I am 55 years old, and I am here to tell you that mom guilt never goes away. Sorry, I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but it is true.
The mom guilt started early….during pregnancy actually. Was I eating properly? What if I was doing something to harm my baby like cleaning the bathtub with something I shouldn’t? Yep, if anything was wrong with my baby I knew it would be my fault. It was the mommy guilt that allowed me to go thru childbirth with no drugs.
Mommy guilt got no easier once the baby was here. If I gave the baby a bottle instead of breast feeding…guilt. If I let the baby cry…guilt. If I wanted to take a long shower…guilt.
Mom’s have guilt because they choose to have another child…turning their child’s life upside down. And guilt for not having another so their child has no built in playmate.
We have guilt if we go back to work. How could we leave our babies in the arms of another? And then the guilt of not working and wondering how we are going to teach our daughters that they can reach for the stars if we are content doing the laundry.
Guilt will happen again when your child goes to school. You didn’t sign up to be room mom fast enough so someone else got it. You were secretly happy until you saw your child’s disappointed eyes…then you felt guilt for being happy…How could you?
School years are full of guilt. You kept the kids out too late last night, so they were so tired when you had to wake them. Guilt when you heard that all the other mom’s don’t just throw a sandwich in a lunch box. They make them look like dinosaurs.
When your child doesn’t get picked for a part in the school play, it’s somehow your fault. You should have taken more time to practice with her.
Guilt is at an all time high during the teen years. Guilt that your child doesn’t want to be your best friend. Guilt that you didn’t know your child snuck out of the house. Guilt for every bad choice your child makes.
As your child grows, so will your guilt. They will now think it is funny to share all the things that you didn’t know they did during their teen years. To them it is funny, to you …guilt. Why didn’t I know? If I had been a good parent, I would have known that.
I hear parents longing for their children to become adults. They think that at that point they will no longer be their problem,,,,,WRONG! You will have guilt that they don’t have enough money for their down payment and you could help them but you don’t know if you should. Guilt that they have college loans. Guilt for what they have to pay in child care.
No….guilt never gets better we just learn to live with it.
How do we do that?
1. Realize that you are a better mom than you give yourself credit for.
2. There are no guidelines for what a perfect mom looks like.
3. Just as our fingerprints are all different, so are our lives/ You can’t compare yourself to someone else.
4. Realize that you are your toughest critic….others are not judging you nearly as much as you are judging yourself.
5. We can’t give our children all of our time or money, but we can give them all of our love…and really that is all they really want.