Mom guilt is a lie. You have done nothing to feel guilty about. Let’s label it properly and understand why we feel this way so we can live up to our potential as a mother.
As you read, consider this: An ashamed mom is mentally distracted from her mothering duties.
An unconfident mom is not living up to her full potential. And a mom wrapped up in irrational thoughts is not fully-focused on raising strong, emotionally secure children.
Recently, I felt intense guilt for missing my son’s baseball game to go to my daughter’s softball game. (And I would have felt the same guilt if I chose my son).
The next day, I had “mommy guilt” when I went out to dinner with a friend instead of helping my kids with homework. And I experienced shame when I slept in on Saturday instead of jumping up to make pancakes.
Guilt. Is there a more gut-wrenching feeling? Is there an emotion that can drag you deep into the pit of despair faster?
The actual definition of guilt refers to the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime.
A specified offense or crime, huh?
So, who the heck first assigned the term ‘mom guilt’ to the strange overwhelmed feeling that all moms frequently feel – when we actually have done absolutely nothing wrong.
Read tips for Moms Returning to Their Roots here.
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Mom Guilt: The Lie is in the Label
When we talk about mom guilt, we are assigning blame to ourselves.
Guilt is a tricky emotion because it relies on our own reflections in our mind.
Moms often don’t know how else to describe our feelings of inadequacy, so we lean on the new buzz word “mom guilt”.
The problem with this is, when we use the term “mom guilt” we are telling our own brains that we screwed up, we aren’t good enough, and we did something damaging.
Consider my three personal “mom guilt” examples above. I was just a mom, being a mom – doing regular human-mom things.
None of those activities are – in fact – damaging, harmful, or a crime. Yet, I was left feeling guilty and ashamed.
Also Read: How to Fill Your Kid’s Emotional Cup
5 Reminders Why Mom Guilt is a Lie
Mother’s are the most important force in shaping the future of our society.
And if we are moping around feeling sorry for ourselves, we aren’t living up to our motherhood potential.
These are 5 reminders as to why “mom guilt” is a sham, so that you can adjust the way you talk to yourself:
1) Our Kids are Fine
There have been a few times where I tried to apologize to my kids for things I felt guilty about.
I would say things like, “I am sorry that you were playing Barbies alone while I got caught up on housework.”
They would look at me totally confused as to why I was apologizing.
Now that I reflect on my kids’ reactions, I realize that my kids are well cared for, loved, and comfortable.
Assigning blame to myself for something that caused zero harm is a waste of valuable emotional energy.
2) We Can’t Physically do it all
A clone machine would come in handy for most moms.
I’d love to go to my son’s football game AND my daughter’s gymnastics at the same time. It would be awesome to get caught up on laundry WHILE I go on a walk with my son. But that is not physically possible.
Stop feeling guilty about things that are not possible in this human realm.
3) There is Actually Nothing to Feel Guilty About
You committed no crime. You didn’t maliciously hurt anyone.
I am sure you are doing the best you can, with the circumstances you are given.
These feelings of guilt are often totally uncalled for. So, stop bullying yourself!
Remember, guilt does not apply to your situation (missing your kids soccer game or sleeping in is not a crime!)
Learn all about Bare Minimum Parenting.
4) Your Kids Don’t Care About all the Fancy Stuff
Your children won’t remember if you made home-cooked meals, had shiny floors, or planned extravagant birthday parties.
They will remember how emotionally available you were to them.
They will remember how you looked at them when they enter the room.
Stop wasting your time worrying, and focus your energy on showing them you love them.
5) Society has Ridiculous, Unrealistic Expectations
If you want to blame anything or anyone, blame the unrealistic modern society norms.
We are expected to go to work, but be fully and completely competent in the home.
We are expected to go back to work when are babies can’t lift their heads. Or stay home and feel grateful to change diapers. Society norms don’t leave much wiggle room for anything in-between.
It has set up all moms for an emotional collapse.
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Final Thoughts: Mom Guilt is a Lie
Maybe society recreated ‘mom guilt’ to keep us feeling bad about ourselves- because a confident mother is a powerful influencer (that is the conspiracy theorist in me talking).
Or maybe mothers started feeling guilty when they lacked the proper way to describe the inability to keep up with society’s unrealistic expectations.
Regardless, we need to stop putting this level of pressure on ourselves. A strong, self-assured mother will raise confident, emotionally healthy kids.
So, it’s time to eliminate the term “mom guilt” from your internal vocabulary, bask in your amazing motherhood skills, and raise those strong beautiful babies the way God intended.