Do you feel guilty because you work outside of the home? Do you wish you had more time for your children? Does guilt overwhelm you when you leave your child with a caregiver? Do you allow yourself to enjoy vacations or breaks away from your children? Do you ever feel like you should be a better mum? Does guilt haunt you when you make a mistake as a mother?
Many mothers will answer 90 to 100% of these questions with a YES. Guilt is an emotion that begins overwhelming women once they have children. A mother’s guilt is also known as bad mum syndrome (not that you are but that you feel this way). If a woman tells you that she never felt or feels guilty, she is either lying or something else is wrong.
There is no written rule that you must stay at home or you are a bad mother. Alternatively, there is no rule that says you should work a full time job or you are a bad mother. There are no definitive rules as to right and wrong when it comes to parenthood – especially motherhood.
Surprisingly, guilt is a healthy emotion for mums to feel. If you do not feel guilty, regardless of what you do, something is wrong. Guilt is proof that you want to be a good mother and love your children. However, it can be destructive if not handled properly.
As a mother, you need to set a good example and keep a stable healthy mindset. Be positive, block out negative emotions and thoughts. You will be overwhelmed with this negativity when you first return to the workforce or take a well-deserved break. Counteract the negative emotions with positive, logical ones.
Nobody is perfect; this does not change when you become a mum. You are human and cannot be perfect. All you can do is try your best with every situation that you come across. This is the same advice mothers have been giving to children for years – heed the advice! (Kids learn by watching not listening.)
If you still feel that you are a bad mum, talk to other mums. You will find that you are not alone. This alone will help to lessen your guilt, but the companionship will also increase your positive energy. Talk to your spouse as well. You cannot hold the guilt in; it only makes things worse.
If you love your child and provide for them in the best way that you can, then you are a good mum! Let the negative guilty feelings go. No one is perfect, and if it did exist, it would be boring. Mistakes are fun and we learn from them, and yours entertain your children. So – why do you need to be perfect?