10 Mom Guilt Trips You Don’t Even Realize Are Happening
I don’t know about you, but I had no clue what Mom Guilt was.
I struggle on a daily basis emotionally with this sense of “not enough” for my son.
That is, MOM GUILT!
Between the combination of comparing ourselves to other Mom’s and trying to meet society’s expectations of a Modern Mommy we are driving ourselves crazy!
Its a never-ending cycle that is exhausting and for me it has head to illness and depression! It wasn’t enough that we had Pregnancy Hormones to deal with and Postpartum Depression. Let’s bring on the Mommy Guilt.
There is a survey you can take here to see if you are challenged with this too.
I had written about this over 6 months ago and now FINALLY understand what I am dealing with.
I’ve listed out the Top Mom Guilt Trips to help ease some of your frustrations.
By the way, you’re not going crazy. It is only when we start to identify what is happening that we are truly able to free ourselves from this madness.
My top tips on how to overcome Mom Guilt are also at the bottom!
Mom Guilt #1 – Asking for help
If you haven’t already realized there are a lot of Mom’s out there that display a great outwardly appearance of getting it all done. Have you thought about asking how they get it all done?
I am here to tell you, often, there is more help involved! Whether it is a babysitter, ordering the cupcakes (We can all laugh at the movie Bad Mom’s) for the school bake sale, or asking your friend to come over for a glass of wine so you can finish the laundry. We all need help!
I often feel guilty because my Son’s Dad does offer help when I know there are many Single Mom’s out there without the support (Emotional, Financial, Household chores etc) that I am fortunate to have. I feel guilty uttering the words “this is so hard.”
It is. Motherhood simply has its challenges that none of us would give up but we simply need to identify where we need help in our lives and get it!
Mom Guilt #2 – Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is such a controversial topic that no one realizes the impact it has on us emotionally. Can you identify with one of the below?
- How long do I Breastfeed?
- Can I Breastfeed in public?
- I am unable to Breastfeed and wish I had a chance.
- I just cannot Breastfeed with my work schedule.
- Breastfeeding was so difficult for me I had to choose formula instead.
I identified with 3 of those personally! When I hear Mom’s today or topics surrounding how my son’s health will be impacted by selecting formula regardless of necessity it breaks my heart. No Mom want’s to hear she isn’t good enough or that their child will be impacted greatly by their decision.
Mom Guilt #3 – Co-Sleeping
What is wrong with a Mom wanting to be close to her child? In some instances, we actually get more sleep knowing our child is sleeping through the night than getting up every 30 minutes worried about SIDS.
This could absolutely have an impact on a relationship with a significant other however that is a personal decision.
I have a lot of respect for Mothers that are able to place their baby soundly in a crib at the newborn stage. I unfortunately didn’t have that opportunity (More on this soon….).
Much as I can have respect for Mom’s that are able to transition their newborn to a crib, I would appreciate the return. Often when I tell someone we are still co-sleeping I hear “oh no, this is what you need to do” and let them cry it out. I am sorry, I do understand the need for the child to learn to self soothe but at some point I feel abandonment can trigger.
There’s no need to increase the potential for Therapy visits at such an early age is there?
Mom Guilt #4 – TAKING A BREAK FOR YOURSELF!
Let’s see, at what point when we decided Motherhood was going to be AWESOME did we give up our rights to see our friends without our toddlers in tow?
Secondly, when we do spend time with our friends do you find yourself feeling guilty over not spending it with your significant other? Or anyone else for that matter. Maybe you spent time with one friend but not the other unintentionally, TRIGGER, Mom Guilt!
Have you tried to get a Pedicure with your child yet? Sure when my son was Newborn it was pretty easy. Now as a toddler I simply pull out my nail file and he’s asking me to file his own nails!
After a period of time you don’t realize how badly you need a break until situational depression starts to creep up on you. I don’t have the luxury of local family and I have a few friends that offer the occasional support. It wasn’t until recently I found the perfect babysitter and my son is now 2.
I would challenge you to take a day off. Find a family member, friend or trusted babysitter and see how refreshed you feel returning home. My son had a blast and was so excited for my return that it sparked a feeling of enduring love we all need!
Mom Guilt #5 – The Working Mom
This is very cliche when you think about how society has changed. We are now in a society with increased numbers of Single Mom’s, Dual Household Incomes, and Women in the Workplace.
