Down with Mommy Guilt

Mommy guilt is a heavy burden that I’ve noticed most moms carry around with them, weighing them down. “I wish I yelled less”, “I should have said ‘no’ to that snack”, “I should have said ‘yes’ to that snack”, “I should be more firm”, “I should loosen the reigns”, the things I hear are endless. But my question is…why?

Why are we dwelling on the decisions we’ve made? Are we comparing ourselves (or our children?) to others and feeling like the outcome should be different? Do you see Suzy’s children sitting quietly at the doctor’s office and thinking that whatever you’ve done to show them how to behave isn’t good enough? Does your child have trouble focusing in school and you’re thinking it’s that time you let them cry-it-out for ten minutes when they were ten months old and over-tired? What’s that saying… “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, wouldn’t it be a Merry Christmas?”

If you really feel that something in your routine isn’t working, change it. If you feel that you’re yelling too much, take several moments to calm down before you react. I think the question really is… are we really unhappy with how we’re doing things or are we being told too often by others, especially through social media, how we should be parenting and we let ourselves get hung up on it? If you are a bit of a loud parent when the time calls for it and it works for your family, who are we to tell you that soft spoken reasoning is the absolute only way to handle your child? I’ll be honest, I’ve tried to sit and tell my kids in a tiny voice, “Okay, sweetie, well we can’t color on the walls because then Mommy would be sad if she had to clean them” and it simply didn’t work. Instead, I have to hide coloring utensils and monitor closely and still when a stray marker is found, someone ends up sent to their room or not allowed to color for the rest of the day.

Just like all of us, all of our children are different and I notice this even in differences between my own. While one of my kids takes better to a reward system, another may only respond by having time to sit in their room as a consequence for their actions. So why try to adhere all of the children of the world to the same exact parenting style? I hear people jokingly refer to their children as “snowflakes” but I think it’s a good comparison since no two children are exactly the same!

The way I see it, if you thought about what was best for your child and you came to the conclusion you did, you did the right thing. If you made a snap decision you now regret, congratulations, you’re human! Now you have learned a lesson of your own for next time and your child is going to forgive you. If you’ve ever seen this video, you know that your kids tend to think a million times more of you and your parenting than you do of yourself!

When I think of my mommy, I am so grateful for her. I know that every decision she made was that which she thought would be in my best interest. She always had the best intentions for me and you know what? I think I turned out pretty grand. They say love isn’t everything but it’s most of the equation and it’s the one thing we can guarantee that all kids need! So go forth and love on your babies, do what you think is right and take that chip called mommy guilt off your shoulders because you ARE a good mom! Junior sure thinks so!

mommy guilt

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