Mommy guilt is a real thing!!!! Every mom knows this.
It’s that guilt you feel not just about work but about everything; like when your flight is delayed and you’re not going to see your baby before bedtime or when you don’t have the time for drop-offs or doctor’s appointments. All moms experience it, (SAHM, working moms, mompreneurs, all of us) one way or the other.
To make matters worse, the mommy guilt turns into worry. We worry that we’re not living up to the standards that we set for ourselves as career women and mothers. As a new (working) mom I used to worry what people will think of me at work when I have to take so much time off to make it to doctor’s appointments, unplanned pick-ups, unplanned nanny days off, and other family concerns.
Fortunately, I’ve realized that all that worry is wasted energy. So now instead of worrying about what colleagues may think of me, I give my job my absolute best and trust that my obligation to my husband and my son will pay off far greater than anything else. And instead of worrying about whether I spend enough time with my son; I make the best of the time that we have together.
I remember when J was 5months and 2 weeks and all the stress from work, back and forth travelling, late nights and early mornings just had its toll on me so I fell ill, and my milk dried up. He was 5 months old. That was a low point for me. I had to quit EBF long before I planned; and it was completely out of my control. I used to tell my husband I felt I had failed my son by robbing him of this, and he didn’t understand why it was so important to me to EBF. But as a mom, all you want is the best for your child and if that means someone chugging on my boobs then so be it.
To deal with mommy guilt I believe you should recognize and admit the guilt, and then ask yourself if you are okay with your decision to take this path. “Is it the best decision for my family, at this time?” From personal experience, the mommy guilt didn’t necessarily go away but I began to do things a little different to better manage the feeling. I started to tell myself that constantly feeling guilty about something my body could no longer control was not healthy for me or my son. So I picked myself up, appreciated that I was able to EBF my son for 6 jolly months (I had a stash of frozen milk which helped for about 3 weeks), and it was the best I could do at that time.
Let’s face it, being a mom can be extremely challenging. It takes a lot of planning, prioritizing, compromising and support to manage a household. Consequently, we end up sacrificing self-care and self-love. In the long term, sacrificing self-care is not sustainable.
So when next you find yourself feeling guilty, take a moment to think about who and what matter most, then refocus your goals and refuel your ambitions.
How do / did you deal with mommy guilt? Let’s share, you never know who you may be helping.
Love & Light,