There will be so many times you feel like you’ve failed. But in the eyes, heart, and mind of your child you are a super mom. And don’t you forget it!
- The feeling of guilt, doubt, anxiousness or uncertainty experienced by mothers when they worry they’re failing or falling short of expectations in some way.
Before having a baby, I would occasionally hear about this thing called mom guilt. I could not, for the life of me, understand why it was so difficult for someone to leave their child. Whether it was to go workout, hang out with friends, or even just too simply have some me time. Now I have a one year old and completely understand this whole mom guilt thing and I believe we do it to ourselves. In my opinion, mom guilt is induced and we Mama’s should give ourselves a break, as if there is not enough social pressures already.
Women are expected to do it all, without any complaints and men wonder why we go through all the feels. In this day in age as mothers, I feel like no matter what we do we can’t get it right. If you’re a working mom, you’re not present enough in your child’s life. If you are a SAHM (stay at home mom), you lack drive. If you don’t breastfeed, then you don’t take care of your child. And if you stop early, then you didn’t do it long enough. I tell you the list can go on, especially when people start comparing and wanting to live this perfect life like the ones the see of picture perfect families on Instagram. It’s all an facade my loves, we all are going through something, but some are just better at hiding it.
As a new mom, I question myself on a daily which leads to me feeling guilty about everything. Am I a bad mom for going back to work? Did I spend enough time with Ash in the morning before dropping him off at daycare? I suck at being his mom, why haven’t I taken his bath in almost 2 days? Am I more concerned about working out then spending time with Ash? OMG, he got a diaper rash, did I not put enough cream on his bum? I missed a whole day of using sign language with him, why do I even bother signing? Why can’t you just keep it together? These are just some of the questions that I ask myself, because I honestly feel like I am just not doing enough.
I get so engrossed in my thoughts that I convince myself that I’m doing such a horrible job at being his mom. I’ve learned to quickly take a step back and tell myself that I am doing the best that I can. That it is okay if I’m taking time for me. It’s okay if there are not enough hours in the day to read more than one book to Ash. Or sit and play with him for more than 20 min straight after work. Being a mom is hard, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it for ourselves. Honestly, our kids just want to be loved! So that is exactly what we should continue to do, love on them and then B A M, job well done mama.
When it comes to mom guilt one area I struggle with is when I spend time away from Ash. That can happen when I go to CrossFit, hanging out with friends, or simply just wanting some time to breathe. I’ve noticed some people take offense, like how dare I make time for myself!
It took me over a year to let Ash stay with my mom for a week and even then I felt like I got mom shamed. Comments like I can’t believe you let him stay with your mom for a week, I could never do that. Being the nice person that I am, I shrugged it off, but that pang of mom guilt stung. Maybe they didn’t mean it anyway, but I felt like I wasn’t being a good mother to Ash by leaving him with his grandma. Crazy, right!? Now I missed Ash that entire week, but it was something that I had to do, and my mom has always wanted me to let her keep Ash anyways. And it even worked out, because I was sick as a dog! It was nice to just lounge around for an entire week and just take care of me.
Y’all I even feel like crap whenever I drop him off with family for a day or maybe the weekend when I have things planned. Especially when they send me snaps of them playing with Ash or tag me on their Instagram stories of Ashraf doing something funny. I just get all emotional, like why am I not with my child, but again I have to snap out of it, and enjoy the time that I have for me.
I honestly feel like since I am taking care of me and doing things that I love is also me taking care of my child. That’s why Ash is always smiling and laughing, majority of the time anyways, because I’m remembering to take care of me. I always told myself that I never wanted to lose who I am after having a baby. It really is good for the soul and if you are not taking care of yourself, I highly encourage you to start. Self-care is very important and can get overlooked when life gets busy. It is easy to neglect our needs, because we think we have to do it all and that we are better moms because of it. Go get your nails done, go shopping, hide in the closet for 10 minutes if you have too (hehehe… my favorite thing to do as of recent), just anything that gives you a breath of fresh air. I mean dads get their time and so should we!
You know just to bring this up, I wondered if there was such a thing as a dad guilt, so I looked up the hashtag on IG, and there are some dad’s that experience this as well. I asked my husband if he has dad guilt like I have my guilt. The confusion on his face was hilarious. I explained to him what mom guilt was and ask if he ever felt bad that he wasn’t doing enough as Ash’s father. He told me no, but y’all my husband does have dad guilt lol. I say this because anytime Ash is away he’s always saying maybe we should go pick him up or always questioning how he’s doing when he’s not with us, so babe if you are reading this … you do have some sort of dad guilt lol. I just don’t think it’s talked about much in the male community.
If you’re reading this and also a father, could you share your experience or opinion regarding guilt?
Mom guilt is real, but ladies we do not have to stay in it! You’ll always tell yourself that you can do more, but at what cost? I’ve literally had to tell myself on many occasions to just sit down and relax. The laundry will eventually get done, the house will get cleaned, but don’t overextend yourself and lose your sanity lol, because that never ending to do list will continue for years to come!
We all make mistakes, no one is perfect and that’s just part of life and being real. It’s like every single day there is something that I wish I had done better, but that’s okay because I take each day as a learning experience.
I really just wanted to write this for moms out there that may struggle with mom guilt, because some have it harder than others. You are not alone. I want you to know that you are enough. You’re here. You’re alive. Most importantly our babies are here, happy, healthy, and let’s not forget thriving! You are a doing a great job and don’t let anyone, even yourself, tell you any different!
A few things to remember!
- Self-care is not selfish!
- Look at your guilt in a positive way and embrace it. It just shows how much you love your child and how everything you do, in some shape or form, is for, and will always be for them.
- Wonderful parent and doing the best you can
- To our children, we are the world!
- Trust yourself.
- Again, never let anyone tell you that you are not a good enough mom, because you are!
- We love them with our whole hearts.
- Be grateful that you have the amazing opportunity to raise your little one(s).
Motherhood is one interesting journey and all we can do is support one another. Never feel guilty for making yourself a priority and feeling alive. If you struggle with mommy guilt like me, please share any tips or advice on what you’re doing to combat it int he comments. Let’s encourage and support each other on this journey, xoxo.
I just started exercising again and starting to realize that if I am taking care of my health, I am always doing it for my family and my baby.
Mum guilt is literally the bane of my existence. I’ve also realised and learned that you. Annot pour from an empty cup and so looking after yourself naturally trickles down to looking after your family. This is an amazing piece!
Everything you said hit home for me! We just have to believe that we are enough, we are doing enough, and they love us for it. I always feel guilty leaving my child with family too, especially since I work. But the thing is…family wants to spend time with them too and some of my favorite childhood memories were staying with family. It’s actually a good thing for us both!
Mom’s guilt comes as a discount with a package of motherhood. You are right that we should take it positively and accept it. After all, we are the core of our family and children.
Your little one is such a cutie!