As if the life of a mother wasn’t tough already, Mom-Guilt creeps up to make it even harder. Mom-Guilt is simply a feeling that you have committed a blunder or many blunders while carrying out your motherhood duties. It can be something as simple as taking out time for yourself or something big like having a second child.
Like any other mom, I go on such guilt-trips multiple times a day- when I raise my voice at Idhaya, when I fail to notice that she has pooped and she stays in the soiled diapers for some time, when I forget her iron-dosage, when I give her a little extra screen time…the list of reasons behind mom-guilt is endless.
The guilt trip lasts for anywhere between a few seconds to a year or more (I have only this much experience being a mommy!). I read a lot of articles about Mom-Guilt and have found out that there’s no escaping this feeling.
You can never be the perfect mom because there’s no such thing. The perfect mom is like a Unicorn which people believe exists but no one has actually seen it. If you are making nutritious food, doing the laundry, giving the medicines on time then there is every possibility that you will miss out on the diaper change that’s supposed to happen every 2-3 hours.
My other finding about Mom-Guilt is that if you feel it, you care a lot about your kids. After all, we worry only about the stuff we care for. It means that you are not such a bad mother after all!
My biggest Mom-Guilts are giving Idhaya screen-time, yelling at her, using disposable diapers and not giving my 100% attention to her all the time. Other little things keep happening but I get over them quickly.
How I Deal With Mom-Guilt
Screen-Time- At the beginning, I had decided that I wouldn’t let Idhaya watch TV before she turns 2 years old but guess what, Idhaya has been watching TV since she was about 10 months old. It’s not like she watches it whole day but she does watch it. The most important time is morning, when I need to prepare breakfast for the two of us and then need to have my Tea with it. I turn on TV and get some relief. Still, she doesn’t stay in front of it for long as she misses her Momma a little too much. I also give her screen-time when I want to watch something interesting on TV so obviously she gives me company.
Rather than going on a guilt-trip, I have understood that I won’t be able to stay sane sans TV for her. A sane mom raises a sane baby so it’s OK.
Yelling- I am a short tempered and impatient person. Though I have tried to control these vices, I still haven’t been able to stay calm when Idhaya does something that I don’t like. I completely understand that she is a baby and still learning so she’s bound to do things as she likes.
Yelling occasionally is still fine but when I find myself loosing my s**t way too much, I give myself a reality check. I also tell myself that I will overcome this with time. Many times, when I just can’t control myself, I calm down by telling myself that what Idhaya is doing right now won’t matter in a few years. I care about her and it’s my duty that I don’t pass on my temperament to her. Thinking like this helps, trust me.
Using Disposable Diapers- I tried but washing poopy diapers is simply not my thing. Besides poop, babies also need to be monitored for pee and I just can’t keep changing cloth nappies or even the modern cloth-diapers all day. As I just told that I am already short tempered, dealing with pee and poop will surely make me go wild. There are other ways to care about our environment and I follow them like not wasting water and electricity.
Not Paying Attention- As much as I try, it’s not always possible for me to be 100% present in every moment. I kick myself for this and feel that she will grow up and I will miss out. Then I realize that I am around her at all times whether watching her every movement or not. I ensure that she’s safe and clean and happy. Isn’t it enough? Mamma needs to zone out sometimes to realize that her baby is the most precious thing she has made.
I would say that it’s natural to have Mom-Guilt so don’t try to escape it and just find ways to work your way around it. Have some time for yourself and you will love to be back with your child with more eagerness and happiness.
These are just my experiences and views. I am not recommending or advising against anything.
What are the top causes of your Mom-Guilt and how do you defeat them? Please share.
The Reluctant Mom