To Moms Everywhere: Don't Feel Guilty

parental guiltTo Mom Everywhere:

We are not super human.  Sometimes we break down because not everything is perfect.  We put the pressure for our children's lives to be perfect on us.  It's on our shoulders (in our heads).  The reality is, it really does take a village to raise a child.  Not everything is going to go the way you (or your child, or your husband, or anyone) wants at all times.  But still, we put that pressure on ourselves.

Because I constantly feel like I am doing everything wrong, I wrote a list of things I (and all moms) need to remember not to feel guilty about.

1.  Don't feel guilty that your kid goes to daycare, a nanny, or whoever might provide child care.  It takes a village to raise a child.  Being a stay at home mom is not right for every family.  Working moms:  your child gets an education and social skills through their childcare experience.  Whenever I start to feel guilty for Jax being in daycare, I remind myself how much he has learned during those days at school.  He has friends.  He shares.  He learned to crawl and walk at school from watching the older toddlers in his class.  He sings.  He dances.  His daycare can provide the stimulation and engagement that I could never provide.  Even if I worked from home 100% of the time, I couldn't give him the stimulation, engagement, and social skills that his daycare provides.

2.  Don't feel guilty when you get frustrated by your kids and look forward to their bedtime.  Kids are exhausting.  We're all guilty of occasionally watching the clock for bedtime.  No one should feel guilty for wanting some me time.

3.  Don't feel guilty for getting a babysitter and having a night out.  Balance is the key to sanity.  Get out of the house, kids free once in awhile.  Another important aspect of this is keeping your relationship with your partner as a priority.  Spend alone time with your husband or wife without the kids.  Here's the kicker, try not to talk about the kids while you're out.

4.  Don't feel guilty for putting your kid in baby jail - whatever that might be.  When Jax is out of his mind, I'll put him in his crib, in his pack n' play, or - at this moment - I jailed him in his walker (that he only uses to eat on, now that he walks).  Kids have many feels and have no idea why or how to deal with their emotional roller coasters.  Feel free to walk away when your kid is out of control.  And feel guilt free.  When I'm watching Jax alone and he's being ridiculous, I'll put him in his crib, walk away, and let him calm down before I approach him again.  It's much easier than staring at him, wide-eyed as he screams in my face about God knows what.

5.  Don't feel guilty if your kids aren't meeting their milestones when books say they are supposed to.  Every person is different, and eventually he or she will catch up.

Mommies - we aren't perfect.  It's not possible.  Do your best, and forgive yourself for the things you feel guilty for.  Don't listen to the mama haters that are always telling you the "right" way to do things.  There is no right way.  Every family is different.  Every person is different.  Give yourself a break.  We're all just trying to figure it out as we go along.

What I listened to while writing:

Lots - I wrote this over several guilt-ridden days.

Sarah Smirks, documenting baby's accomplishments


lizzymccoach said…
Great advice!! I look forward to bedtime every night, no doubt about it. I view it as a finish line I'm eager to sprint across with a smile of success!!!
Sarah Noel said…
Definitely! I'm just about to cross that finish line now!

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