Why Mom Guilt Has No Place In Our Lives
Self Care Advocate, Author, and founder of Black Moms Blog, Shanicia Boswell shares why it is important to release mom guilt and the benefits we experience once we let go of trying to be everything.
Everyday I would wake up and feel anxiety surrounding my mom guilt. I felt as if I were not doing enough. Dinner was not cooked every night. I didn’t feel like I was spending enough time with my young daughter. Everytime I would do something for myself and others would ask, “where’s your daughter?”. That plague of guilt would rumble low in my belly.
This dreaded feeling was mom guilt.
It does not matter if you are a new mother or a mother three times over, we are all plagued by mom guilt. According to healthline.com, mom guilt is defined as “that pervasive feeling of not doing enough as a parent, not doing things right, or making decisions that may “mess up” your kids in the long run.”
Here’s a truth mama, parenting is not a one size fits all. There are going to be errors. Even with the errors though, there will be plenty of laughter, fun times, and memories made. Take it from a mama who successfully overcame her levels of anxiety when it came to mom guilt. Do you know what will produce healthy and happy children? A healthy and happy mother. Once you find your happiness, those pangs of guilt will lesson and you will really understand that your self care has an important place in your life too. Here is why Mom Guilt Has No Place In Our Lives.
Take 10 Minutes Of Solace To Yourself Everyday
When it comes to self care, most people think of the ‘dramatics’. We imagine spa days, cucumbers on our eyelids, and large comfy white robes. As mothers, we do not always get that kind of time. If this is what you consider a self care day, you may be waiting until the end of the pandemic to receive it. Learning how to find self care in the smallest of activities is important for our mental wellness. Take ten for yourself everyday and do something that makes you happy. This could be a meditation corner in your room or eating a fruit bar in the pantry. Your ten minutes could be a quick walk around the block listening to your favorite music. Write out a list of ten activities you could do for yourself in ten minutes everyday.
Teach Your Children About Mindfulness
It is nearly impossible for a mother to enjoy mindfulness and self care when her children have no concept of what it means to take moments of peace and quiet. One of the best ways you can discover your own self care is to teach your children the importance of their own. It may be a fantasy idea to think you can take ten minutes to yourself during daylight hours but there are ways that you can incorporate the peace in your daily routine with your little ones.
If your children are younger:
- Try a technique by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence. Have your children lie on their backs and place their favorite stuffed animal on their bellies. Have them watch the stuffed animal rise and fall with every breath. This teaches them the power technique of breathing and how they can self soothe when they are feeling anxious.
- Find a Youtube channel that encourages yoga for small children. These programs are fun and engaging for young children to easily keep up with the practice while also being entertained. You can practice yoga with them as a daily exercise of mindfulness for yourself as well.
If your children are older:
- In my household, I practice “separate togetherness” with my eight year old daughter. Everyday for one hour, we spend time accomplishing a task by ourselves, together. This activity for us is normally reading a book. We sit on opposite ends of the sofa and read to ourselves quietly. At the end of the hour, we discuss what happened in our books.
- Create a collaborative story project which includes writing out a fiction story where every family member participates. Writing can be meditative and induce moments of peace. The collaborative story allows children to use their creativity and learn to adapt to whatever changes happens in the story by the other family members.
Purchase An Adult Mandala Book
It has been found by the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale that adults who color have reduced anxiety and improved mindfulness. Even though you may not be interested in coloring mermaids during your child’s playtime, perhaps you can purchase an adult mandala coloring book instead. You see, when it comes to mother self care, it should be clear to understand that reducing mom guilt may mean still finding ways to spend time with your children while also tending to your own needs. By purchasing your own coloring book, you can still interact with your littles while you do something to make yourself happy.
Something Just For You: Run A Bath Weekly
Once you get the littles in bed for the evening, make a weekly date with yourself to run an evening bath. Include your favorite essential oils, light a few natural candles, play soft music, and create a spa in your home. You can practice quiet meditation in your space and soak for at least twenty minutes…or until your youngest cries for you to comfort them to sleep. Do not be overly expectant at first in your relaxation bath. You may spend most of the time twiddling your fingers in a tub full of lukewarm water. Be gentle with yourself. Familiarizing yourself with self care is a learning process too. It takes time.
Invest In Yourself
Times are tight for a lot of families right now so this method of mama self care may look different for every household. If you are able, take a few extra dollars every month and do something special for you. This could include doing something out of the home like taking yourself to dinner, getting your nails done, or scheduling a facial. It can also mean hiring someone to come clear your house once a month or signing up for a meal delivery app three days a week so you have relief from cooking food. When it comes to self care, investing in yourself could also be identified as taking an online course to improve your skills to seek better employment. There is no right or wrong way to invest in yourself.
Releasing mom guilt and rediscovering your self care is no easy task. By removing it from your lives, you will develop more inner peace which will make your parenting journey a bit easier. It will take an everyday choice to choose you, even if it is just for ten minutes.
Mama, there will be some bumps in the road and everyday won’t feel like joyful self care. Some days you will still feel guilty. By developing these habits though, you will start to feel less and less mom guilt.
- Mindfulness isn’t just for adults. It’s for kids too. In this guide, we look at the importance of mindfulness as well as five ways you can help your child practice it.
- Parenting can feel like a lonely endeavor in the best of times, and downright isolating during a pandemic. Let’s consider some strategies for reconnecting.