How to Survive Mom Guilt with Minimal Tears

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As I sit here working on this blog, enjoying my delicious double americano (in an actual mug), and French pastry, in my favorite local coffee shop, I can’t help but become overwhelmed by this haunting feeling. “How could I waste that $10 when the baby could use a new pair of shoes now that he is starting to walk?” “I could also have done some extra hours at the office and get some more income generated for the family.”

You know when those feelings sneak up on you and you know they are not supported by reality yet they seem to linger around your mind. Well let me introduce you to my most common feeling... MOM GUILT!  It’s sneaky and honestly all-round pretty mean.

As moms, it is so hard to take time to do things just for us and  to be “selfish”, even if it’s just for a moment. Some of those moments for me are just waiting a minute longer in the car before getting the kids from daycare. Right now my most significant  mom guilt comes from  me pursuing my education. It would be so much easier for me to just stick to the corporate job I had, making good money and get a degree online that would allow me to stay in that field and work those 40+ hours. Instead, I decided to totally change my field and pursue a degree in psychology which automatically means I need a minimum of a masters if not a Ph.D.  I know in the back of my mind that this is going to be great for my entire family but in the moment it can be  tough to see that. Time is never enough, and the money always seems to barely stretch. So in those moments, I feel so selfish. It is hard to look past those situations and feelings , and before I know it, my mind is being consumed by mom guilt. 

We as mothers need to realize how important it is to take time for ourselves. How we are not selfish. If we don’t do that then before we know it, we will be totally running on empty.  Use that massage gift card someone gave you. Get that pedicure. Take that personal day from work to just sit and read a book. And dare I say, just lay in bed all day! We need those moments because that hustle and that grind doesn’t stop when the kids go to sleep. Trying to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect employee, the perfect student…(none of which exist)and not taking time for yourself  will leave you with nothing but exhaustion and emptiness.

If we don’t take care of ourselves and just stay busy  trying to get all the things that need to get done, it becomes like a sinkhole.  All that emptiness below the surface will eventually cave in.  Now we have to not just start over, but to build up from even lower than we started.

To wrap it up, my point is Make sure you are taken care of. Sit in the car in the garage a few extra minutes and play a game on your phone. Go get that overpriced cup of coffee, and enjoy every second because you work hard and you deserve it! And don’t forget to just plain love yourself before you love others.

Join the conversation: Tell us about a mom guilt moment of your own in the comments below and how you are learning to give yourself a break.