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For the working women

Struggling with mom's guilt?

6 June 20232 mins to read

Feeling guilty is a very real struggle for many moms, especially for the working moms and even more for the working moms who go back to work before they feel ready to separate from their child. So, I wanted to share my little secret to overcome this toxic feeling. But before that...

Why do we experience mom's guilt?

Because we have an unrealistic ideal of the perfect mom. It could be a created long ago unachievable standard for ourselves or a result of comparing ourselves with (the shiny side we see of) someone else.

When do we experience mom's guilt?

It could be for anything, but some of the common scenarios are:

  • You are a working mom and you feel divided between your work and spending time with your child
  • You don't feel amazed by your child all the time and actually at times parenting feels boring to you
  • You are with your child, but you are not fully present - you are thinking about something else, you are on your phone etc
  • You are questioning some of your parenting choices - giving formula vs breastfeeding, screen time, setting boundaries...
  • You reach your limits and you lose your temper with your child
  • Your child is not successful in certain (social) situations or is not achieving the expected results (at school, for example)

We all have bad parenting moments and it is never fun. But being stuck in guilt every time we are experiencing one of these quite regular situations, would be a torture! So...

How to overcome the feeling of guilt?

Once you've noticed the unease of the feeling:

  1. Take a deep breath in and out. Come to the present moment.
  2. Pick up your magnifying glass and try to detect the thought that have triggered the guilt.
  3. Challenge this thought: Where it comes from? Who did you hear it from? Is it true? Is it ALWAYS true? What evidence do you have that this thought is true?
  4. Replace this thought with a positive one: Recall a good parenting moment. Bring up arguments in your favour. Find some self-compassion. Think of what your best and most supportive friend would tell you in this situation.
  5. Rest and take care of yourself. If you fill up your glass first, you will be calmer, more patient and more present with your child.
  6. Choose wisely who you are spending your time with and what you are talking about. If you are prone to feel guilty or to compare yourself with other moms, you don't need the extra critique of your mother-in-law or the bragging of your colleague who seems to be the perfect mom.

And at the end,

Here is my secret to not feel guilty as a mom

This is my internal narrative when it comes to motherhood:

  1. I believe that the child chooses her parents, so that her soul evolves and learns the lessons she is coming on this planet for. This belief helps me a lot, because it means that my children knew already my qualities and my pitfalls and they have chosen me for them. Of course, I strive to be a better person, a better woman and a better mother, but ultimately, for my children, I am perfect as I am.
  2. I trust that each of us is doing the best that we can at any given moment. Also, when we don't have the capacity to make better choices or to react with wisdom and love. What we do, is the best we can do at that moment. This helps me find self-compassion when I am not proud of how I've handled a situation or when I need to accept circumstances I am not able to change.
  3. I remind myself that I am the best mom for my children, simply because I am here and they don't have a base for comparison. :)

I hope this gives you some new perspectives!

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