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How to Stop the Mom Guilt (You’re Doing Just Fine!)

Most parents have felt it – guilt over something when it comes to their kids. This overwhelming feeling of doing something wrong by our children is far too real, and unfortunately, many parents make themselves feel bad about it. It’s time for moms and dads to stop playing the blame game and realize that you’re not doing wrong by your child. Here’s how to stop feeling that mom guilt or dad guilt, know that it’s okay to have a weekend away, date night, or just a day to yourself and realize you are still a great parent.

Be Realistic

The perfect parent? Pfft…there’s no such thing! So, stop trying to be something or someone that doesn’t exist. Forget your child’s lunch at home and have to drop it off to them later? Was a bit late dropping them off or even picking them up from somewhere? We’ve all been there! Just be honest with your kids when it happens. They won’t remember the time you forgot their lunch or the couple of times you were a bit late picking them up, but they will remember your attitude about things.

Stop Comparing Yourself

Susie’s mom brought in cupcakes for the entire class for her birthday. Jacob’s dad was able to get good art supplies for the class project, and now it looks epic. That’s great, but none of it actually matters. Don’t worry about what other parents are doing and stop comparing yourselves to them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you’re doing and working with what you have. You are not any less of a parent than others.

It’s Okay to Say No

Having happy, healthy kids is really what many parents strive towards, but happily doesn’t necessarily mean happy all the time. Tantrums happen, often over the silliest things, and there is no need to feel guilt over it. You do not need to give your child anything and everything they want, and you shouldn’t feel bad for not giving in to getting them that candy bar before dinner or a toy they spotted whilst out shopping. In fact, it’s good to say no sometimes. Yes, they might cry and cause attention. Some parents worry what others think of them and would give in just for the attention, but never feel the need to do this. Give them no thought and focus on you and your child.

Did You Do Something You Will Actually Regret?

Before you let the guilt sink in, ask yourself if you have done something that you will regret later on. Chances are you won’t regret it, especially if it is something to do with your own health and well-being, which you should never feel guilty about. Are you and your spouse in need of getting back to being you again rather than just mom and dad? Then take time for a date night or even a weekend away. Then it’s okay to get a babysitter or have them stay at Grandma’s. Want to go to the gym? Then an extra hour at daycare this week will not do them any harm. You’re not doing wrong by your children by taking time out for you. In fact, it is super important that you do so!

Also, understand when things are in your control compared to when they’re not. There is absolutely no shame if your child gets cavities even though you stress how important it is to brush teeth and make sure your child does it every day. It happens!

Kids Won’t Mind

As previously mentioned, your kids won’t remember the time Mom and Dad went on a date night and left them crying with the babysitter. They won’t remember the time you were late to pick them up from soccer practice and they were the last ones there. There’s a good chance they will forget about the toy they threw a tantrum over by the time they get home from the store and go to play with the ones they already had. The only one making you feel guilty is you.

When you feel like you’ve given your all, but it wasn’t good enough, know that you are feeling the same as a million other parents around the world and that you’re actually being a great parent.

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