I’m a mother of two and I experience all the emotions we read about in pregnancy books. The unconditional love, joy, pride, sacrifice, subconsciously putting yourself second and getting out of your way just because your toddler wants a treat. You read about postpartum depression, baby blues, and losing yourself in the motherhood process, but you are never fully prepared for the guilt.
Motherhood guilt can suck the soul right out of you. It doesn’t matter how much I give my kids, there’s always this heavy feeling lurking deep in my subconscious. It took me years to realize that I’m constantly guilty. It’s a subtle feeling that leaves you unpleased with yourself. You basically feel guilty about anything and everything.
If I have no breast milk, I feel guilty.
If I like pumping more than breastfeeding, I feel guilty.
If I decide to introduce solids early, I feel guilty.
If I take my kids to swimming practice and skip gymnastics and ballet, I feel guilty.
If I’m tired on Saturdays after an intense working week and don’t take them out, I feel guilty.
If I’m tired while doing homework with my kids, I feel guilty.
If I let them watch some TV, I feel guilty.
If I limit screen time and they’re miserable, I feel guilty.
If I stop offering fruits because they never eat them, I feel guilty.
If I don’t go on playdates, I feel horrible even though they are very active socially.
If we’re vacationing and they want to swim in the pool but I prefer going to the beach, I feel guilty.
Parenting is literally the hardest job in the world. The social ideals that we force upon ourselves are what cripple us. We all want to fit in the perfect mommy mold and that makes us the perfect hosts for guilt to grow inside and infiltrate every cell of our bodies. Perfection is relative. Does the perfect mom even exist?
Just when I thought it’s just me, I joined the Rahet Bally team and realized that guilt is a universal state of mommy minds. Maybe the feeling will go away by time, maybe this calls for therapy, all I know is that forgiving ourselves might make us better and happier parents. If you just take a second and look at the bigger picture, you’ll realize how ridiculous some of these things we’re guilty about really are.