Do You Suffer from Mommy Guilt?
I know, as a Mom I definitely do. It’s hard not to, these days, with all the pressure coming from society, our own Mom friends, our own Mothers and the pressure we put on ourselves. Let’s say for example, you hear your friend say, “Last night, we had family game night. The four of us had so much fun playing Monopoly.” It’s not unlikely you will think to yourself, “Oh my God, we have not done that in awhile, my poor kids.” Later, you go out and buy some new games, and declare family game night that next Friday evening.
Often, if you are a working Mom, you may feel guilty when you are at home with your kids and feel like you are not “present”, because you are still thinking about work or answering calls or emails. If you are a stay-at-home Mom, you may feel guilty because you are trying to cook, clean and get the household responsibilities taken care of, rather than focusing on your kids. You may feel those responsibilities keep you from spending quality time with your children. You see, we all feel the guilt. As Mothers, we want the best for our children, and we want to be great Moms for them.
Embrace the Mommy Guilt!
As I talk with other Moms about this, I realize that it is impossible to get rid of, or stop, Mom guilt. One of my clients was leaving on a long-planned trip to Europe. Her baby was going to be very well taken care of, and spoiled by her nanny and grandparents. As luck would have it, her baby developed a bad cold right before she was to leave. I knew there was no way I could convince her to not feel guilty. Instead, I suggested she needed to embrace the guilt, and still go on the trip. I explained that, according to ScaryMommy.Com, getting rid of the Mommy guilt means one of two things:
I have attained perfection (and I know that is not the case!)
I’ve stopped caring (and I pray that is never the case!)
According to the ScaryMommy blog, instead of choosing to be perfect, choose to embrace the guilt.
It’s okay to feel guilty, because it means you care about your kids and your family. It’s also okay to let it go. Nobody is perfect, and modeling that for your children is more important than feeling guilty. If you have done something that you weren’t too proud of, like yelling too much, for example, you can show them how to say “I’m sorry” by example, and teach them how to make amends.
Embracing the guilt doesn’t mean letting yourself feel guilty, and bashing yourself for it. It means acknowledging the feeling, and realizing that it means you are a good and caring Mom. It is letting go of the guilt.
We will all suffer from time to time, or even daily, from Mommy guilt. The choice comes from how you will deal with it. Will you choose to embrace it? The key is not letting the guilt keep you up at night, don’t let the guilt keep you from enjoying the present moment with your kids. Embrace it, make amends if you have to, and let it go. The feeling will come up again—that’s the nature of motherhood—but now you know how to deal with it.
Guilt is actually proof that you love your kids, and want the best for them. Now, you can breathe a huge sigh of relief, and let it go!
If this blog post resonates with you and you feel like you'd be interested in exploring the possibility of counseling, contact Jessica today!