Mom Guilt

My Son turned 3 years old in December and I can’t begin to believe just how quickly it has all flown by. I know it sounds cliche but it’s true, and yet at the very same time these last three years seem as though they have been a lifetime, which in fact it has, his lifetime…

My world (as I’m sure happens to every mom) completely turned upside down and suddenly my sole purpose for living revolves around this tiny perfect human being I made.

It’s been a wild ride, one I thought perhaps naively so, would be easier or at the very least one that I would be better at. There is a whole set of circumstances I will not dole out her. We all have our problems. Life gets complicated for us all, add kids to the mix and well, enough said, right?

Caught between what you thought would be and what is

I just always thought I’d be better at being a mom. That it would come more naturally, I’d have more patience, I’d know the right course of action for every stumble along the way. I didn’t think I’d be making it up half the time as I go. I’ve always been an overachiever but this mom thing… Well, I have never second guessed myself so much in my life.

You dream of becoming a mother, building a beautiful family. What you never dream of, what no one tells you is this sometimes overwhelming feeling of guilt that comes along with it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to bed in tears or on the verge of, reliving my day going through the long and unrealistic list of ‘I should have done’s’ .

The guilt trips

There is always more I should have , could have done. Whether it was losing my patience and raising my voice after the third consecutive 20 minute long tantrum of the day, or maybe I spent too much time cleaning this weekend and should have sat down to play more. Maybe I didn’t plan enough interactive games and activities for the week for us to do as a family, or maybe I should have found the energy to make a more nutritious dinner instead of opting for his favorite and hassle/tantrum free chicken nuggets and french fries. The list is long and quite frankly never ending.

Not to mention the psychologist in me, going through all the possible personality disorders and hang ups I could be fostering for him as an adult. The feeling of failing or falling short hasn’t gone away. Not three years later. I know this is nothing new, that most new moms go through this and feel this from time to time. But I have realized it’s become a problem; in that if I’m completely honest with myself,it is the reason why I have been putting off having another baby. I don’t want that decision to be made out of fear. No matter what I decide.

So what can I do about it?

When self doubt begins to creep in, I should trust myself more and rely on my intuition. Worrying has never solved any problems. Writing down any troublesome situations to research and find some helpful suggestions and a new approach. Or just realize how normal the problema and anxiety I’m facing is.

Find time for quality time in the everyday mundane activities. Making Sunday lunch could be a toddler friendly affair. Car rides home from school can be a karaoke party. Make dusting the house a game of hide and seek.

And perhaps most importantly just recognize I can’t do everything on my own and know that it’s okay. I just have to learn to cut myself some slack.
All easier said than done, but it’s good that I remind myself of these things from time to time.

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