Embrace Mommy Guilt and Make It Your Friend

Have you ever been bit by the Mommy Guilt bug? Of course you have! We’ve all tried to be the perfect mother only to fail miserably at it. We tend to think that everyone else has it together and we are alone in our mess. So NOT so.

I have a theory that if you sometimes feel like a horrible mother, it is a sign that you are not.

I’ll explain that. Mommy guilt is a sign that you care. Mommy guilt means that you want to do your best and  since there is no manual  you second guess yourself. Mommy guilt means that you love your children and you want to do such an amazing job at raising them that you fall into the trap of obsessing into being the perfect parent.

Embrace Mommy Guilt and Make It Your Friend

Guilt is an emotional experience that makes us feel wrong. It happens when we believe that we have violated a moral standard, which produces regret or remorse. I feel this literal definition is not accurate when it comes to motherhood.  Mommy Guilt usually comes from our desire to become a better mom. With that being said, if you are and I believe you are a good mom, getting rid of mommy guilt is right there with being a perfect mother: completely impossible.

Yes, there are ways to feel LESS guilty and free yourself up from negative emotions, but when you acknowledge that mommy guilt is going to be an inevitable constant companion, I believe embracing it and becoming friends with it is a more productive practice: it require less effort and pays off better returns.

“Stop feeling so guilty  you’re doing your best!” sounds like wise advice, yet I would encourage you to “embrace your mommy guilt,” instead:

  1. Remind yourself WHY you are feeling mommy guilt: you want to become a better mom and do what is best for your kids.
  2. Forget the supposed to’s and the shoulds and feel proud of yourself for being a mom who cares.
  3. Acknowledge that as you let go of perfection, you’re teaching your kids to do the same.

Society has set the bar ridiculously high on parenting, and today’s pressures and expectations of motherhood are unachievable, at best. If your children feel loved and lovable, then what you are doing is enough, what you’re giving is enough, who you are is enough.

Adopt this mantra:

All you can do is all you can do. And all you can do is enough. But you better make sure you do all you can do.” A.L. Williams

  • What loving mom do you know that is not wrestling with constant guilt?
  • What loving mom do you know that doesn’t feel like they always come up short or never measure up?
  • What loving mom do you know that doesn’t feel doubt, anxiety, and stress about “doing it right”?

The truth is no one I know or know of claims to have the perfect formula for parenting or motherhood. There is no proven right way.

I believe in my heart every mom is doing the best job they can given the information, resources, and experience they have and they are worthy of encouragement, not judgmental remarks and snide eyebrow raises.

That includes YOU…and yours truly. It’s time to stop beating yourself up over beating yourself up. Embrace Mommy Guilt and make it your friend. Don’t let this bug bite and drain the joy out of motherhood, use it as a tool to remind you that just what a caring mom you are and how much you love your kids!

[ela]

55 thoughts on “Embrace Mommy Guilt and Make It Your Friend

  1. This quote does not only apply to motherhood-it applies to life in general! “All you can do is all you can do. And all you can do is enough. But you better make sure you do all you can do.” A.L. Williams Ads long as you do try which I am positive all of you do then stop worrying and take the time to play with your kids!

  2. Great post – I know many of us have mommy guilt and it is a good thing. It is much better than never thinking about your parenting skills so you can improve. It is one of the hardest learning experiences you will get to have in life.

  3. I so needed to read this. I actually have been working on a post wondering if anybody else in the world feels the way I do sometimes. Guess I’m not alone..

  4. My biggest mommy guilt thing is when my husband and I try to have a meal in peace. Our kids will get out of bed and act like they never seen food before. It is very stressful!

  5. I’ve learned that everyone had mommy guilt! They just try not to show it, so the best thing is for everybody to get over it & move along the best they can. After all, our moms did a pretty good job with us. And my mom was a single mom who provided very well for us.

  6. Mommy Guilt sure can get the best of us…..last week while on a press trip I realized I hadn’t talked to my 6 year old all day, for the first time in her entire life. I felt the guilt. She was fine (of course). But if I turn it around – I’ll see that what it means is I’m always present and active in her life! Great post!

  7. I have had mommy guilt in the past but my sons are adults now. I guess you still have it even when they are adults, only to a lesser degree if you aren’t able to always help them solve their problems. But in the end, you are not meant to solve all their problems.

  8. I also love the quote you shared! I do suffer from a lot of mommy guilt,, especially during these teenage years. It’s hard to know what is the right thing to do sometimes, but I do my best, which is all anyone can do. Thanks for sharing this post!

  9. I have never felt mommy guilt yet, but that’s only because I am not a mom yet! I appreciated reading this post–I cannot commend you enough for sharing your story!

  10. Well, I feel guilty sometimes not often tho because I have learned from my own parents that all I do, its for them, of course wanting an hour just for my self use to be the worst but now after 18 years as a mom I figured out a happy calm mommy is better for my kids

  11. This is a great way to look at it. There are times I look at my friends’ homes, their well-dressed kids, their perfect makeup, and I feel like a bad mom. But I know that I am doing the best that I can for my own kids and that has to be enough!

  12. Oh girl…I KNOW there are times I blew it. I had such a terrible childhood and most of my mommy guilt comes when I do or say something just like my parents. It can be so tough to know just what to say and do with all of this new on line stuff our kids our into today and I admit that sometimes my advise to my kids was just pure crap 🙂

  13. yeah! I don’t harbor mommy guilt. it is a liar! I am a single mom of two and somebody’s gotta bring home the bacon. My kids know what needs to happen and I am happy to say that they will be prepared for the real world with my example of hard work, dedication and not a sense of entitlement

  14. The statement, “Often times women feel this need to be all things, to all people, every time, all at the same time. Not possible. All you can do is your best.” is something I agree with!

  15. Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for sharing his. I feel like you read my mind. Yes, I have been bit my the Mommy Guilt not once, but many a times. I feel I failed miserably and I feel like I am not doing such a great job of being a mom sometimes. And I guess you are right, that is because I do care and I want my kids to grow up to be responsible, kind, and strong kids. And I know I am not a perfect mom. I sure learn a lot of things everyday by being a mother. Thank you again!

  16. I always think I should have done something more and that everyday I am learning. Not sure if I am doing it right all the time. I always feel guilty when it comes to wishing I had more for my boys.

  17. I think every parent has guilt at some point in time. I try and look at why i am feeling guilty and try and change what is going on.

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