As a mom of three different but beautiful children, I have been down all kinds of roads that have tested me to my limit at times. I struggled daily to try to be the best mom for my kids. Yes, I have made lots of mistakes while raising my kids. I will tell you it’s not always easy to admit mistakes, especially when it comes to the mistakes you made as a mom. Some days I rock being a mom, but other days I feel as if I have failed miserably. I wanted to give them the world, but at times I struggled financially, which limited me on doing things and buying things for them. I sometimes was too hard on my kids, and other times I was not hard enough. I had to make decisions on things for them at the time I thought was the best, only to learn later that was not the best decision. And there were times I listened to other folks over my own kids. I have not always been the most perfect mom. Yes, I do have Mom-guilt.
Mom-guilt is so real, even when all your kids have grown up and left your home. I don’t know why, but the second you get pregnant or have/adopt a child, so many people take it upon themselves to tell you how exactly you should be raising said child. The amount of people that have told me how to raise my kids and how the things I’m doing are wrong is absurd. I am also guilty of doing this to my own girls with their kids. If you’re a mom, you know exactly what I’m talking about! We feel enough Mom-guilt on our own, so let’s stop making each other feel down about our choices. All the things I am guilty of as a mom are enough to make anyone feel lost and like a failure. Especially since motherhood is said to be joyous and fulfilling. It seems taboo to mention I had no idea what I was doing, and I made lots of mistakes. Which makes us have even more guilt.
But we can change how we feel about motherhood and our decisions. Remember, no instruction book comes with a child. Stop comparing yourself to the ultimate supermom. Look back at all you have accomplished and done with your kids. When you were a first-time mom, you didn’t even know how to hold the baby’s head. Now you can hold a baby while you give cookies to your other child. Or when you wanted to yell at your two-year-old for pouring milk on the floor, but you stopped yourself from yelling even though you were really compelled to. That is progress, Mom.
As a mom, we want to have things all together, especially in front of your child. Maybe it is making sure everyone stays on schedule and, or task; or possibly we don’t yell or even make a mistake, because that is what all good moms do. Well, let me tell you, it’s great you feel and think this way but let me be honest. While your intentions are good, trying to be perfect for your child is doing them a disservice. Yup, it’s better they see all of you, including your imperfections. We are humans, and we are going to make mistakes, even in raising our kids. They need to see us fail sometimes, so they can learn how to get back up when they fail or make a mistake. The best part? All the times you feel like a terrible mother, that does not even cross their mind. Or the time you were late to pick them up, or when you didn’t feel like reading yet another book with them, or when you couldn’t volunteer for school activities. They do not see any of those as terrible.
If you are having some Mom guilt, take those feelings and put them to good use. The best way to help end the guilt is to make a change. Change can mean different things to every one of us. Maybe it’s being more mindful of how you respond to your child so you don’t get so angry. Or perhaps you let go of perfection and find joy and fulfillment in your messy, beautiful life. It could mean leaving a miserable job and finding one that works better for your family life. The simple changes you make are a step closer to feeling like you have got parenthood down.
Being a mom pushes us to grow for one simple reason: there’s no quitting in being a mom. Unlike hobbies, jobs, friends and even marriages, people would rather quit when it gets hard than face the possibility of failing.
We also see these feelings as a sign that we care, so that as difficult as it is to feel like we’re failing as a mom, at least we’re showing up and trying. And finally, we change and do something instead of succumbing to our guilt.
One thing is for sure: you are not alone, mama. Just when you feel like you’re the only one, rest assured that many more have felt exactly what you feel. And, more importantly, pulled themselves through just like me.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who suffer from Mom-guilt and those who do not.
If you have any tips or tricks you would like to share or questions on just simplifying your life, email me at email@example.com.