Turn Mommy Guilts into Mommy Mantras
Mommy guilt. This phenomenon can affect not just mothers, but both parents from day one (sometimes even before that!), and the verdict is still out on if it ever goes away. In surveying my friends, I found that mommy guilt doesn't mess around, nor is it partial to one group versus another. Mommy guilt is an equal opportunity employer.
The positive news is that if you suffer from mommy guilt, that's a pretty good sign you are a caring parent because you are even worried in the first place. I'm big into positivity these days, and I truly believe that the way you think about things has a direct relationship to how things turn out. So I took 10 of my friends' most common mommy guilts and gave them a new, more empowering spin.
But first let me say that you can carry mommy guilt too far. If it starts to feel obsessive or you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression, please head straight to a professional! There are lots of good ones around, and if you don't have one you can even get help and a referral at your local ER.
Okay, now the secret for turning any mommy guilt into a mommy mantra. All you do is just flip your perspective, like this:
- I have to take my child to daycare. My child is learning to be independent and making new friends.
- I'm afraid my only child is lonely. My child will learn to be fiercely creative.
- I'm not breastfeeding (for whatever reason). I feed my child with love and truly cherish the moments I feed her.
- We can't afford all the new, neat toys. My child will not be dependent on material things to be happy.
- I divorced/left my child's father and am remarrying. My child will have an additional set of adults (stepfather and stepgrandparents) to love and teach him.
- I have to put my child in the bouncer while I prep dinner, check email and shower, and she's not happy about it. My child is learning to play by herself and taking time to observe the world around her.
- I'm having another baby and feeling guilty about sharing my love with another child. My child will have a friend for life.
- I have to work and I'm missing out on things with my child. My child is learning the importance of a strong work ethic.
- I say "no" to things my child wants to buy or do. My child is learning that she can't get everything she wants.
- I'm a stay-at-home mom, and there are some days I hate it. I'm so involved and dedicated in raising my children that some days I need a well-deserved break, just like someone who works a traditional job needs a vacation.
Next time you feel a mommy guilt rearing its ugly head, blast it out with a positive mantra. There's always going to be something we feel bad about as a parent, and we have to be positive and confident that we are doing what's best for our kids.
Tara Boyd, North Texas mother of three, to Beulah ("Boo"), Lucy ("Lu") and little brother Jacob, dishes practical advice on marriage, motherhood and munchies with humor and southern charm in her blog, Boyd Meets Girl.