Stop with the Mom Guilt

The other day, a friend of mine posted something on Facebook about her struggles with breastfeeding and the guilt that came along with it. It triggered something in me, as I too, had guilt associated with breastfeeding, but in a different way.

It made me realize, and not for the first time, that Mom Guilt is real. And it's so unnecessary.

The times in which I've felt guilty in the past 13 months are extensive, and for the most part, unreasonable. Here's the short list of what I've felt guilty about since I had Liam:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Not breastfeeding
  • Supplementing with formula
  • Feeding formula
  • Going back to work
  • Taking a vacation without him
  • Missing dinner
  • Missing bedtime
  • Wishing for bedtime
  • Getting frustrated with him
  • Going to happy hour with
  • Not playing enough with him
  • Cleaning, cooking or doing something other than spending time together when I get home from work
  • Looking at my phone instead of him
  • Not having family dinners
  • Not getting outside every day
  • Not enough tummy time
  • Not getting outside with him every day
  • Letting him cry it out
  • Screen time before the age of 2
  • Not making my own baby food
  • Not preparing elaborate lunches every day
  • Telling him no
  • Sometimes I use food or TV as a distraction
  • Putting him in timeout
  • Laying in bed for an extra beat when he wakes up crying to see if he'll stop
  • Not getting Liam dressed until noon some weekends
  • Wishing time away
  • Not buying organic
  • Not losing the baby weight
  • Not spending enough time with the dog
  • Not providing my husband with opportunity to spend time with Liam (early days)
  • Not "doing things" with Liam when I was on maternity leave
  • Spending too much money on Liam
  • Not spending enough money on Liam
  • Serving the same thing for dinner two nights in a row
  • Giving him Peanut Butter Jelly multiple times a week
This list isn't comprehensive, and I'm sure I will only add to it over the years. But it's just not OK.

There's enough mom shaming that goes on - I know other moms judge me, I don't need to judge me, too.

So let's stop, with the mom guilt, shall we? Or at least try to? Instead of focusing on things we do "wrong" or "selfishly," let's shift the focus. Feel your guilt if you need to, and then move on. Don't dwell. The fact that I can name all of the above instances means I am dwelling.

Anything you, or I, feel guilty about is not likely to ruin our children. And guilt is not going to make you a better parent, either. Instead, let's think about all of the ways we love, provide, teach and nurture our children.

I will if you will.


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