The other day while working from home, I left my son to his own devices – i.e. watching a bit of TV, playing on his iPad, and playing outside on his jungle gym. And then I was consumed with guilt and worry – shouldn’t I be spending more time with him? Is too much independent play or TV bad for him, am I a bad mom for “dumping” him, am I not enough of a helicopter and too much parachute? And did I dish out too much sugar at his birthday party, or not enough? What if kids didn’t like their party gifts, and what if they had an awful time?
This post probably finds you feeling guilty or inadequate over something. Right? And chances are you’re the one laying it upon yourself, right? For who are our worst enemies but ourselves? I can take every single cyber bully and mom who doesn’t like me, pit them all together, and I’ll still win beating myself up.
Perhaps guilt and inadequacy are a given – much like wind, poo nappies and tantrums. We set high standards, and get insecure when other moms parent differently as we look within and wonder if we’re doing it all wrong. And since no one is praising us, we REALLY beat ourselves up.
What if we try to think differently?
What if we were kinder to ourselves and spent more time acknowledging the things we do, than the things we don’t?
What if, instead of lamenting the time we spend at work rather than with our kids, we think of the work that goes into them, and in the quality moments we do spend with them.
What if, instead of beating ourselves up over not hypnobirthing, breastfeeding or co-sleeping, consider that we gave or initiated life, and we continue to give life, smiles and nappy changes.
Moms, we’ve lost sleep. we’ve lost sanity, and many of us have lost our waistlines. We’ve gained guilt, more anxiety, and more pressure. Don’t we deserve to be kinder on ourselves, and high five ourselves rather than berate? If our children have their needs met and are happy, does it matter what others say, including our own “critical mom” voice.
Look after yourselves