No one has ever said being a parent is easy. While everyone’s journey in parenting is different, we should all reassure ourselves that we are doing an excellent job from time to time. There is no doubt that you will get to the end of the day, and instead of focusing on what you have done well, you will think about the things you could have done better. This is where mom guilt can take its toll on you.
Parenting is different for everyone, and no child is the same, but there are some hurdles we all seem to face at one point. If you find that you’re beating yourself up about these same things day after day, here are some things to focus on instead.
Saying Goodbye to Mom Guilt
It is always good to be assured that you are doing a good job. It might be that you hear it from friends and family members, but it is often the conversation you have with yourself that can be the most important one. Do you tell yourself that you are doing a good job? Probably not often enough. Here are some parenting challenges to stop beating yourself up for and why you should reassure yourself that you’re doing your best even when you feel like you’re not.
photo: Ross Sokolovski via Unsplash
Encouraging your child to eat well.
Eating can be one of the most significant issues parents face in their daily lives. When you sit with your child at every mealtime, willing them to try that vegetable without success. When you go out of your way to make their favorite food just because you know they will eat it. The fussy eating phase that most kids go through can be difficult for parents. Remind yourself that it’s a phase. Your kid won’t go to college eating only macaroni and cheese. Take it one meal at a time. Choose your battles. Sneak those vegetables in if you have to. Just know that if your kids are going to bed with full bellies, you’re doing your best.
Playing with your kids.
The simplest things that we overlook can often be the most beneficial for our kids, but they can sometimes be the hardest for parents. Playing endless rounds of Monopoly or attending your 100th tea party can feel overwhelming when that never-ending to-do list is calling your name. Instead of trying to be in two places at once, carve out set times for play where you can set your phone and chores aside and focus on nothing but your kids. You’ll feel much less mom guilt when you need to do the dishes instead of playing after you’ve already spent a good hour chasing the kids around the house uninterrupted.
It also helps to find things to do together that you actually enjoy. If you’re not a fan of playing zombie robots, but you like reading, find some robot books to read together instead. The more you spend time with your kids doing things they enjoy, the more you can develop your bond.
photo: Natasha Hall via Unsplash
Helping your child with homework.
Helping with homework or teaching your child to read and write is one of those things that can feel absolutely grueling. But supporting them means that your child is less likely to struggle in the school environment. Of course, that doesn’t mean you always have to be the one helping. If homework is a source of daily conflict with your kids, try enlisting a tutor or an after-school helper. Just because you aren’t actually multiplying and dividing doesn’t mean you can’t find other ways to support your child’s educational journey.
Having a good routine.
From those early sleepless nights to the challenging days of middle school, finding a routine can be critical to maintaining balance for your child and yourself. However, things get in the way. A weeknight holiday party or a baseball practice that ran late can throw a curveball in your schedule.
That doesn’t mean you have to beat yourself up with a fresh dose of mom guilt. If you eat dinner a little late or your toddler naps at the baseball field while big brother plays, it’s not the end of the world. Tomorrow is a brand new day, a fresh slate to start your daily routine all over again. Things will work themselves out, so assure yourself that you are doing the best you can.
Mom guilt can be a heavy burden to bear. It’s important to give yourself grace. Parenting is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, and it’s okay to make mistakes, change your mind, or as for help sometimes. To be the best mom you can be, you have to remember to also take care of yourself.
What are some parenting challenges that weigh you down? Share your mom guilt moments with us on our Local Anchor Facebook group.
Featured photo: Jordan Whitt via Unsplash