The #1 Way to Remove Mom-Guilt is a Profile on the Mamasoup App
It's that feeling that you can't DO everything and BE everything that your kid needs. It's doing what's best for you (the dreaded self-care) and feeling bad about it. It's feeling guilty about being a working mom and feeling guilty about being a stay-at-home mom.
Do you ever feel guilty for taking a trip to the grocery store alone because you could have had one-on-one time with one of your kids if you brought them? Yup, me too. Feel bad that you can't chaperone the field trip because of your career? Girl, I hear that. Feeling tired and would rather have a nap on the couch than do glittery crafts with your kids? I've done that- turned on the tv for extra screen time while I slept, too.
Recently, I asked my Instagram followers to tell me what they were struggling with at their stage in motherhood. Let me tell ya, Mom-Guilt was the NUMBER ONE. In fact, it was so resounding, that I created a conversation on Mamasoup about it, using one mama's own words. (Hop over to check it out and join the chat!)
It didn't really seem to matter how old their kids were, either. It would appear as though becoming a mom means becoming riddled with guilty feelings.
There always seems to be a reason to feel bad. I remember when my kids were little, at the end of every day I would lay my head on the pillow and just replay all the things I didn’t do right. Little things like letting the baby cry for a couple of minutes so I could finish my shower or giving the kids cereal for dinner again.
While I was raising teenagers and toddlers at the same time, I was working as a perioperative nurse in the operating room. As a mom with a stressful career while raising four kids, I dropped the ball a lot. At the time, my husband was a VP at a software company and he travelled quite a bit, so I took on a lot at home. I’ll never forget the day that I was scrubbed-in for a hysterectomy and the school called me. Back then, kids went to kindergarten every other day and alternating Fridays. (Why would they even do that to us?) They were just calling to let me know that I sent my kid to school on the wrong day. I had to scrub out and do a panic-dash to the school. When I got out of my car I held back tears as I did the walk of shame to the office. I felt like a total failure as a mom. That was 10 years ago and I still feel crappy about it.
I honestly believe that nobody is as hard on a mama as she is on herself.
As soon as you become a mother, you start to feel split. I know some women say that becoming a mom has made them feel whole, and I totally get that: the "full-circle" feeling of fulfilling your destiny is strong for moms who always wanted kids! I feel it too. Nah, I'm talking about feeling split between what you need and what you need to do, give and be to your kids. I used to say to my husband,
I’m so frustrated because I can’t give 100% to anything in my life!
And he would give me a hug, and tell me I was a great mom, but I knew that he would never fully understand. Because how could he ever understand what it feels like to be a mom?
So what do we do about these feelings, Mama?
I think we need to understand that we aren't alone. We can talk about these things to each other without feeling bad. At the end of each day, try to think of at least 3 things that you did great - it helps a lot! Try to reframe your thoughts to focus on the positives. (It has seriously helped me and if you want to learn more about how I do it, check out this previous post from the MamaSoup Blog)
One thing that being a mom for so long has taught me is to not judge other moms. As Maya Angelou said,
You did what you knew how to do. When you knew better, you did better.
We're all just doing our best, Mama, and for the most part that’s all our kids need. If we know that other moms are feeling the same way as us, maybe it can alleviate some of the dark feelings.
I would love for you to come over to Mamasoup and join this very important discussion in a safe, anonymous environment. I may just make the impossible job of being a mom a little easier for you today. Follow the link to join us there and please share this with a mom who needs a safe place to share her thoughts.
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!