In a nutshell, that’s how I feel about it. It’s simply the worst. It’s self-defeating and soul destroying. I have been around it. I’ve supported moms that were deep in the midst of it. I find it difficult to find some positive in it. I knew it. I read about it, heard about it, and learned about it. However, nothing prepares you for it until you’ve actually experienced it yourself.
What is it?
It’s Mom Guilt.
To those that have never experienced it, please tell me your secret. It’s a battle, an internal battle. Logic gets flushed down the toilet so there is more room in your brain for the battle to commence. You know the facts; you know the details. You can argue both sides of the case, but guilt comes along and destroys everything. No matter how many times you research a topic or are reassured by a loved one or medical provider, you will still have that internal battle.
I wish that I could offer solid advice to make that guilt go away, but I can’t. All I can do is listen, empathize, and validate until you are able to come to terms with it yourself and find a way to silence those doubtful and debilitating thoughts.
Repeat this to yourself: No one is perfect. No parent is perfect. No child is perfect. We are all doing the best we can.
It’s true that when we know better, we do better, but you simply cannot be everything to everyone all the time.
There will be times that you have to give more to one child than another. There will be times that you’ll think that you’re neglecting your other child/ren. You may think that your spouse is being neglected too. Hopefully, after a heartfelt conversation with good communication and listening on both ends, they’ll get it.
Again: you cannot be everything to everyone all at the same time.
Taking care of yourself is not a luxury, it is a necessity. As much as I’m saying this all to you, I’m also writing it down as a reminder to myself. Make that appointment with yourself, whether it’s an extra five minutes in the shower, reading a magazine, or taking a few days away for yourself. My personal mantra is: Do what you can, when you can, to do what it takes to feel less guilty and take care of you.
Do what you can, to step aside and think clearly. Do what you can to come to terms and accept that if you’re feeling guilty, it shows your dedication, it shows your high standards, and it shows that you want to do it right.
Go easy on yourself Mama.