Mom guilt is a little dirty secret that no one tells you about when you are pregnant with your first (or second, or fifth) baby.
Mom guilt makes you want to skip doing your life, and skip doing ANYTHING, for fear that you might miss something in your kids’ lives. Or worse, that the kiddos might not really want you to go, even though you need to go for a bit, and then there may be some kid guilt laid on you.
Mom guilt is hard as hell to navigate. Should you stay, even though you know you need to go and get away, even if just for a bit? Should you go, and do it anyway? How the hell do you even know? Such a mind game!
Let’s be clear. I think once you have kids, their needs are right up at the top of your list, and while they can be….um, needy…..kids are cool. And there is absolutely nothing else like raising kids. It’s the most challenging, scary, awesome thing ever, lol. I mean, you literally don’t know if you’ve “done it right” until they have left the nest for college….so, HA, the margin for error feels incredibly high!
But while kids and their needs are important, so are OUR needs, mamas. And it’s okay to actually admit that. And feel that. And do things that meet our needs.
And I’m like any mom, I struggle with mom guilt the same as everyone else, yo! It’s can paralyze you. It can be easy to just skip doing things because you don’t want to face it and put a higher priority on yourself for a hot minute.
So, here are three things I try to think about when I feel that paralyzing feeling of mom guilt creeps in…….(and let’s remember, I ride the struggle bus here too, so I’d love the things YOU think about when the mom guilt creeps in)
- First off, what’s your family schedule been looking like lately? When our family schedule is crazy, and there is literally somewhere to go every single day of the week, I tend to favor backing off and not adding more chaos to that, whether that’s right or wrong. I loathe “going somewhere” every day, and I’m learning that our oldest kid needs plenty of downtime at home, even though she likes to do things. So, I tend to feel plenty of stress PLUS mom guilt when I add more of my own solo commitments on top of a busy weekly schedule. So for me personally, during crazy times in our house, I actually feel better prioritizing being home more, and NOT doing things. That’s just me, and of course, some things still need to get done, so lots to consider here. I love saying yes to things that we can go to as a family, and am more stingy saying yes to things when we have an already crazy schedule, and involves organization of a babysitter during a crazy week.
- Secondly, how can you make it “fit better” somewhere in your schedule? One thing that feels like a luxury lately is solo workout times that aren’t sandwiched between classes and clients in the gym. So, I can fit in a date with my best fitness friend PLUS get my workout in, if I do it crazy early in the morning. Sometimes this is absolutely worth it, because I just NEED that time. Other times, dude, no….I need sleep, lol. So, where can you fit your stuff that maybe works a little better? Get creative. I’m finding that I can wind down a little after kids have gone to bed and before I need to. There’s been a lot of epsom salt baths lately when kids are in bed.
- Third, um….sometimes you just need to go anyway, no matter the guilty feeling that trips you up. Sometimes, I just do. Sometimes, I bet, YOU just do, too. There are just those times, and that’s ok (even though your brain will tell you otherwise for a minute while you are getting ready to leave).
I’m guessing some of this mom guilt stuff feels worse when there are little kids around. However, I can only imagine that always feeling paralyzed by mom guilt builds a pattern, and soon, when kids are doing things themselves and no longer actually WANT to spend time with you (lol)….that getting out of that pattern of always saying no to yourself will be a hard habit to break then.
So, it’s kind of random to write a blog post when I’m navigating this territory again and not always sure of myself, and giving three pieces of advice, lol. But at the same time, I know that I’m not the only one who deals with mom guilt, and it’s very present in my life again with a 6 month old plus a 4 year old. And I’m learning how to find my footing again. Which is fine. But dang, it’s always a process!
So, if you feel ANY of this stuff, please add to the discussion! Let’s work on this, and crack the mom guilt code once and for all (ha!). Drop me your two cents on mom guilt via comment on my Facebook page, and let’s get this ball rolling.