Let’s talk about the Big G! If you’re a mom, there’s a 99% chance you’ve experienced mom guilt. Okay, let’s be real. It’s more like 100%. I think it’s quite synonymous with motherhood in itself. There’s a feeling of anxiousness, fear, self-doubt, zillion permutation-combinations of thoughts, feeling of inferiority and finally, guilt! And by no means I would tell you that mom-guilt isn’t real—it is, and sometimes it’s overwhelming.
Mom-guilt can crop up from expectations from in-laws, from peers, from yourself, or even from the Insta-fabulous moms on social media that seem to have it all together, all the time.
And this mom guilt is grappling more of us millennials, because the hyper-aware culture today can easily make you feel like you’re not doing a good enough job at this whole parenting thing.
Every mom feels mom guilt. You can feel guilty about screen time, breastfeeding, or whether or not you’re spending enough time with your child.
Remember, parenting is hard!
There are some things you feel guilty about that you really shouldn’t! So just relax and learn to take it easy during such instances.
1. Not breastfeeding or not breastfeeding long enough, or not enjoying every single second of breastfeeding
Let me be honest here, as much as I advocate breastfeeding, I must admit it is an utterly boring process after a while.
But this uninvited reason of mom-guilt simply comes into our minds because even today, people love to throw in their two cents about how your child should be fed! While your mother-in-law says you should breastfeed until 18 months because so did she, your friend says breastfeeding is torture and you should give it up as soon as possible, or not even start! Meanwhile, the internet is full of #BreastIsBest crusaders.Uff!!!
Now, here’s the thing: You have to make whichever choice is best for you and your baby and you shouldn’t feel any guilt about it. Listen to your body and the baby, that’s it. Because at the end of the day, Fed Is Best!!!
2. Your child’s diet is awful
I feel you, mommy. Having a picky eater in the family can cause some serious mom-guilt. But look around yourself and you would find several examples to make you understand that a picky eater doesn’t stay that way forever.
It’s best not to make the dinner table a battleground over food; simply keep offering your child a wide variety of nutritious items. Don’t make a big deal about it if they refuse to eat those fruits and veggies. Eventually, they might surprise you by trying (and loving!) food that they previously rejected.
It’s similar to sleep training. Like the pang of guilt over letting a baby cry in the crib for a few minutes, you do need to brace yourself for a couple of nights of him going hungry. YOUR CHILD WILL NOT STARVE. Repeat that a million times. YOUR CHILD WILL NOT STARVE.
If your issue is that your child eats too much junk food or fast food, remember that’s not poisonous! But, it should be a treat rather than a daily occurrence. Instead of feeling guilty, start your research on what healthier items are around. Or do some research on what types of meals you can serve at home that are fast, but healthy. As with so many other things in life, the key is moderation.
3. Letting your kids be bored
Picture this, your kid is jumping on the sofa whining of boredom and you are cuddled on the couch surfing through Instagram. You see moms posting Pinterest-perfect crafts and activities set up and ready to go for their little ones. You start comparing and questing yourself. You start to feel the mom guilt creeping in because how on earth can you let your child get bored?
But, guess what? It’s okay for them to be bored. They have toys, books, and imaginations. They can figure it out themselves sometimes, it isn’t always your job to entertain them. And various recent researches have proven how handling boredom is an essential life skill for 21st-century kids. It improves creativity, enhances motivation, helps them find value in their own experiences and develop their own unique worldview, which makes them psychologically stronger for the future. Plus, let’s not forget that in today’s times, everything is so filtered and everyone’s portraying their best life always on social media. So you can let go of the feeling of mom-guilt.
4. Letting kids have extra screen time
This is most relevant in the current scenario, and a lot of moms like me feel this guilt at least once in the day. But, we all need that one moment to hear our own thoughts. I agree it is important to limit screen time, but some days, just some days, that plan can be tweaked.
It’s all about balance. If your child is watching TV every day for many hours in a row, then it’s time to cut back. If he plays on his tablet for an hour each evening and he watches a movie on the weekends, that’s moderate viewing. Make sure your child has plenty of other activities he enjoys. Running around outside, building with blocks, gardening or doing chores all have mental and physical health benefits. You can also inculcate the habit of reading in your child. Start with princess stories or folk tales when they’re young and give them books suited to their age as they grow.
You can also make screen time a worthwhile activity by snuggling up next to your child and using the show or movie as a launching point for education or activities. Ask questions about what’s going on, apply what’s going on to real-life, or ask your child to count objects or colours on the screen. In other words, make screen time interactive and educational.
5. Being bored of being a parent
Does this happen with you often? Do you feel the need to engage in something grown up, like talking to an adult about things beyond diapers, feeds, spit-ups and potty training? Why don’t people talk more about how boring parenthood can be? Of course, it’s a blast to play with your kids, see them hitting their milestones, watch them master new skills, and conquer new games. But sometimes, your child asks you to read Goodnight, Moon for the 10th time in a row and you just find yourself screaming on the inside and bored on the outside.
Well, it’s just so natural to be looking for a break. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You need to find your mojo and stop feeling guilty about it.
What do you feel guilty about as a mom? Share in the comments below!
Disclaimer: Please note the views expressed in this article are personal and of the author alone. They should not be considered as professional advice. The Channel 46 is not responsible or liable for any actions taken on the basis of this advisory.