Mom guilt: it'll catch up to us all. Whether it's something that someone has suggested you do as a parent, or something you feel you do too frequently, this specific type of guilt is something that's hard to ignore.
Mom guilt comes in many different forms. It can be categorized within your child's diet, the kind of education they're getting or even the extra curricular activities they partake it. At times, it simply feels a bit overwhelming. There's already a lot on our plates as mothers, so why add to our stress?
Below, find 10 things that we moms really need to let go of when we talk about guilt. We juggle so much in our day-to-day lives, we might as well not feel bad about our every decision.
10 TOO MUCH TV
Let's release that stress from those days where we need to get more than we expect to get done, done. Alas: the TV and/or tablet. Something that will actually keep our toddlers/children occupied (safely) while we tend to the work that truly needs to get taken care of.
Yes, there are many studies that show television radiation and stimuli should be avoided until the age of 2. But, there are days (if not hours) where we need some solid distraction. Let go of this guilt, we all do it. And if we don't, we likely have a nanny/full-time care/in-law or extra help around the house. But hey- if you have all of that and still resort to the TV, that's perfectly acceptable, too.
9 TOO MUCH SUGAR
The No Sugar Fad is hitting its peak right about now. Yes, refined sugars are not good in heavy doses, but restricting anyone, whether child or adult, will surely have them fail at whatever they're trying to achieve.
Teach your child moderation and balance. That's truly the most important thing to take away from when we teach them that sugar is often not a healthy option. But, if you end up having donuts for breakfast to make it to the school bus on time, don't sweat it. They're alive, well and most definitely happy.
8 NOT ENOUGH NUTRIENTS
Speaking of too much of something, a popular anxiety most every parent will experience at one point or another is the concern that their children are not receiving enough nutrients. Maybe someone commented on your toddler's weight or you notice they're only eating their buttered toast and not the banana on top.
Don't worry, if they're eating and growing, they will be ok. Picky eaters will come and go; their taste buds are changing each and every day. Take it easy and just make sure they don't go to bed hungry.
7 NO OUT-DOOR PLAY
We have to admit: there are days where all we do is stay inside, do crafts, watch movies and eat leftover pizza. Whether it's the weather keeping us indoors or sheer laziness from a night of several baby-feedings, staying inside for whatever reason is reason enough to do so. You are the parent.
Not only do you not want to push your children to do something when they're not genuinely up for it, you also have to consider your own mental and physical health. If you're not all in, don't push it. Take it easy. It's ok if you stay inside all day long if you want to.
There are plenty of studies that do truly show that when children act out they're seeking their parent/guardian/caretaker's attention. Why teach them that they have our full attention and love when they're in their best of moods, but when they're not, you exclude them of your energy?
With that said, we are only human. We repeat: We are only human. We will get frustrated, ourselves. And, we are not perfect. Putting your child in a time out is ok. Putting yourself in a time out is ok. Taking time away from a heated situation is ok. Don't let yourself feel guilty about doing something in the moment that you knew had to be done; especially one that will be a teaching moment for the two of you.
Again, we are only human. If you are not the "yelling type" and suddenly, at the end's day burst out in anger because your toddler refuses to put their shoes on in time to make it to grandma's dinner, it's ok if you snap. It's ok.
Showing your child that you too can express your genuine emotions is an important lesson to teach. We are not normalizing a hostile parenting tactic, but we are telling you that showing your vulnerability in front of your child is very healthy.
4 LATE ON POTTY-TRAINING
Every child learns at a different pace. The average age that children begin to potty train is two years old, but this can differ from child to child.
Some parents even begin to place their babies on the potty within the first few months to get them accustomed to it. Whether your child is fully potty-trained by pre-school or not, stop blaming yourself for not having enough time to train them or not being patient enough with night-time accidents. Your child will come to an age where he/she/they will be ready to potty. It will all work out, we promise.
3 TAKING SOME EXTRA YOU-TIME
Have you ever gotten a rush of guilt mid-shower, while you hear you baby begin to cry and your breasts begin to leak and you think to yourself, maybe I should just wash my body and leave the hair for next week? Well, you're not alone. And if this did not resonate with you, well, you're onto a great start.
Taking extra time for yourself is essential when you become a parent. Whether this means taking an extra 20 minutes in the shower to stand there and just be, or go on evening walks around the block to clear your head, you should never feel guilty for taking extra time for yourself.
This one is a biggie. Whether you are a stay at home mom who works from home while caring for the kids or you sacrifice home-time to work out of the office while your baby goes to full-time care, we always consider what it's like on the other end. The grass isn't always greener, Momma. We are all considering what it's like on the other side.
Don't feel guilty for choosing what you feel is right for you and your family. Whatever choice you make, you will all make it work. And, if you have to adjust or change this decision along the way, then go with the flow. The child will not love you any less, we promise.
We, as mothers, love to compare. Whether it's seeing how fast your friend's child picked up on the ABC's or where they go to pre-school, some parents can afford early-education private school tuition while others can not. This is ok. It is all ok. Whether the child goes to Montessori School part-time at the age of 2 or they wait until grade 1 to enter a public education system, every child will surely learn what they need to learn at the right time.
Don't feel guilty for not being able to offer a "higher" education if it is not feasible for your family. Your child will learn a lot through life outside of school, don't you forget.