The pandemic has been especially hard on moms worldwide. With schools and daycare centers closed, many moms have decided to stay home and cover childcare. Other moms are returning to a workforce that’s been digitally transformed.
Working moms dedicate an average of 50% more time each day to household duties than working dads. Remote schooling has only increased moms’ workloads.
Before COVID-19, working women spent up to 35 hours a week on housework and childcare. This number doubled in 2020. And it isn’t any better for stay-at-home moms. These women provide crucial, unpaid support for their families.
There is simply not enough time for moms today. Because of this, many moms struggle with continuous feelings of guilt that can become overwhelming.
Are you having a hard time with mom guilt? If so, you’re not the only one. It’s only natural to feel upset and let down when nothing seems to go the way you planned.
This post covers different techniques that will help you face these natural and legitimate feelings. Read on to learn more about how you can say goodbye to mom guilt!
Before you let your guilt take over, reflect on what actually took place. Everyone makes at least one mistake each day. Making mistakes doesn’t mean we’re terrible mothers. It’s just a side effect of being a human being!
Maybe you missed the end of your son’s soccer game because you had to take a work call. Or you were so exhausted after a grueling week that you caved and bought the kids McDonald’s for lunch.
A single Happy Meal won’t ruin your child’s health. And a few distracted minutes won’t permanently destroy your son’s happiness.
Commit to stopping yourself in the middle of a guilt trip. Did you actually make a real mistake? Or did you simply do your best at the moment?
Work on using loving and kind words to yourself during this exercise. You already have enough on your plate. One simple mistake doesn’t mean you’re unfit for motherhood.
Today, working moms devote about 65 hours each week to chores and childcare. That works out to around 9.3 hours a day. When you factor in 8 hours of work, that means the average working mom is pulling a 17.3-hour shift each workday.
And stay-at-home moms are always working or on call. In general, these moms commit 14 hours each day to their work. And this estimate could vary with children’s ages.
Every mom is working an equivalent of over two jobs. Every single day.
If you feel like doing everything perfectly is totally impossible, then you’re right. Moms are up against insane workloads and get almost zero downtime.
You need to reclaim at least a little me time. It could be as small as ten minutes a day. Even a quick break gives you a chance to take a breath and appreciate how much you’ve accomplished.
Consider asking your spouse or partner to take the kids a few times a week. You can use your free time to brunch with friends or get back into spin classes.
For the single moms out there, think about connecting with another local mom. You could each take the kids once or twice a week. This would let each of you grab some well-deserved down time.
It’s possible that some of your guilt can be chalked up to your own unrealistic expectations. You might constantly compare yourself to the “Supermom” ideal. Supermom represents a new level of motherhood.
She dresses flawlessly and is always brimming with energy. All of her kids are child prodigies who live on a diet of organic food. Supermom flounces into PTA meetings in vegan suede and munches on kale chips while she paints sets for the school play.
Guess what? Supermom isn’t real. Comparing yourself to her is like jumping off a skyscraper. Just because a superhero did it in a movie doesn’t mean you should.
If feelings of guilt are keeping you down, then you need to take a serious look at your expectations. Why torture yourself over every small imperfection when you can just focus on being good enough?
A “good enough” mom always takes care of her children. She offers comfort, support, and love. She might make mistakes, but she never stops trying to improve.
When you accept yourself just as you are, you are teaching your kids a beautiful lesson. You are showing them how to accept their own imperfections with love and kindness. This lesson is much better than anything Supermom can do.
If you spend hours every day on social media, it’s no wonder you feel discouraged! Moms always look happy and presentable online. Staring at these pictures can make you feel lousy in comparison.
But social media isn’t real. It doesn’t show what’s happening in the background. It doesn’t show moms hiding in the bathroom so they can eat a cupcake. It doesn’t show you their kid’s epic meltdown in Target last week.
If guilt is weighing you down, check how much time you’re spending on your phone. How many hours are you averaging on Facebook or Instagram?
Stepping back from these apps can help you say goodbye to mom guilt. When you commit to the present moment, you commit to showing up for yourself and your children.
This simple action also improves the quality of the time you and your family share. Kids get a lot from even a few minutes of quality connection.
You don’t have to quit social media cold turkey. But taking regular breaks will get you out of the downward comparison cycle.
These four techniques we’ve discussed here will launch you on your journey to bid mom guilt farewell!
Keep in mind that it’s normal to feel crippled by guilt sometimes. Moms have so many responsibilities, especially now. Anyone going through your experience would feel the same.
But you can’t allow guilt to hold you back in life. Giving in to guilt won’t make you feel better and it won’t make you any better at being a mom.
At Advocacy Circle, we’re happy to share advice and encouragement with the (many) busy moms in our community. If you’d like to access even more great content, join our waitlist today!