How to Deal with Mom
Guilt: Take Care
October 30 • Written by Sophia Duhela
Being a mom is amazing. It’s also hard. There are so many ways to be a great mom, and, in the same breath, so many ways we can feel like we’re failing.
I’m willing to bet you’ve fallen into the comparison trap in the online world. Social media feeds are filled with highlights and parenting wins. Let’s be honest, for every victory we have as a parent, we’re also accompanied by a few losses. And those aren’t the things people share online. It’s easy to perceive someone else’s life as perfect through the highlights they share. It’s hard to feel the same way about yours when you’re living every moment, the good and the bad.
And this can wear you down. It can make you feel less than. It can make you feel guilty. Oh, the guilt of it all!
They had time to paint and carve pumpkins! I hope my kids remember what we did this year.
She got family photos taken again. I really need to get my sh*t together.
How is it that her child will try every bite of food on his plate and mine won’t touch certain foods with a 10-foot pole?! What is she doing differently than me?!
Wow, her child goes to THAT preschool. Mine didn’t get in.
It’s so easy to fall into this trap, but, mama, there is something I want you to remember: You were given your babies for a reason. YOU are the best mama for them. And, in order to BE the best mama for them, you need to take care of yourself.
Another common misconception in parenting is that your children must come first. They’re your priority. WRONG. Without taking care of yourself first, you cannot take care of your children.
You signed up for parenting, not martyrdom.
Yes, your children have needs. And yes it is your job to take care of them. But there are others who have this responsibility too, and it’s okay to voice your concerns if and when you need a break to fill your cup.
When I’m starting to feel overwhelmed by mom guilt or just run down by the day-to-day chaos that being a mom is, you better believe I’m making it a priority to do something for myself.
Self-care is Not Selfish
Here’s a quick list of things I do on a regular basis for self-care:
● Spend time with my husband
● Watch my favorite shows ( Love is Blind, Friends, and Modern Family )
I know, I know – cue the mom guilt – how can she do all of this??
I make it a priority to make sure evenings at my house go smoothly. We try our best to stay on a schedule and follow a routine. This mitigates tantrums and meltdowns because my children know what to expect and all their needs are being met in a timely manner. We’ve also prioritized teaching them to sleep well, and because of this, my husband and I have a few hours to ourselves to wind down every night before we go to bed.
You can have this time, too, every day, to do something for yourself.
I will tell you, because I’m able to do something for myself every day, I’m a better mom. I have time to fill my cup each night so I’m ready to pour into my girls the next day. And, you know what they say, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Stop Pouring From an Empty Cup
There’s a time and a place for sleepless nights – the newborn stage.
Beyond that, though, there’s really no excuse for allowing poor sleep habits to control your family’s life. Make it a priority to help your child learn some healthy sleep habits, just as you would make sure they’re eating healthy food. This is a gift for them and for you!
Then, you can have evenings and nap times to take care of yourself too.
Here are some self-care ideas for you:
● Watch a favorite show
● Hang with your partner
● Meet up with friends for dinner
● Go for a walk
● Take a class
● Spend time doing a hobby
● Take a nap
● Go to bed early
No matter what you decide to do, people will always judge, so do what feels right for you and your family. If sleep training is the answer, then do it! Once your child is sleeping through the night, going to bed without battles, and taking amazing naps during the day your whole family will be sleeping better and feeling better. It really does make such a huge difference!
Here are a few sleep tips to get you started:
Implement a bedtime routine for your child. Follow it each night.
Make sure their sleep space is set up so it’s conducive to quality sleep – it should be 10/10 dark, boring, safe, and have white noise playing in the background to help mask other sounds that may otherwise wake your child.
Make sure your child is on an age-appropriate schedule. Sleep begets sleep, and quality
daytime sleep will help with quality nighttime sleep.
Teach independent sleep with a sleep training strategy! If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to me.
I’ll leave you with this…
A happier mom = a happier kid = a happier family!
Now, shut off your phone or close your computer and go do something just for you, mama. You deserve it!