Get Over the Mom Guilt: 3 Ways to Feel Better About Your Hustle and Your Relationship with Your Kids
I believe that "mom guilt" as we like to call it, is something that all mothers (working or not) will suffer from at some point in their lives. For me, the mom guilt started recently. My daughter turned two in September and she has quickly become the "life of the party". If you have ever parented a two-year-old, you know what I mean. She is busy all the time, constantly wanting to explore new things and constantly getting into things that she shouldn't. She's absolutely amazing. However, I find myself saying "NO" or "STOP" way more often than I ever thought I would...I'm sure you know the feeling.
Some days, as I lay her down to bed I feel that our only interactions were on the way to daycare in the morning, as I was correcting her, and as we were saying her prayer before bed. That's when it hits me---the mom guilt. I wanted to be the "fun" mom, the one who colored with her endlessly, made homemade play dough on a daily basis, and always had a special treat ready to go.
The truth is, my story is like many of yours. I have a day job, I have a side hustle, I have a dream, but above all else, I have a family. Finding out how to balance that has been a struggle, but it's one that you and I can both overcome.
Schedule Your Time
Although scheduling time with your kids may sound like something you never expected to do, it is definitely something you should. I am not talking about scheduling when you are going to respond to their request for a cookie, or their need for your help to reach a toy. That's the kind of stuff we have to do all the time and are delighted to do. I am talking about scheduling UNDIVIDED AND UNPLUGGED time with your kids. There should be a portion of your day (preferably an hour or more) where you are there for your kids and your kids only. Play a game, go outside, read their favorite books, or just snuggle. It's good for you and for them.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
My personal theory about mom guilt is that we often feel it when we perceive that our children's needs are not being met. We feel bad when we have to tell them that they need to play by themselves for awhile or that you don't have time to go for a two-mile bike ride. Although I do think it's good for kids to have their own time to be creative (we'll talk about that another time), there is nothing wrong with asking someone to help. If you are blessed like I am to have an amazing husband or partner (shout-out), this is easy. However, if you don't, asking for help might look like swapping play dates with your friends so that you can both accomplish what you need to without pushing your kids to the side.
Remember Your “Why”
In the modern world, most moms have to create an income for their family in one-way, shape or form. We, like our male counterparts, have student loan payments to make, not to mention providing for the ever-rising cost of raising a child. As a mom, whether you earn your income because it is needed to contribute to the primary bills, to help save for your dream home, or to help pay for some of the fun adventures your family likes to go on---you are doing it for the people you love. At the end of the day, YOUR KIDS are the reason you do what you do and that is NOTHING to be ashamed of.
When you are feeling down, remember you are their mom. You are their hero. Be proud of what you do and how much you love them. That's what they are going to remember.