Do you suffer from ‘guilty mom syndrome’ also known as mommy guilt.
I know you’ve heard of it. It’s that sick feeling in your stomach that you have somehow done wrong in the eyes of your child and it makes you want to cry.
I know I get that feeling sometimes. How do you make sure you are taking care of things that need to be done while keeping your family a top priority?
One thing I remind myself is that if I wasn’t working on my business for the 3-5 hours a day that I work, I would be cleaning house. That would not be 3-5 hours of focused time on the baby! I remind myself that by working these hours I can contribute financially to my family and ease any stress my husband might have as he was always our sole provider.
I know that I am making my kids’ lives better by sending them to a private school, where they learn about their faith. I know that I no longer need to go ‘without’ so we can go away for a weekend. Please don’t take this as bragging. There is so much gratitude for how far I have come. But there was a time in my life where I didn’t have dreams of private school and taking my family on nice vacations. I honestly didn’t think it was in the cards for a ‘stay-at-home’ mom to do what I have done.
BUT THE MOMMY GUILT LINGERS!
I love to watch this show about Alaska- I don’t recall the name but it’s about people living in the last wild frontier in the USA. I once watched an episode where a mama of an infant was trying to get her garden planted. Timing was EVERYTHING and it was work that had to be done to feed her family. The mom made a makeshift play yard for the baby that was set up right inside of the green house. The baby had some self-entertainment time and mom got work done.
It is just life! Embrace it. It’s okay to let your little ones have some down time to self-entertain. It is good for them and helps with their development. Don’t beat yourself up!
Now please don’t think I am heartless – I do like to schedule in ‘dates’ so that I ensure quality time with my kids. As one of my New Year’s Resolutions I committed to more one-on-one time with each of them. Just this morning I took the baby for a stroller ride and cuddled him on the couch, and really that was all he wanted. After he was content it is was time for the play yard and for mama to get some work done.
Maybe this guilt stems from our subconscious. Maybe we are doing everything right. I mean who are we competing with?? Maybe we will always be competing with the inner image of the perfect mother we want to be. Maybe we are overcompensating for what we lacked in our own childhood.
I’m sure our moms had this guilt too. I think we just always want better; better for them, better for us.
Tell me you don’t cringe when your child shows disappointment in you? It is heart breaking to think you’ve let your child down, but the truth of the matter is, it’s a moment in time that will pass and you will accomplish NOTHING by beating yourself up. It’s okay to let your little ones have some down time to self-entertain. It’s ok for them to feel disappointment- it’s probably not that deep to them. It is good for them to have feelings of their own and to figure out how to deal with them.
Being a parent, let alone a mom is the toughest, hardest, most stressful job ever!!! But it is also the most rewarding one too- and that is what we need to stay focused on. Don’t beat yourself up, you are doing a great job and I’m sure your mom thinks so too.
Happy Mother’s Day Friends!