We either feel guilty for;
- Required income. Questioning if it was right to have a child knowing we would need Daycare.
- Enjoying our career. Not everyone is the same, some of us thrive on the opportunity to build, develop and grow. Whether you are an Enterpenuer or living Corporate America it can provide a sense of success in life.
If you haven’t already seen what has been the biggest help you should probably take a quick look. I wouldn’t go a day without it!!
Mom Guilt #6 – Parenting Style
I’m too strict. – I am not strict enough.
I yelled at my child. – I should practice more positive parenting.
We didn’t go outside today. – I should have activities planned daily.
We love coloring books. – I should start planning educational crafts.
How many times have you heard a mom tell you, you should think about (insert alternative happy stance here). SMH
There are some amazing resources to help us guide our parenting style and often avoid some of the things we found difficult as we were growing up. But no one is perfect! We weren’t given a manual for parenting. We educated ourselves and asked trusted friends. Those friends however can be very opinionated.
Here’s an example. Did you know there are 16 different ways to cook eggs? I can guarantee you if you mentioned to another Mom that your child doesn’t eat eggs you will get feedback on how you can do it differently. Their thought is to provide support however internally its often felt as .. Really, you see a problem with what I am doing. When what we really need is, I understand how hard it can be navigating picky foods!
Mom Guilt #7 – Food Selection!
I don’t give my child Fast Food. – Where is the nearest drive-thru?
My child doesn’t drink juice. Only water and milk. – Pass the Capri-Sun!
We are an organic household. – Did someone finish the chips?
Can’t we all learn to be in a judgement free zone? There is a such thing as balance. The thought of another Mom giving me “that look” when I mention that my son loves Pepperoni Pizza drives me crazy!
I do agree we need balance in life, to set a good example, and there are some amazing healthy alternatives out there. But some days we just need a break!
I don’t see anything wrong with having a night off during the week when typically you’re alone with the kids preparing for meals.
That is not as easy as it sounds!
My toddler is never pleased that he can’t see what mom is doing or participate in the activity. He might understand what an oven is and “hot” but I am still not comfortable with the chances of a burn. NOPE! He can run and fall all he wants but there will be no kitchen burns!
Okay back to the point here, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of what is available to us. There are options to make things healthier than they appear and even in Texas we have Panera Bread drive-thru! I can’t count the number of times we have picked up Soup & Salads that he loves.
But Mom’s we all need to be a bit easier on ourselves! Sure, we find a lot of awesome recipes and can meal plan until we are booked for 2 years out. We still need a break and the thought of avoiding
Mom Guilt #8 – The Organized, Planning Ahead, Crafty Mom.
I will admit it, I am OCD and a planner! Nothing drives me crazier than not having everything planned and everything I need at my disposal. This was in the Top 3 Lifestyle Changes I had to make as a Mom. The first of course being, a loss of sleep!
You can plan ahead prepare for outings but nothing will ever be perfect. Stop comparing yourselves to the Mom that appears to have it all together. You don’t know what kind of support or resources she had to get it all done! Its quite possible she had a babysitter for 8 hours the day before and had the chance to fit it all in. Often times, that is not the case!
Mom Guilt #9 – Judgement from Grandparents/Parents
We have all been there. We are at a family gathering and we mention something we are working on with our child. For example, counting to 10. The response I have received was “well if you had done as I told you like I did with my other grandson, he would already know them by now.”
It’s now brought me to the point I don’t want to speak. “We’re great”
Mom Guilt #10 – Your choice!
This is intentionally left blank for you to think about whats left you’re faced with. We aren’t all the same, and we all have our own opinions. That is the best part of us! We just need to learn to stop being so hard on ourselves!
I know you need answers, and I do too! I have some and I will continue to add to this as I learn more. For right now I leave you with this:
THE TOP 3 THINGS I DID TO REDUCE MY MOM GUILT
- Stop comparing. We are not perfect and never will be. As yourself, if I continue to be this hard on myself how will this impact my child?
- Find like minded Mom Friends/Support. We all need someone who understands us. No one will ever agree 100% with you, but they don’t need to be judgmental. They are out there!
- Remember what you used to love “BC (before children)” and find a way to bring it back or replicate it!! For me, this was shopping, home organization, and reality TV (YEP, I just said it – sometimes we have those shows that allow us to laugh and be mindless, those are awesome!)