain things better.
One of my biggest comparisons and guilt inducers is the amount of time I spend actually playing with Will. I feel like something else is always calling my attention away. There is always something else in the house that needs to be cleaned, more emails to answer, and laundry to be done. As soon as I finish one thing, I’m on to the next thing. Before I know it, it’s time for lunch and nap time and I haven’t sat down and played with him at all.
I always have this feeling that I should have been playing with him. But at the same time, I have mom guilt when I don’t get anything done all day because I was playing with Will. It’s a cycle that I can’t seem to win. And I have this lie in my head that other moms have it figured out. They have figured out how to play with the kids all morning, have a clean house, and have dinner prepped and ready by 5:30. Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that woman actually exists.
Why We Need to Take Control Back from the Mom Guilt
No matter what your guilt inducing issue is, I assure you, someone else out there also feels guilty on a regular basis about it as well. The truth is there just isn’t any way to be a perfect mom no matter how hard we try. One of my favorite phrases is “There is no way to be a perfect mom, but there are a million ways to be a great one.”
When we are constantly demanding perfection from ourselves, the pressure starts to overflow onto those around us. Soon we start getting frustrated when our husband messes up on little things. Then it starts to trickle down to our kids. And when it does, we get more guilty.
By taking back control of our lives from the guilt, we say to ourselves and those around us that it’s ok to mess up. Kids need to see that adults mess up, too, and how we handle ourselves when we make mistakes.
There is a reason I say we need to take control back from mom guilt rather than get rid of it. Let’s be real: we probably won’t be able to get rid of it completely. Also, guilt can be a healthy thing. It can act as a warning sign to unhealthy behaviors. However, we have to be in control of the guilt rather than the other way around.
How to Cope with Mom Guilt
So, mom guilt is probably never going to go away completely. And we also aren’t going to suddenly become the perfect mom. So how do we cope with it? By taking baby steps to get it under control. Every day, decide to have grace toward yourself instead of demanding perfection.
The next time you feel guilty, pause and ask yourself if you really should be feeling guilty about it. If you think it really is an issue, come up with a plan to start finding some balance in that issue. If not, let it go and move on with your day and be confident in your choices.
If you struggle with mom guilt and need some day by day exercises to get over the mom guilt, try taking my free email course! I’ll send you an email a day for 5 days. Everyday will have a new task or exercise designed to help you get your mom guilt under control (most can be done in less than 30 minutes a day during nap time!).
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Hey there! My name is Rachel and I’m a 23 year old wife and mother. I’m decidedly in favor of DIY projects and decidedly against mom-shaming. This blog is my place to take a stand against superiority and to share ways to thrive in motherhood. My hope is that you leave this site feeling validated and encouraged in your mom-bilities.
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