Yesterday over on my YouTube channel, I asked one quick question. "Do you experience mom guilt?"
There is no right or wrong answer. Your feelings are your feelings. No one can tell you how to feel. You should acknowledge your feelings and validate them. We are all different. Ok? Ok.
Here were the responses. Guilt mostly because I feel of all the things I have ever accomplished, being a "good mom" isn't one of them. I'm an okay mom at best, and that's on a hit-or-miss basis. I don't do drugs, I don't drink, and I keep them alive. Guilt those are my greatest contributions to their childhood.
Every single day. I feel guilt about food choices, overall health of my kids, being a working mom, not spending enough time without distraction, handling behaviors, and the list goes on...
Yes! At least once a day for sure. Some days are better than others but it seems like there is always something.
I think I feel it a couple times a day, whether I get crabby at them or have to say no a 100 times a day.
There always seems to be something to feel guilty for...
-Mom guilt if I leave her to do something for myself -Mom guilt if I let her watch cartoons on TV or stream them on iPad -Mom guilt if she eats unhealthy food -Mom guilt if I'm distracted for too long when with her
Yup, sure do, a few times a week.
I'm the exception I guess. I do not have Mommy Guilt. Or at least for the most part, I do not. I have mom guilt all the time! I often feel that I loose it on my kids when they are acting out. Getting ready in the morning in the worst! I need to be somewhere and they kids don't get that and I just get frustrated and yell cause we need to get out of the house. After the fact I feel horrible about it and think that is what they will be thinking about the whole day! I am always saying to myself that I will try harder the next day. Mom guilt - daily!
First of all, to everyone who answered my question, I have no doubt in my mind that you are a wonderful mother. Even when you feel you aren't doing your best, you are a wonderful mother. Guaranteed. From the outside looking in, you are amazing. From your inside looking out, I know you feel like a train wreck. You're not. You're raising human beings. You're raising little people with little personalities and opinions. You have been called to do the toughest job in the world. You are a wonderful mother. To some of you who answered that I know personally, I can name five amazing things you do for your child(ren) every day. It's always easier to see the good in others and ladies, I see it in you.
Here's my answer to my "Do you experience mom guilt?" question.
Not really. I have a couple of examples where I can admit guilt, but overall, I don't think I feel guilty. Except when my friends tell me how guilty they are feeling for something and then I think to myself, "Crap. Should I feel guilty more often?" I think that frequently. Yep. I feel guilty for NOT feeling guilty. Is that how this mom guilt thing works? Here's how I justify common guilts. Maybe justification is denial... Whatever. I'm sticking to it. Besides, there are those couple of things I do feel guilty about like TV/iPad time or if we are raising a good Christian.
I don't feel guilty when I leave my child with someone else. I am choosing people who love my child and care for him deeply. I feel breaks from each other do both of us some good. It refreshes me to be a better mom and it exposes him to other people. Yes, I miss him as soon as he's gone. Every time. But the smile I get when he returns because he got to play with "Fun Papa, Fun Nana, Fun Janelle, Fun Faith, or Fun Kennedy"?? I wouldn't trade that for anything. Because everyone else is always 'fun'.
I don't feel guilty when he eats unhealthy food. I am the one feeding him the majority of the time. I am the one purchasing the groceries. I am confident in my choices. If he eats a treat every now and then, hey, he probably deserved it. I don't want him to live a life of restriction that leads to binging. I want him to learn it's ok to treat yourself in moderation.
I don't feel guilty when I want to check email or reply to a text message and tell him to "Hold on a second." I am teaching him that I don't have to be there for every little thing and that he can learn to exercise some patience. I had a life before he was around and I intend to have a life after he moves out. It doesn't mean I can't have a life while he is at home either. Besides, most of the time, he's asking for something he is capable of getting himself and me ignoring it for a couple seconds reminds him and he just takes care of it. I also have to remind myself that most of the time, I am giving him my undivided attention. A little time for me isn't going to be the end of the world.
I don't feel guilty when I have to tell him no and make him cry. I'm a parent. It's my job to set safe boundaries for him. Life isn't fair. Life doesn't hand you everything. You don't always get picked for a team, first place, or the promotion that you think you deserve. That's life and I feel if he can learn that lesson from me then I am preparing him to be a strong man someday who can hopefully handle life's curve balls.
Does this make me and that one other mom who answered who feels this way better moms than anyone who answered that they feel guilty? Absolutely not. I have my faults. I am not perfect. I could probably do a million things better. Like I said, there is no right or wrong answer. People feel the way they feel. There never feels like a good balance. We always feel like we look like a train wreck or that we are messing our kids up in some way. We always think we could be doing a little bit better. That we could be a little more patient, a little more available, a little more healthy, a little more engaged with those little kiddos of ours, but moms, I want to remind you again that even on your worst day, you're still amazing.