If you are a Mom, you’ve probably experienced MG at least more than once. What is MG? That dreaded illness called Mom Guilt.
Moms can experience mom guilt if they happened to use infant formula rather than nurse or even if they pick up that new pair of shoes at the mall when the kids all need new socks.
MG strikes moms of all ages — whether you are 25 0r 45. It doesn’t discriminate based upon where you live, your income or your ethnicity. It hits. And when it does, it usually strikes hard.
So, what can you do about it? Sure, it is simple for others to say “don’t feel guilty about what you do.” It is not that simple. If we could just turn off those feelings, do people think that we would not have already done so? I know I certainly would!
What I have had to do is remember one thing – I am not perfect. None of us are. We are all human and we will all do things which we regret or of which we are not proud. Here are a few things I’ve done and why I’ve decided NOT to beat myself up about it anymore – and why you shouldn’t either!
Turning the TV on to watch the kids.
There are times when I just need to get things done. I might be needing to pack to get ready to go out of town, be on a deadline with a company or need to get the bathroom cleaned from last night’s muddy bath time.
I stopped feeling guilty about this a long time ago. How? I knew that the shows I turned on for my kids to watch were educational. It wasn’t like I had turned on “The Real Housewives of anything” and left the room. I usually opted for PBS, Sprout or Disney, Jr. These are shows which I knew were geared towards my kids and were OK for them to watch.
I also knew that there was no way I could teach my kids everything – that is just unrealistic of me to think. It was great to see them learn new words and how to treat others – which stemmed from both what my husband and I were teaching them and the reinforcement from these programs.
Now that my kids are older, I use the parental controls on our TV so that I know when I am not in the room, that they will only be able to watch those programs of which my husband and I approve. If they try to buy a movie, they would need the passcode. I don’t have to worry that they are watching something that I might question.
This was an easy one for me to let go of – and hopefully you can do the same. You are not a bad mom if you turn to the TV once in a while. In fact, it shows you are a real one – so try to stop feeling mom guilt.
Junk Food for Dinner.
Let’s face it, there are evening when you are just wiped and too tired to think, let alone want to stand in the kitchen fixing dinner. Sure, there are some families who would never think of swinging through the drive-thru of the golden arches and you know what – that’s OK!!
An occasional meal of fast food will not kill you nor your kids. It will not make them obese. There are usually some healthy options you can pick up for them — leaving the french fries and sodas behind. Grab milk and apples instead – that way you are getting them the nutrition you want with the convenience you need.
Of course, if you find that you turn to fast food more than you cook at home, then you might truly need to re-evaluate your menu planning. However, if you stop by once a week or so to grab dinner, it is OK. If someone judges you, then that is on them and not you. Just let it go and know you are not killing your kids.
Raising Your Voice.
It happens to all of us. Show me a mom who says she’s never once had to yell at her kids and I’ll wonder if she is really telling the truth. Now, do we feel good when we do it? Of course not. Most of the time, I actually find myself apologizing to my kids shortly afterwards.
When it happens, it is usually because it’s been building and building. I stay calm most of the time and then finally there is the proverbial straw that breaks the came’s back and I just snap. I might yell over the must ridiculous thing. I end up having to turn right around and apologize at them for getting upset. The thing is, I am human and I make mistakes. I always take the steps to apologize and make it right.
Do I yell all of the time? No. If you find that you do, it might be good to talk to someone about it. Stress in your life can ooze out into everything – including your patience (or lack thereof) with your own kids. Just take note of what you are doing and why and find a way to fix it.
Of course, when the kids run through the house with muddy shoes, just know that you won’t be alone if you happen to raise your voice. You are human!
Spending Money On Yourself.
This is the one which seems to bring upon the most guilt for moms. It seems that every time I decide to pick up something for myself – even something small like a new necklace – one of the kids ends up needing something. So then, I instantly feel guilty that I spent $20 on myself when I now need to spend money on shoes for the kids. That was $20 I could use for them when I really did not need that necklace.
It took me a long time to realize that it is OK to let the kids’ wear socks with holes in them a bit longer. That it is OK if the jeans have holes in the knees. Honestly, my kids could care less about those things than me. It’s true – just ask them.
I work hard. I work hard every single day of the week. It is not just work on this website, it is work around the house. I cook. I clean. I make sure 3 little human beings are cared for and loved. I take care of my husband. I grocery shop. I meal plan. The list goes on and on. When I look at all I do, I realize that I deserve to pamper myself once in a while. For me, spending money on myself is my own thank you to myself for what I do. My husband actually agrees with me.
Those moments when I say I spent some money on new clothes for myself today and picked up nothing for the kids, I get an “I’m proud of you” from my husband. And you know what? He is right! Moms always put their needs last and that is not always bad. However, there are times when we must put ourselves first or we will grow to harbor resentment and that is not healthy either.
So go ahead! Go shopping (just make sure you find a deal and use a coupon)!
What types of mom guilt have you experienced? What did you do about it? Please share!