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Anyone out there feel guilty all the time as a mother? I often feel like I'm not paying enough attention to my husband or not doing enough creative and fun things with my son. The house always seems to be a wreck and I still have a good amount of baby weight to lose. My mom keeps telling me that mothers put way too much pressure on themselves these days. Do you all agree?
Yes..I agree 100%. It is a constant guilt fest! When I start to beat myself up, I try really hard to name 5 things I am doing really well. That usually puts things in perspective for me! With 4 kids though, I had to learn a long time ago that it was QUALITY time that meant more..not QUANTITY. There simply isn't enough of me to go around, so I try to make the time I do have count!
PediNurse and Mommy,
This is something i hear ALL THE TIME from the parents of the children that i work with. One thing that seems to help with guilt is this...
When mom or dad state that they have failed their child, or they are not doing things perfectly, then i ask: "Are you doing the best that you can do given the circumstances that you are current in?"
Parents usually pause for a minute or so and consider my question. They then come back and say "Well, yes, of coarse".
Then I say, "If you are doing your best, which is what i also see reflected then I need you to take a deep breath and let go"
"You need to let go of guilt, and so long as you are doing your best, that is more than I can ever even ask for".
Most parents feel a good degree of relief from answering this question.
Yes, quite often we are really doing the best we can with the circumstances given to us. There really is no way we can spread ourselves around so thin. It's quite a shift in thinking for someone like me who has pretty unrealistic expectations! My uncle recently said to me, "You really need to lower your expectations. You set them so high that you are constantly failing and feeling horrible about it. Set yourself up for success." I try sometimes to pick 3 simple things I will do that day, such as text my husband a sweet note, make sure to do a favorite activity with my son, and at least get the kitchen cleaned up. It helps when I do that instead of thinking I have to transform the world in one day. :-)
I love the idea of picking three attainable goals to work toward each day. Setting goals that one can reach must help build self esteem and lessen guilt. Thank you for sharing this with us!