For every child that's born, another mom gets a life-size dose of mom guilt. Mom guilt is when a mama thinks, "I am such a bad mom" for doing something that she thinks other people would judge her for. The fact is that women are often expected to provide that picture-perfect home life for their kids (as seen in 1950s TV shows) while also giving 100% to about 40 other things simultaneously. So any time a mom chooses one of the other things or (gasp) herself over her kids she's convinced she's a failure and that all the other perfect moms are clutching their pearls as they judge her behavior.
Mom guilt is toxic and is usually a liar. It can feel impossible to ignore and combat, but there are ways to remind yourself that that voice is wrong, and that you are actually a really great mom.
10 "I'm Really Good At 'X'"
Let's say it's been one of those days where nothing went according to plan. Your daughter's ballet clothes weren't clean for her class, you burned your kids' dinner, and your toddler screamed at you during bathtime because you accidentally got soapy water in his eyes. You sit down on the couch after everyone's asleep and consider yourself a failure. Combat this feeling by reminding yourself of all the good things you are able to do for your kids like baking killer birthday cakes, picking out toys they absolutely love with a 100% success rate, or snuggling them back to sleep after they've had a bad dream. Remind yourself that just because today wasn't your best day that there's still tomorrow and all of the good days that you've already had.
9 "My Kids Have A Lot Of Fun Every Day"
Some days, it's a real struggle to get down on the floor and play with the kids. How many times can a mom be expected to play Candyland or watch Disney movies over the course of the week?! You're not going to be Mary Poppins every day, and that's okay. Just because your child complained that they were bored or spent a little more time watching Peppa Pig than normal doesn't mean that they had a bad day - they absolutely still had some fun throughout the day, even if it was 50% less than the day before, and that's still good enough.
8 "They Will Not Remember That I Skipped One Thing"
The bedtime routine. Every mom knows it and is present for the hot mess it is 99% of the time. Still, when you're exhausted and just want to ask your partner to take the lead for the night you may still find that you feel guilty because you just don't want to read Little Red Riding Hood and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star tonight.
If you want to relax on the couch and watch reality TV or go out with your friends for a drink and skip bedtime, tell yourself that it's okay because your child will not remember the one night you weren't there.
7 "I Deserve To Take Care Of Myself"
For some reason, even asking your partner to take care of the kids for an hour can ignite some serious mom guilt. In this scenario, you're not only feeling guilty for wanting to be away from your kids but also feeling guilty that you're putting all of the work on your partner so you can be "selfish". The fact is, taking a break isn't selfish, it's essential for your wellbeing and your ability to keep going as a mom. So, when you're filling up your bathtub and you hear the baby screaming downstairs, turn on the vent to drown out the noise and remind yourself that your partner can handle this and that everyone deserves to take care of their needs.
6 "They Did Not Go Hungry"
Cooking for an entire family isn't easy. Especially if it's after a long day of working, appointments, or even managing the kids at home. It's not always in the cards to make a fully balanced, organic, gourmet meal for the family (also, if your child eats these meals please tell us your secret). On those nights, it's okay to get them a Happy Meal or order a pizza from a chain restaurant. Moms tend to feel super guilty for feeding their kids these foods, if you're one of them just remind yourself that your kids didn't go to bed with a hungry belly, they went to bed with a full one and that is what matters tonight. You did not fail them by giving them a less-than-perfect dinner, you simply fed them.
5 "Everyone Needs A Break"
Raising kids is a J.O.B. it's not a hobby or a vacation, it is something you do every day with everything in you. You can still enjoy parenthood and need a break from it at the same time. Even people with the greatest jobs in the world take time away from the office now and then.
When you're filled with stress, losing your patience, and want to be away from your kids for a little bit you may start to feel guilty and like you're not grateful enough for them, but that's not true. In these moments, remind yourself that everyone needs a break from things now and then - even the good stuff!
4 "My Kids Have All They Need"
Social media is toxic in our society because it's essentially a live feed of what everyone else is doing, seeing, eating, buying, and experiencing while you're sitting there on your phone scrolling. You'll see parents who take their kids overseas, moms who wear matching mommy & me outfits with their daughters, and grandparents who show up with the greatest new toy that your kids would kill for and you will very quickly find yourself feeling guilty for not doing these things for your kids as well. Stop that. If your children are clothed, fed, and clean, they have everything they need and the same can't be said for every kid out there.
3 "A Little Screen Time Won't Hurt Them"
We all know that TVs and tablets should not be treated as babysitters for our kids on a daily basis. Sometimes, more-than-usual screentime is needed and that is okay. If you're sick, and your kid isn't, it's perfectly okay to let them indulge in more Paw Patrol than usual and if you need to feed the baby and your toddler won't leave you alone unless you turn on YouTube kids, then find a safe video and go feed the baby.
It's not going to hurt your child to get some extra exposure to one toy/resource over another every now and then. Tell yourself that every time you start to feel guilty and like you're ruining them by using whatever resource you can to just survive during the day.
2 "I Don't Remember My Own Mom's Failures"
Let's say you forgot to bring in the cupcakes for the class party, and your kid is mad at you. This is a perfect situation for mom guilt to try to kick in. It's okay to feel sad that you let your kid down, but don't let mom guilt trick you into thinking this was anything more than an unfortunate accident. Think back on your childhood, you probably don't remember all the times your mom failed you (and trust us, she probably did), chances are you remember the good times filled with love and laughter. Tell yourself this when you fail as a way to stay focused on the big picture of your child's life.
1 "I Am A Good Mom"
There are going to be hundreds of moments where mom guilt tries to take over, and the only way to combat it is to remind yourself, over and over, that you are a good mom. Tell yourself this because it's true. No one is perfect and, unless your kids are on the verge of being taken from your home by social services, you're doing a good job. Your kids are happy, they are taken care of, and they love you. That's all you can ask for as a mom. So, basically, you're a rock star. Take that, mom guilt!