Mom guilt can be crippling if you allow it to defeat you. I have worked with many mothers who expressed their frustrations with parenting and the overwhelm that occurs as a result of the pressure to be on top of everything when it comes to our kids. Even if you remove outside influences, family and friend opinions. What we do to ourselves is sometimes worse.
If I'm honest, I'm my worst critic and on a scale of 1 - 10 as most critical. I'm a close 9.9. If my child is sick I blame myself for not reminding her to wash her hands. If she falls off the couch, which happens. I blame myself for not catching her. As mothers, when we play this vicious blame game we not only hurt ourselves but we may be having a negative impact on our children. In my experience working with children, I have been told that children realize their mother blames themselves for their actions and this makes them feel like they are constantly letting down their parent. So when we feel we are letting them down they are picking up on this and then feel that they are letting us down. This vicious cycle needs to stop. It starts with us.
We often think our children are not paying attention but they are.
It's time for us to take comfort in knowing that we are doing everything in our power to support our children. We are human and we err, give yourself a break when mistakes occur. Mama guilt serves no purpose. Don't hold on to it. Keep showing love, being present and learn from your mistakes. Take comfort in knowing that children are resilient.
I want to acknowledge that these feelings of guilt are completely normal. When you feel this way acknowledge your feelings and move past them.
We make the conscious choice to blame ourselves for things we may have no control over. This is an important factor. If you do not have control over the situation you must let it go. Please feel free to reach out to me if this is you and you need additional support.
Written by: Tyfanny Ross, Masters in Social Work