If you’re a mother, even just since yesterday, even if it’s your first pregnancy now, I’m sure you know the mom guilt. The feeling that you could and should be better. The guilt that you don’t cook as good and as much as your mom or grandma. The guilt that you’ve eaten something during pregnancy that isn’t so healthy, organic and gluten-free. The guilt that you don’t organize various creative, developing, educational activities for your kids. The guilt that you feel exhausted, not fresh and not positive. The guilt that you don’t smile, wearing a light-colored, clean and ironed dress like the woman in the cereal advertisement. The guilt that you don’t look like your single sister. The mom guilt.
Have you ever experienced the mom guilt feeling? What are your tips for such moments? Tell me in comments.
How can you overcome mom guilt?
1 | Don’t read
When you feel not good enough as a mother when you feel guilty as a mother… Stop reading.
DON’T READ. Go offline. Stop reading about social schemes telling you what you should do.
And you should clean, bake, DIY, relax and socialize with other moms + kids.
At. The. Same. Time.
It’s impossible to put everything you’re supposed to do into our daily schedules. It is too much. Every day has 24 hours and it doesn’t mean how a perfect woman you’d be, you can’t change it.
You can even experiment with an information diet.
Ok, so after getting aware of the social shoulds and attempts to recognize them in your life, you no longer let strangers from the Internet or products and their human presenters from advertisements influence you so much. But what about your own expectations? Maybe you allowed some of the social shoulds become your rules? Check your expectations again. Do you want to wipe your floor every evening, every other day, once a week, a month…? How do you want it to be? What are your standards of being good enough? Build them and follow them, not letting others to tell you what your rules should be.
2 | Accept
We all have to accept that we are and we will be not perfect. (Hey, have you read this article: Mother, Don’t Be a Superwoman!?) We not only cannot accomplish all things other people – husband, friends, neighbors, teachers, parents, relatives – would like us to do. We don’t even have enough recourses – time, energy, space, attention, money – to do or finish what we want or plan for the day.
You’re far from the perfect picture created by the critics. You’re able to accept that you’re not a woman from the perfect picture.
3 | There are many styles of being a mom
And look, there are various types of parenting. Find articles and books on parenting in different cultures, countries, religions, ages. My favorite read for the moments when I fell not good enough as a mother is Tom Hodgkinson’s book The Idle Parent.
So you can be a parent devoting all time and energy to your kids and finding activities (valuable, developing and educational!) for every minute of their lives. Or you can be a parent who loves and cares about kids but let them be a part of their life, not the whole life in terms of daily schedule, using your attention time and energy.
You can prepare healthy food at home or you can choose a vagabond life, taking trips, living in a campervan and eating sweet rolls (including gluten and chemicals). Maybe you want to work or exercise or do makeup or do a hobby or read or cook for pleasure as a hobby while kids take care of themselves in a safe space near you.
And educational, fun, adventure and outdoor activities? You can subscribe kids to organized activities. You can go somewhere with them. Or you all can stay at home. You can choose to find activities for them or let them be bored and finally, use their imagination.
In every aspect of motherhood, you have such multiple choices and each of them has its benefits.