It comes in all forms and now I am learning that it comes in all stages of life: Mommy-guilt! When my first son was a baby it reared it’s ugly head when I didn’t spend enough time working on “tummy-time.” When I had my second child it came in the form of feeling guilty that she didn’t get as much attention as the first. When I had my third child it came all the time and still appears now and then (he just turned 3 and still only has a few pages complete in his baby book). Just a visit to the pediatrician for a well check up is enough to store up guilt for months. Reminders to read to your children everyday, make sure they get at least 60 minutes of exercise, limit screen time, count fruit and vegetable servings to ensure they are getting enough. Have they been taking vitamins regularly? Do they have a healthy social life? (And this doesn’t even include feeling guilty every time a chore takes away valuable time from the kids). Most of these I am pretty good about on any given day, but then I could compare myself to other mothers and find something they are doing better than me to feel guilty about. I have come to the conclusion that there is just no way around it. So, what can I do to help relieve the mommy-guilt when it comes crashing in? I can take a look at the most important things and give myself grace on those that are not so important.
A quick search on Google easily brings up advice from numerous sources about the most important things kids need to have a successful life. Although there are variations the top needs are all the same. Security. Stability. Love. Encouragement. Education. So when the mommy-guilt creeps in because I fed my children non-organic chips and hotdogs for lunch and I didn’t sign them up for the new art class in town, I ask myself this question: Are my priorities in order? Do my children feel secure in our home and at school? Do they know Mom and Dad love them unconditionally and want what is best for them? Do they get praise and encouragement on a daily basis? Do they learn something new every day (or so)? If any of the answers to these questions are not a resounding YES!, then I do need to reprioritize. However, if they are in order, there may be some things I can do to improve but the guilt needs to stop because my children would much rather me be smiling and enjoying them than worrying about how I am doing as a mother.
Guilt can also occur before you become a mom as a result of issues with fertility. If you are struggling with any stage of infertility please check out our website, http://www.keytoconceive.com to see how we can help!