Mommy Guilt: The ultimate punishment
All us mothers out here are familiar with the tummy twisting, gut wrenching nightmare associated with Mommy guilt. This is the horrid beast that haunts our dreams and sometimes motivates us to extremes. Mommy guilt comes from a varied of ways but the general definition (in my head) is the remorse felt when a decision or act from a mommy has a negative effect on their child. This can be a simple has forgetting to sign their homework folder even though they reminded you and they got in trouble for it or as harsh as watching the negative effects a divorce in the family has on your child’s emotions. There are more extreme cases and probably less extreme as well but the point is that mommy guilt is a real and sometimes tortuous feeling. Unfortunately, we mommies sometimes act out of guilt and start to compensate for what ever mistake we made. (I try not to do this but sometimes it happens.) This break in consistency can also have negative effects and restart the cycle of the mommy guilt. What do we do to stop the Mommy guilt cycle? I have a few ideas:
1. Realize that Mommy’s are human too and everyone makes mistakes. Forgive yourself!
2. You love your child and would never make a negative decision purposely to hurt them. Let it go and move on so your child can too.
3. Eat some chocolate you deserve it.
4. Realize that perfect and normal are not obtainable goals. Set your goals to realistic like, “ My goal is that my children feel unconditional love and feel secure within their boundaries”
5. A job of a mommy is 24/7 breaks are few and far between you have to make a point to allow some alone time and not feel guilty about it. It is ok to enjoy life without your children; it doesn’t mean you don’t love them.
6. Things happen, life has a tendency to throw curve balls that negatively effect everyone in the household, remember: Things that happen to you do not make up who you are, it is your response that defines your humanity.
7. Every mommy struggles and every person makes mistakes. It’s ok and remember children are resilient beings who will bounce back.
8. Children reflect the emotional state of their mothers. A sad mother will result in the children feeling down too. Cheer up buttercup! You are doing great!
Here are a few links for more info:
A list of other articles on mommy guilt: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/mommy-guilt
This Photo is from http://mommyhoodtohollywood.com/wp/?p=7177 Another great article about mommy guilt!
This post was written for today’s Daily Prompt: First
I have to remind myself of these things regularly. As a mother I feel the ultimate responsibility for the emotional, physical and educational well being of my children. When things go south, I have to consciously try not to beat myself down about it. From reading books, blogs and other websites I have found that I am not alone in this cycle. I made the list above a very long time ago and I whip it out regularly when I need a reminder. I complied the list from varied readings and web searches on how to cope with mommy guilt and I summed them up. Being a parent is hard but the most rewarding job I will ever have. If I were to send one message to anyone out there it would be: we are our own worst critics and as mommy’s we need to forgive ourselves.
Here are some other great responses:
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