I hate gambling, primarily because I always lose, but if I had to bet money on anything, I would bet my entire life savings that at least 90-95% of all mothers have experienced the infamous “Mom Guilt.”
My oldest child went to work with me until he was 9 months old. My youngest child, born at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, did not start Montessori school until he was 18 months old. I currently work primarily from home, with an extremely flexible schedule that typically allows me to take my kids to and from school and extracurricular events, and yet I still experience mom guilt.
But guess what? I’m learning that it is okay. It is okay to experience that guilt because a majority of moms (even fathers) experience it at least one time in their life. Trust me, it was not easy and I’m still working out. Here are some ways I learned to minimize the guilt:
- Take time for yourself. It does not have to be a lot of time, 15-20 minutes a day can go a long way, but you must make an effort to take that time. I started off with exercising. I didn’t leave to go to a gym, in fact, I worked out at home while my kids were there, but I tried to do so either in a separate room or with headphones. That then escalated to monthly, hour-long massages. Heck, sometimes I even take a 30-minute shower several times a day, just because it is quiet and relaxing.
- Embrace screen time. I get it, almost every article you read nowadays says screen time is bad. Welp so is losing your mind daily. We need to accept the fact that technology is here to stay and it’s not going anywhere. Adults love watching , Hulu, HBO Max etc., how can we expect our kids to not want to do the same. To lessen the guilt, try putting on an educational show, there are plenty out there.
- Ask for Help. Many of us are not the moms we see on television. We cannot work a full-time job, care for the children, tend to our significant others, keep a house clean, put food on the table, AND maintain our sanity. When you are unable to juggle it all, reach out to friends or family for help. Another option, hire someone or subscribe to a service that can assist you with one or more of your tasks because I guarantee you will be able to find something or someone who can help lessen the load.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s the 21st century and social media is booming, but that doesn’t mean everything you see is true. If you want to feed your child organic, home-cooked meals every day then do it. If you want to feed your children Eggo Waffles every morning then so be it. Breastfeed your kids or feed them formula. Let them watch T.V. or don’t. Whatever you decide is up to you, one method is not better than the other, and do not let anyone (including yourself) make you think otherwise. We are all doing the best we can.