Before I even became pregnant with my son I knew I wanted to breastfeed. The effects were so beneficial compared to formula feeding. Although I have never been against formula feeding and believe as long as your feeding your child, you are doing amazing things for them! Breastfeeding was just my choice and my personal goal was to breastfeed for one year. I could not let go of the mom guilt!
Once my son turned almost 3 months old I had to stop breastfeeding and I felt like an utter failure. I felt like my baby isn’t even 3 months old and I’m already letting him down. My supply started to plummet once I went back to work and my body and my work schedule couldn’t keep up with pumping. Every time I breastfed my son, I would have to also give him formula because he just wasn’t getting enough from me while each pumping session I would produce less and less milk. My heart was shattered! But why was I feeling so guilty for something I had no control over? In comes the mom guilt!
Do you often feel ashamed for the way you are parenting your children? For me, its more often than I’d like to admit. I believe this is the most common aspect of parenting among mothers, as its something we all can relate to one time or other. I am going to go over what mom guilt actually is, the effects it has on you, the reasons we feel this way and how you can over come it!
What is mom guilt
Although there is no actual definition of mom guilt. Simply put, mom guilt is the guilt mothers feel about the way they are parenting their children. Feeling as though they are failing at any aspect of parenting even though they are not. It is a completely unrealistic feeling, yet so many of us feel it, why?
How mom guilt effects you
According to mindful return these are the effects of feeling to much mom guilt.
- Anxiety and depression
- Thinking negative thoughts
- Focusing to heavily on social media
- Addictive behavior
- Portraying herself as perfect
- Overdoing to over compensate where their lacking
Reasons we feel mom guilt
There isn’t only one way to parent, in fact there are so many different aspects and views on parenting that it becomes overwhelming for us. The biggest culprit of mom guilt I believe comes from our human nature to compare. As humans we compare everything, from the amount of money we make, to the house we live in and even the amount of kids we have, the list can go on and on. WE COMPARE EVERYTHING!
Examples of reasons we feel mom guilt
- We have to suddenly stop breastfeeding
- Where and how we put our babies to sleep at night
- What we feed our babies
- Not being able to spend enough time with your children
- When its time to go back to work postpartum
- Working to many hours in a day
- Having a glass of wine
- Wanting time away from your children
The list is endless! But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to feel mom guilt! There is really no reason for us to because we are doing our very best for our children and by doing that, we are being successful at raising these tiny humans.
Effective ways to stop feeling mom guilt
1. Stop and acknowledge that no one is perfect.
Words of affirmation are an amazing way to convince yourself that your doing a fantastic job raising your kids. Say this with me every morning… ” I am a good mother, nobody is perfect but I’m raising my kids in a way that is perfect for my family. I will not feel guilty for raising my kids the way I feel is best!”
2. Let go of the idea of a perfect mom
I will tell you right off the bat, there is no such thing as a perfect mother. Letting go of this unrealistic expectation will greatly change the way you look at how your parenting. Being imperfect is a good thing. Did you know your kids learn from your mistakes? Imagine what they would think if mom never messed up! The constant pressure on them to live up to those expectations, even while they are young will create unnecessary problems for them later in life.
3. Have support
There is nothing better than having another mama to vent to! Especially because they have probably been through similar experiences themselves. Having them there to help lift you up when you are feeling the mom guilt is key to overcoming it. If you don’t have the support of family and friends there are tons of mom groups on Facebook with mamas just like you! They have helped me numerous times with anything I was needing help with. They are a great support system. If you would like to know of a couple good mom groups I’m a part of please send me a message at Lindseymarieblog@outlook.com or with this contact form and I’ll happily share the ones I’ve had the most success with.
Being a mother is the most precious gift you could receive. Don’t let mom guilt ruin your mothering experience!