What To Do With “Mom Guilt”

You’re meeting ran late, you get home and try to get the house in order. You have dinner to make plus everyone's lunch for tomorrow. You have a workout you want to get in and one of your kids has baseball practice, which means you all need to eat quickly and run out the door. When you get home everyone needs to take a shower and get ready for bed. Finally everyone is asleep and you realize you feel like you barely had time to ask your kids about their day, and you are suddenly hit with a wall of guilt. Friend, I’ve totally been there, in fact I still find myself in this space often so know you are not alone. In this post I will share my top 3 ways to deal with feeling guilty as a busy mom and don’t worry, I know you’re doing an amazing job!

Be Open With Your Kids

Whenever I know we are headed towards a crazy day I am completely open with my kids. I let them know first thing in the morning that our time is super limited and I explain what we have going on and why it is so busy. If I’m being honest it is usually jam packed and busy because they have a ton of activities so they tend to understand. I do this because it helps all of us start our day knowing the expectations. They know what we have to do, where we have to go, and what we have time for.

This doesn’t mean they still won’t ask. My kids absolutely love going to the playground after school, I mean who wouldn’t. Some days I can make that happen but others I just can’t so when we have our conversation in the morning I may tell them, I know you really want to play with your friends after school today. We have too much going on today but I can make that happen tomorrow (or whatever day will work for you). I feel being open with them helps because they can see that I’m trying to work with them the best I can. Some days they still get super upset, they are still kids lol, but I find my guilt isn’t bad because I know I gave them a clear picture of the day plus I gave them the option to get what they want another time.

This also goes for when I have to miss things, which being a working mom happens. I always try to let them know whenever I find out I am going to miss something. I avoid comments like, we’ll see, or I’ll try my best. I know that helps soften the feelings in the moment but you are giving them some expectation that it could happen and if you know it can’t happen just be honest. Whenever I have to miss something I always try and get someone to go, usually it is my husband or my parents. There have been times my husband and I both have had to miss a school event and in those times I have our friends take pictures for us. The guilt still comes on but again I know I’ve done everything I could to make the best out of the situation and that tends to help.

Setting expectations is a big part of this tip. I try to be as honest as I can with my kids, even if I know they aren’t going to like the answer. It gives us time to have a discussion about the situation and why it has to be this way.

Remember You Are Human

Know going in you are not going to be perfect, I’m not being mean, I’m being honest. No one is perfect so you can ditch that expectation right now! There are going to be times that you will make a mistake as a mom. I make them also and when I do, I start to feel the guilt coming on. I’ve overreacted, I’ve yelled, I’ve said the wrong thing, I’ve missed parties or play dates, I’ve made tons of mistakes and when I do, I apologize. I tell my kids I was wrong, I explain how I am feeling, and I tell them I am sorry.

You are human and no one is going to be able to stay totally calm all the time or remember everything!

I don’t know about you, but I am super hard on myself. Remember those expectations we talked about earlier, we are about to cycle back to those. I find “mom guilt” usually stems from the expectations we set for ourselves before we became moms.

Now friend, whenever you hear someone who isn’t a parent make a comment like, “Well, my child won’t…” How hard do you laugh, even to yourself?? Those are the expectations I’m talking about. You have probably said that sentence yourself before you became a mom, we all do it. Then we become moms and realize our expectations were borderline impossible and we have to adjust! And there is NOTHING wrong with having to adjust!

The whole point here is these expectations we set for ourselves can be causing the guilt you are feeling. To deal with this, we need to show ourselves some compassion. Whenever you catch yourself saying negative comments like, “I’m the worst because” I want you to ask yourself, would you say that to a friend? Would you talk to another mom in that way? NO! So stop talking to yourself that way.

Ditch The Distractions

One of the biggest things I do to help with mom guilt is actually something to help prevent it. I try my best to get rid of distractions when we have family time. This could be when we are watching a movie or playing a game, I try to put my phone in the other room or put it on silent, that way my attention is focused on our activity and not what is going on somewhere else.

I also set aside any work I have to complete or jobs that need to be done. When we are having family time, that is the only goal. There is no multitasking or trying to work on projects while we do it.

This really helps because I know how busy we are and so many times I am trying to do multiple things at once which usually means I am not as present as I want to be. But when we are having time together I want that to be the only thing I am focused on and limiting my distractions really helps me to do that!

Asking For Help

I wanted to throw in this bonus tip because I really feel it is so important. If you are really struggling with feeling guilty then there is nothing wrong with reaching out to a healthcare professional to get more help.

Talking to a licensed therapist can really help with these feelings and my friends, I speak from experience here. Mental health is very important and I share this with you to help reduce the stigma around it. There is nothing wrong with reaching out for more help if you feel you need it!

So there you have it, my go to tips for handling the mom guilt! We already have enough on our plates and we really don’t need any extra things to stress about, am I right?? I know you are doing an amazing job!

In case you feel like you need a little more help organizing your time, I wanted to share this awesome resource I created just for you! This is my guide to creating a successful morning routine! It helps me organize my morning to be productive before my kids even get out of bed which then helps me focus my energy on them when it is time for them to get up! Sign up below! See you there!

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