If there is one thing that could make my life as a mother easier (besides maybe a daily nap) it would be letting go of guilt. Oh, the guilt – bruised knees, four letter words, too much sugar, not enough books… we can go on and on.
It makes total sense, really, because when you love someone so fiercely you simply can’t help yourself. But, of all the things to worry yourself over, there are a few things that you should never, ever allow yourself to feel guilty about.
5 Things Every Mom Can Stop Feeling Guilty About Right Now
1. The way you fed your baby. Whether you stood in the kitchen at two in the morning and carefully measured and mixed your baby a bottle of formula or offered them your sore, cracked breast multiple times a day – you fed your baby.
Either way you provided your baby the nourishment they needed to grow and develop. Good work, Mama.
2. How you birthed your baby. Some of us get no say in the type of birth we will have. Sometimes it is fast and furious with no time for our wants to be heard and some of us get the birth we dreamed of where everything goes just how we planned.
Cesarean, hospital, water birth, whatever – you brought this baby here. Look at what you’ve created.
3. Your messy house. All of our homes are messy – especially the ones filled with children. If there are crayon scribbles on your table, blocks strewn about, and puzzle pieces covering your floor, it means they were playing, learning and growing. How wonderful you provided them with that opportunity.
4. Working. Or not working. Whether we are in an office or staying at home we are all working diligently for the things that fit our family best. No matter if your position was decided by choice or necessity, you are caring for your children in the best way you can and that is nothing short of perfection.
5. Taking time for you. Sometimes it’s as if we stopped being a person when we gave birth. We become a mother and feel that definition excludes anything that made us who we were prior. No more time for reading things other than children’s books. No more vacations unless it is for the family. No more time for ourselves for the next 18 years.
A good mother is a happy mother and if your children are being well cared for while you take time to care for yourself, where is there harm? Your wellness directly affects their wellness.
Maybe we can teach our children how to love themselves by being an example of self-love in our own lives. Allow the weight of the guilt lift and breathe for a moment. Maybe if we live our lives this way, our daughters may feel more confident in their mothering and not be ridden with this guilt that we’re burdened with.
Maybe this way we can break the cycle.
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.