Mommies feel guilty more than daddies do with regards to parenting, so says a survey done on 1,306 parents in the United States. According to the study, 96% of the women reported feeling parent-associated guilt compared to 4% of those who reported no guilt at all – most of whom were men.
Is it because mommies have been conditioned to think they are not supposed to feel resentful, angry or frustrated when it comes to raising a family? Is it because mommies are expected to be superhumans who can nurture kids, a career, as well as take care of the home?
Do remember that no mommy is perfect. There are ways to ease out of the feelings of guilt associated with being a parent. Read on and try to apply the below suggestions, it could make a difference in your day to day mommy life.
Do away with the “should’s”
Every time you find yourself using the word “should”, such as ‘I should have made muffins’ or ‘I should have read them bedtime stories’, try to replace this word with “could”. Some may feel that guilt is necessary in order to be a better mommy, but this actually hurts you more than it helps you. Guilt is an unnecessary emotion that takes up the energy it requires to do what really matters. Instead of feeling guilty for not having read your kid a bedtime story, replace it with actually reading them a bedtime story – if you can. Do the best you could given the time, energy, and resources you have available. Don’t beat yourself up. Deal with guilt positively by focusing on what you can do now instead of what you were not able to.
Lower the bar
Some mommies set such a high standard for themselves they end up having to fulfill ridiculously high expectations. It would do mommies good if they accept that there are things they will not be able to do. Take the pressure off by doing away with an idealised view of picture-perfect kids, a house or family. There is no such thing as perfection. Being good enough is actually a more healthy way to live and be. You need not do everything right. Feel free to chill and be good-humoured enough to accept your limitations.
Do not engage with guilt mongers
Sadly some women and mommies have the tendency to judge or harshly critique other mothers’ parenting styles. Try not to be influenced by their statements. Focus on being the best mother you can be. There is no one right way to raise kids. Each child is different and so one needs to have different ways to cater to their unique personalities and sensibilities. To “each their own” clearly applies to this situation. Be self—encouraging and try not to be too critical of your capabilities. Be kind to yourself.
Being a mommy is hard enough. Help yourself be the best mommy you can be, fortunately, guilt is not a necessity. Embrace your best and worst self while making a conscious effort to constantly evolve. Remember, when mommy is happy, the whole family also is.