7 Reminders To Help You Combat Mom Guilt
All moms struggle because being a mom is hard! I’ve only been a mom for almost four months now, so I still have a whole lot to learn. However, one thing that I have learned about so far is mom guilt. It’s a lot different than the guilt I’ve experienced in the past. Maybe because there’s now a little human I am in charge of raising and keeping alive.
I’ve had reoccurring negative thoughts about myself as a mother ever since... well I became a mother. And I have a feeling I’m not the only mom who has had these thoughts. Instead of listing out all of the negative thoughts I sometimes have, I’ve listed out 7 reminders to help you combat some mom guilt...
1. It’s okay to show your emotions to your kids.
This is something my therapist told me. I told her that I was worried to cry in front of my baby because I didn’t want that to negatively affect him. In therapy, I learned that it’s okay to cry in front of your kids. You can talk it out with them... which will not only make you feel better, but it will show them that you have sad emotions too and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s important for kids to understand that adults have the same types of emotions as them. And that we don’t have to hide them. Would you tell your kids to go hide and cry it out somewhere else? No! You can show them what you do to help calm yourself down... they’re going to need to learn those skills anyways! Why not have them learn it in an authentic way?
2. Your kids love you.
You are your kids safe place. You’re the first thing they’ve ever known. You’re the first voice they ever heard. Your scent brings them comfort because it smells like home to them. You were literally their first home. You are their world. Try to remember this one on the days your baby is fussy or your toddler is throwing tantrums or your kid is not listening or your teenager is... well being a teenager. They love you even when they aren’t expressing it to you.
3. If you need a nap, take the nap!
This has been one of my biggest challenges. If someone is over and willing to watch my baby while I want to nap, I sometimes worry. Worry if my baby would need me or worry he would be too fussy for the other person. This leads me to just laying in my bed worrying instead of sleeping! When people offer to help, let them! It probably makes them feel better knowing that they’re helping you, so try not to worry about them. Also, your baby is going to be better off with a less exhausted mama. So try not to worry about them either (I know that’s easier said than done... believe me!).
Sometimes I also feel guilty taking a nap, while my baby is sleeping in his crib. Instead of sleeping, shouldn’t I be cleaning the house or doing something more productive? Sometimes sleep is the most productive thing a mom could be doing! It’s tiring taking care of a baby or kids all day. So if you have time to take a nap and need one, do it. You can get to the cleaning later and will be more efficient while cleaning if you’re well rested.
4. Asking other moms for advice doesn’t make you inferior as a mother.
In fact, I think it makes you a better mom! I’ve gotten the best advice so far from other moms. They’re so much better than Google because it’s coming from first hand experience! Advice I’ve gotten from other moms has not only helped me, but has helped my baby. The advice I’ve learned from other moms has helped my baby sleep better, has led me to buy the best products and clothing for him, and has made breastfeeding easier. I’m going to take all the advice I can get when I need/want it!
5. You feeling lonely doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy spending time with your kids.
How can you be lonely?! You have kids you get to see or spend everyday with! Has someone said something like this to you?! If they have I’m so sorry because it’s okay for you to feel lonely! And it doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids. It may just mean that you need some more adult interaction and socialization. Spending time with a kid and spending time with an adult are different and fulfills different needs. I meet up with other moms and their babies atleast once a week to help with this loneliness.
6. Do what is right for you and your kids.
There are so many different opinions out there which is a little overwhelming. There’s a reason why there’s not a manual on how to parent and take care of kids... it’s because every kid is different! What works for one kid may not work for another kid and those two kids could even be siblings! Do what is best for you and your kids. Also, no matter what you do, there’s always going to be someone out there telling you that you’re wrong. So do what is best for you and your kiddos.
7. A fed baby is the best baby!
You’ve probably heard this saying before. This goes along the same lines as to do what is right for you and your baby. Breastfeeding is something that the majority of doctors recommend and assume mothers will do. However, it’s not that simple. Some mothers physically and/or emotionally cannot breastfeed. And that’s okay! I breastfeed because that’s my choice and what is best for me and my baby. However, what’s good for us may not be good for other moms and babies out there. As long as your baby is fed, whether that be formula or breast milk, that’s all that matters!