Let’s talk mom guilt. Who’s felt it? Come on, I’m raising my hand, too.
So, what is mom guilt? The definition, for me, is endless. It’s the I chose to go back to work 6, 8, 12 weeks after my baby was born because I needed to support my baby, but now I miss everything. It’s the I got a babysitter for 3 hours on a Friday night, so I could go out to drinks, dinner, movie, etc. with my husband, mom, sister, girlfriends, etc. It’s the I’m taking off early on Friday to watch 2 reruns of Friends, Sex and the City, Handmaid’s Tale, This Is Us, etc. to unwind BEFORE I go pick up my baby. It’s the I’m quitting pumping/nursing at 6, 8, 10 months rather than a year because I need to be sane, sleep, have time to decompress, have a glass of wine at dinner, not be tied to one more thing. It’s the stepping out to go on vacation (a.k.a the grocery store!) for an hour while my husband, sister, nanny, mom, etc. watches the baby so I can have 60 mom minutes.
If you are a mom…of a teen, preteen, newborn, infant, toddler, grown child…odds are that you’ve felt the mom guilt at some point. We’ve all been there. To that place where we feel guilty for wanting to have some human, mom minutes that don’t include baby. To that place where we felt disappointed in ourselves for needing a break from something related to baby so that we could preserve our own sanity.
I feel you.
So, the bigger, better question is….how do you make it stop? The simple answer is that there isn’t a simple answer. We all have different forms of mom guilt and different emotions or self-deprecating thoughts tied to it. There isn’t a quick, easy fix. You care about your child and you want what’s best for them. And, you know that YOU are the answer to what’s best because YOU are a GOOD MOM. You can give yourself permission to have those 5 minutes, that glass of wine, those reruns, that dinner with friends, that date with your husband. You, those around you, and your child are going to be in better shape if YOU are rested, sane, and in better shape.
But? It is HARD. I understand. I’ve been there. Sometimes you just need some encouragement.
Sometimes you just need some faith in yourself. Sometimes you just have to take that first leap. One of my favorite quotes, that I have read when I’m in one of those moments, is “There is no way to be a perfect mom. But there are a million ways to be a good one.” Self-care does not make you a bad mom. It makes you a good one.
Take care of yourself, mama.