Mom guilt is something I have on a daily basis and I’m sure other moms can relate. I describe mom guilt as a pain. A pain in my heart and a churning in my stomach that makes me feel like I’m failing as a mother or I’m not doing things the way they should be done or at least seen to be done.
“I constantly question myself as a mother”
I have mom guilt over the most stupidest things and the most obvious things, there is no cut off. It bothers me all day. This week, I felt bad when Blake was trying to show me something and I raised my voice and said no. Not because I didn’t want to get involved in the activity he was doing, but because I’m so used to saying no, it’s like a force of habit at times, but the guilt I felt in that split second was awful. Within 10 seconds he was fixated on something else, but the feeling stuck with me for a while after.
“We’re that one person who understands them the most”
I can’t help but feel that everything I say and do now will effect him when he’s older, which is why I think I’m so hard on myself. My doctor once told me that up until a child is 7 years old, it’s that crucial stage in their life where their personalities and behavior develop, which made me even more anxious to ‘get it right’.
My biggest guilt is the fact that Blake isn’t talking like he should be at his age and I can’t help but feel like this is partly my fault. I constantly question myself as a mother. Did I encourage him enough? Is it because I work too many hours? Do I spend enough time with him? Should I have had more 1:1 time with him? Should I have given him a dummy when he was younger? The questions are endless and they are never answered. Although this seems to be turning a corner lately, it absolutely breaks my heart that he is behind in this area because I see him get frustrated when he can’t tell me what he wants, I see him look blank when other children his age talk to him.
“Everything we do for our children, we want to do right”
Mom guilt hits me hard when I have to leave him at nursery in order for me to go to work, although he loves going now, at first he used to cry and chase after me and I could hear his cries as I walked through the corridor. That pain, as his mom is inexplicable and then I’m riddled with guilt all day.
So why do we get it so bad? My answer. I think it’s because we’re that one person who understands them the most. We carried them, felt them from the inside and brought them into the world. We spent the most time with them when they were born and they rely on us to make and do things right. We get mom guilt so bad because everything we do for our children, we want to do right. They’re our world as much as we are theirs.
“We try our best, and our best has to be good enough”
And do you know what? It doesn’t get any easier. For me, it gets harder. But we learn to be strong, swallow our guilt and carry on, because we have no choice. We try our best, and our best has to be good enough. Our babies remember if we were there or not, so make that time count. Feeling guilty over things while they grow is one thing, but feeling guilty because we we weren’t there is another.
Do you struggle with mom guilt, I’d love to know I’m not alone.