Let me start by telling you a story about mom guilt.
A few years ago, it was a cold and snowy day here in Central Ohio. My husband was traveling for work and school was closed for a snow day. I had a jam-packed day of clients. The morning was a mad scramble of canceling, rescheduling and confirming clients, and figuring out childcare. Thankfully, I was able to take my daughter to a friend’s house for the afternoon. Then mom guilt kicked in.
After I dropped her off, I was driving to work and beating myself up, just berating myself relentlessly.
I felt guilty for the clients I canceled, I felt guilty for not being with my daughter and I felt guilty for the clients I was going to see, because I knew that my heart wasn’t in it.
I wanted to be home with my kid! Then all of the sudden I had an epiphany. It hit me, this is all a bunch of nonsense! I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. There’s absolutely no way to win here. I feel guilty if I’m not at work, and I feel guilty if I am at work.
That, my friends, is mom guilt in a nutshell.
Most, if not all moms have felt it at some point.
It’s that nagging voice that tells you that whatever you do, it’s never enough.
The thought that you “should” be doing more.
For working moms, it might be feeling guilty that you are at work and missing out on your kids’ lives.
Or when you are with your kids, it’s the nagging feeling that you should be doing work.
For full time at home moms, it’s feeling like you should have a sparkling clean house, be all caught up on chores, spend every waking moment making sure the kids are entertained and learning and not in front of screens.
Do you feel stressed out just reading this? I do!
The key word here is SHOULD.
You might be suffering from mom guilt if you find yourself thinking thoughts like:
- I should be doing more
- I’m going to mess up my kids
- Whatever I do, it’s never enough.
- I’m a failure
If you find yourself thinking these thoughts, it’s probably mom guilt talking.
A balanced life means a little more work one day and a little more fun the next. It doesn’t mean juggling all of the things all of the time.
So what does your mom guilt voice sound like?
Learn to recognize it, and know that it is lying to you. It’s based on unrealistic, unattainable expectations, and also comparing ourselves to others.
Spoiler alert: other moms struggle with this too, no matter how perfect they make things look on social media.
It’s time for us to kick mom guilt to the curb.