Tips for saying goodbye to mommy guilt:
1. Take care of you and see the results in your children. It is like a mathematical equation
You + time for yourself = Happier you
Happier you + your kids = Happier kids
Happier kids + life = Happier life
Thus, taking time for yourself equals a happier life for everyone. That is nothing to feel guilty about!
Of course, most moms have a hard time seeing their situation in a guilt-free light, but if you want to raise happy, well-adjusted children, it stands to reason that you need to be happy and well-adjusted. The only way to get, and stay, well-adjusted is to take some time for yourself on a regular basis. This does not have to be selfish, it could be as simple as indulging in a bowl of ice cream after you put the kids to bed so that you do not have to share any. It could be taking a bubble bath and reading while immersed in the tub. There are a lot of things you can do for yourself, so pick a favorite past-time or activity and take time to enjoy it and yourself. You will be a better mom for having done so.
2. Look at the stats. In 1965, mothers spent 10.2 hours each week tending primarily to their children. This meant doing things like feeding them, reading with them or playing games and helping with homework. However, according to the study’s analysis of some detailed time diaries kept by thousands of Americans, there was quite a dip between 1970-80, and then the time increased in the 90’s. Today, time spent by mothers tending primarily to their children is at an all-time high of about 14.1 hours a week. The statistics do not lie. While there are more demands on the schedules of moms today, such as working to provide income and taking care of the home and the children, moms are doing a better job of making the time they do spend with the kids count.
If you are feeling mommy guilt about working, or not spending enough time with your kids, stop! Instead, pat yourself on your back because, even with all the extra demands on your schedule, you spend more one-on-one time with your children then the glorified housewives of the ’50s and ’60s spent with theirs.
3. Focus on the things you do well. Not every mom can be super mom; in fact, most moms aren’t supermoms. But mommy guilt does not do anyone any good. It causes you stress, which inevitably leads to unhappy children. So, cut yourself some slack and recognize your great mom qualities; for example, you might consistently read to your children, feed them wholesome foods or be great about making sure they floss and brush daily so they have cavity-free teeth. Every mom does something right, usually many things. As long as your child knows they are loved, that is a huge gift. Pat yourself on the back and do your best to let go of mommy guilt once and for all.