Guilt will rear its ugly head throughout your motherhood, but try to beat it down every time. The following list represents some of the most common causes of guilt every mom should laugh off!
1. Pregnancy and labor. You use your best judgement, you follow your doctor’s advice, yet you will still hear how you are doing it all wrong. From what you eat to what you wear, people will leave you feeling guilty for not doing things perfectly! You will also hear how much faster and easier labor could have been, had you done things “their” way.
2. To nurse or bottle feed? This topic causes fierce debate, and although we all know breastfeeding can be the best choice, this isn’t always true for every mom. If you choose to use formula, for whatever reason, stand by your decision and don’t allow people to make you feel guilt.
3. Going back to work. Leaving your child in daycare or with a sitter can make any mom feel guilty, even without heckling from the in-laws. Returning to your place of employment is probably a necessity, however, and the varied environments and people your child will be exposed to is healthy for them.
4. Not being super-organized. Other people may squawk at your huge pile of dirty laundry, dishwasher that never gets emptied or garden overgrown with weeds: so what. You do the best that you can as a mom and if you can’t get everything on your to-do list done in a day (or week!) that’s really no cause for guilt, that’s life.
5. Inadequate cooking skills. Ever go to another family’s house around meal time and get the idea that Martha Stewart herself made dinner? Don’t fret just because macaroni and cheese may be your greatest achievement in the kitchen, accept the fact that your kids are healthy and strong.
6. Inappropriate behavior from your kids. Being judged over tantrums can really get to a mom; you think everyone else thinks your kids are totally out of control! Although it’s embarrassing at the time, Understand that it happens to the best of moms and nearly all of them at one point or another.
7. Bribing your children to behave. Did someone hear you tell your darling son that you’ll buy him an X-Box if he brings up his grades? Forget about it! Nobody knows your children or what motivates them like you and nobody has the right to judge; if your family is satisfied with what’s going on, congratulate yourself for it.
8. Not keeping your cool. People may fret if you display behavior that indicates you’re human, but fear not, everyone does it. Just because you threw a carton of eggs down the supermarket aisle doesn’t mean your sub-par as a mom and people should relate or empathize as opposed to criticize!
9. Using the TV as a babysitter. Um, like everyone doesn’t do this periodically as a parent? Don’t take any glares personally if your children happen to be more familiar with Sponge Bob than they are the President, most kids catch more than their fair share of television and video games.
10. Not having it all. Didn’t happen to get the hottest gift on your kid’s Christmas list? Or maybe your house is the only one in the neighborhood without such-and-such a toy? This is hype to begin with and shouldn’t really be so high on people’s list of priorities. If your not as concerned with the latest “must-have” item, good for you!
Don’t let guilt get to you. It’s as unhealthy for your mind and body as stress and counterproductive to effective parenting. Have better things to do with your time than feel guilty and above all, keep your sense of humor!
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