Let’s talk a minute about something y’all call “Mom Guilt”.
There’s a potential for guilt with every single parenting choice we make, from the very beginning. Breast feeding, bottle feeding, sleep training, co-sleeping, screen time, bed times, disposable diapers, junk food, the overflowing sink full of dishes, yelling at your kids when it feels like the world is crashing down around you, working, going out anywhere…ever…without the kids, needing five minutes to breathe, and list goes on and on and on.
But why do we feel it? Why is this even a thing? I believe that it’s inevitable to wonder if we are making good choices as a parent, but I don’t think that is the same thing. The problem is, not only do we constantly compare ourselves to others, but often we are judged by other mothers. *GASP* First of all, no one is perfect, and shame on the moms out there who judge someone’s choices as a parent. We allow society to dictate what is normal, what is acceptable, what is the right way to do just about everything. Trust me, I get it. I have my own “mom guilt”.
When Jaxon was little “mom guilt” wasn’t a buzzword like it is now, but thanks to social media, we now have a name for all of the guilt and second guessing we do as parents. Fortunately, I had a small, close circle of girlfriends who shared their parenting successes and failures. No one made me feel guilty when I stopped breast feeding. No one made me feel guilty when I decided cloth diapers weren’t for me. No one made me feel guilty when I would let him cry it out and fall back to sleep. No one made me feel guilty when I decided to go back to school and put my toddler in daycare. That guilt came from me.
When I went through my divorce and became a single parent, I went through a different kind of “mom guilt”. Was I spending enough time with him? Was he missing out on a two-parent home? Did I make the right choice? Was he happy? These were the questions that kept me up at night.
Fast forward to today, and boy do I have the potential for “mom guilt” everyday. A few years ago, when my husband and I made the decision to relocate from Pennsylvania to Missouri for work, and both of our kids decided to stay in Pennsylvania, that’s when my “mom guilt” set in. It’s been two years and two states, and it hasn’t really gotten any easier. The guilt of missing the band concerts, the soccer games, the milestones, and the day to day, it follows me around every single day. Then there’s the guilt that accompanies the enjoyment of our new life. That guilt that I shouldn’t be happy and loving life. I miss the boys every single day and wish they were here with us, but we do live our life, making memories and having fun. What’s a mom to do?
Let me tell you what works for this mom. Thanks to modern conveniences, like texting and FaceTime, I talk to my kiddo as often as possible, he’s a very busy kid these days and doesn’t always have time to talk every day. And no, it’s not the same as being able to hug him and be present, but it’s been a few years and I believe that I know my kiddo more now than I might have had we not moved, because we talk about everything!!! I mail him care packages, things he need and surprises. PLUS, he was just here for summer vacation, and we were able to soak up all of the much mom-Jaxon time we could. And the biggest thing of all, cutting myself some slack! (I wish I had figured that one out years ago!)
When the “mom guilt” starts to get the best of me, I remind myself that all of our children have had the choice to move with us, and that they are happy and healthy and living their best life! Happy and healthy kids, that is what I pray for every single day!
Do you have “mom guilt”? If you do, how do you deal with it? Share your tips in the comments below!
Until Next Time: Peace, Love and Adventures