I've finished tucking my son into bed, told him that I've loved him and am about to turn off the light when he tells me that I am the best mom ever. It's a sweet statement that gives him extra kisses and cuddles and reassurances from me that I just try to be the best mom for him that I can be, and I am glad that I did a good job that day.
Then, I leave the room and immediately start thinking through all my interactions (or lack of interactions) with my son that day. And by the time I am downstairs again, I have convinced myself that I need to be a better mom tomorrow.
Parental guilt. It's an awful thing. And it's universal: At least one study suggests that parents feel more than 20 guilty moments a day. (That number might be low.) For example, my range of guilty thoughts at this very moment include the following:
And I could probably go on if I let myself.
But that's the thing: I try really hard not to let myself. Because it is far too easy to start mom-ologuing my faults to myself. And that helps no one.
Instead, I think I will do as my son does and accept myself with my flaws and just try to be the best Mom I can be every day.
What parental guilty thought is dragging you down? Unburden yourself in the comments.