Hi everyone! I’m Selena from Look! We’re Learning! and I’m here to talk about something just about all moms can relate to: mommy guilt. No matter how loving and devoted we are to our families, it’s so easy to feel like we’re not doing enough for our kids. Let’s face it – parenting is hard and mothers in particular can become overwhelmed by the task of caring for their children 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The good news is that, even with those demands, we can be happier moms! With these three tips, you can stop mommy guilt in its tracks!
1. Talk to your kids.
I’m serious. Just talk to your kids. Ask them if there’s anything they would like you to do more of or anything they’d like you to do less of. Before you do this, though, be prepared for their responses. If you have a pre-teen or a teenager, you might get a serious answer like “I want you to let me have more freedom” or “I want you to trust me to take the car out at night.” Those are things that will probably lend themselves to further conversation.
But if you have children younger than age 9, the responses you’ll probably hear might include “I want to have chocolate pancakes for dinner” or “I want to watch SpongeBob before bed” or “I want to stay up all night and eat candy!” Even though we beat ourselves up and second-guess our choices, our kids usually think that we’re awesome. So if you want to stop feeling guilty about what you should or should not do, check in with your kids for an instant ego boost.
2. Stop comparing.
This is a hard one to do. In the Internet age, it’s so easy to look at what other mothers are doing and feel like we’re not quite good enough. Pinterest, in particular, has contributed to this trend. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love Pinterest. In fact, I probably spend way too much time on there. But if you’re only looking at pins featuring pictures of perfectly styled living rooms, color-coordinated children’s outfits, and handmade themed bento box lunches, you may be forgetting that the moms who make those things generally do so as part of their jobs. Trust me; their everyday life with their kids is not like that.
Most of us share the “highlights” of our lives online and skip over the not-so-pleasant aspects. I know, because I do the same thing. So stop comparing your daily struggles with someone else’s picturesque moments. They’re having just as many problems as you during the day, if not more.
3. Simplify your outlook.
Have you noticed that the new thing for moms is to be a “supermom”? It’s difficult to define what a supermom actually is, but the term is often used to describe women who supposedly have it all. They’re mothers, they’re wives, they’re successful in business, they keep an immaculate home, and they are all in excellent shape. Oh, and they don’t usually have wrinkles or cellulite either.
I was aspiring to this exact ideal for quite a while, and it wasn’t until I said it out loud that I realized how ridiculous it was. No other job on this Earth requires that kind of pressure, and without getting paid at that! And by the way, there is no such character as “Supermom”, so not only are we aspiring to be an imaginary character, but the imaginary character was never even imagined in the first place!
There is no need to feel unfulfilled because you don’t have the same figure you had 10 years ago or because you’re not CEO of a Fortune 500 company. In fact, I can tell you from experience that trying to accomplish all of these things will take you away from your children and make your mommy guilt worse than ever!
Look at what’s really important in your life and kick everything else to the curb for a while. Odds are that your children are at the top of that list. If you give them YOU instead of an imaginary ideal, your mommy guilt won’t stand a chance.
Selena Robinson is a former tax accountant-turned-homeschooling mom of four. She blogs about her family’s life and adventures every week at Look! We’re Learning! If you’d like to keep up with Selena, you can follow Look! We’re Learning! on Pinterest or Twitter.