Mom guilt can strike at any time. As you pull into work and realize you forgot to pack the lunches and it descends on you like a load of bricks. As you have to tell your daughter that a work meeting means you won’t make it to a soccer game. The list of ways you can fail your kids can feel endless. Living in this mindset isn’t healthy for Mom or family. Guilt saps away the energy and focus you need to do your job and take care of your kids. So here are a few tips on how to let go of the guilt.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
This of course is easier said than done but the fact is that we often measure ourselves by the accomplishment of others. Even more, we often do it unfairly. We may say that so and so does a list of things we want to accomplish without acknowledging they have family help that you don’t. Our capabilities and situations are all different. Measuring ourselves by how others look is an unproductive use of time. It is better to look at your own goals and ask have I made forward progress this week? Have I made forward progress this month?
Follow Your Internal Values
There are so many external expectations that come along with modern parenting. Pressure to put your kid into five extracurricular activities in addition to placing them in rigorous academic classes. Some Mom’s are absolute tyrants when comes to sugar and sweets. There is contention over what clothes to let your teen wear and what type of electronics you should allow them to possess. It seems like there is a moral battlefront everywhere you look. It’s exhausting and overwhelming. That is why it is so important to understand what your values are as a family. If upon reflection you’re doing something because external voices and pressures tell you that it is important then you’re probably not going to do a credible job at following through. However, if your choices are based on things that you feel personally passionate about then it’s going to be easier to fight those battles. So, make choices for your family based on what you value and not on what other people expect from you. Make schooling choices that work for your teen as an individual and not on what your neighbor’s kid is doing.
Communicate With Your Family
You could feel guilty for no reason. Your family could be doing fine with the situation you’re beating yourself up over. Why not sit down and discuss your work schedule? When you open up to your kids about the fact that you worry about spending time with them, then they will know that you do care. If they are feeling neglected perhaps you could brainstorm ways to stay close over the work day–handwritten notes, facebook, texting, facetime, skyping. Modern technology has given us a million new ways to connect. Negotiate a balance that makes you all happy.