Guilt Busters for Moms
We’ve all visited it before: the land of mom guilt. In today’s society, moms receive pressure from their family, friends, and even social media to raise their children a specific way and to give them the “perfect” childhood. All this results in the dreaded mom guilt. Relax and take it easy, because we are about to bust that mom guilt!
GUILT: BEING A WORKING MOM
A mother’s place is in the home, right? Well, that’s not necessarily the case anymore. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 70 percent of women with children under 18 participate in the labor force.
When that mom guilt from not spending all day with your children rolls around, tThink about the example you are setting for your children. You work hard every day to provide for your family and then come home to cook dinner and care for them. Your kids will see that work ethic and grow up to be productive members of the workforce themselves. They also will realize the reason you work so hard is to make a better life for them in the long run. And a 2015 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family suggests that kid’s’ academic and emotional well-being is not necessarily contingent on the amount of time they spend with their mothers.
Moms still will feel guilty for missing quality time with their kids, but trying to create a work-life balance can help. What are those moments that make you feel the guiltiest about working? If you feel most guilty about missing class parties, let your boss know you will work late to make up for leaving to catch those Valentine’s Day and Christmas parties at school. If you feel like you are missing special moments while little ones are at daycare, ask your care provider to take photos and videos and send them to you throughout the day. Some daycares even offer phone apps so you can check in on your kids throughout the day.
GUILT: LETTING YOUR KIDS EAT JUNK FOOD
Life is hectic, and each day has only so many hours to work, take the kids to ballet and soccer, finish homework, take baths and read bedtime stories. Sometimes the first thing to go is a home- cooked meal, and that’s perfectly okay. With all of the pressures to feed your children only organic, healthy foods, sometimes parents forget the main goal is to feed the kids. Whether that means stopping at a drive-thru and scarfing down some chicken nuggets on the way to soccer practice, or letting them have that incredibly unhealthy, full- of- sugar cereal for breakfast, the point is your kids have eaten! When we were kids, very few of us were on an only- organic- foods diet, and we grew up to be healthy adults (for the most part!).
GUILT: LOSING YOUR TEMPER
We’ve all been there. It’s been a stressful day, nothing is going right and you lose patience and snap at your kids. The next thing you know you are apologizing and feeling like a horrible parent. Just remember, it happens to everyone. Your kids also will learn that even moms mess up sometimes. If it makes you feel any better, just think of all the times your kids have yelled at you for silly things like their macaroni and cheese not being yellow enough and their glass of water having two pieces of ice instead of their preferred three.
GUILT: TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME
Thanks to the American Academy of Pediatrics, we now experience mom guilt every time we turn on the TV. We know screen time should be regulated, but has the AAP ever been sick with the flu and needed a nap, but their 3-year-old needed entertainment until Dad came home? Probably not. Most moms do their best to abide by the screen time recommendations, but with Netflix, smartphones and tablets, this can be tough. Sometimes you need a little “you” time, and if that iPad is going to entertain your kids for 15 minutes while you regain your sanity, then bring it on. Plus, some of those YouTube videos can be educational, right? If you feel really guilty, just think about all of that unregulated screen time you spent watching MTV and Nickelodeon when you were a kid. And you turned out great!
Regan Lyons is a freelance writer who lives in St. Joseph, MO, with her husband and 3-year-old daughter.