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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:

  • It was a beautiful day and I didn't take my son to the park
  • I dragged him on an errand with me that I could have done earlier in the week on my own
  • I missed watching his swim class today because I had too much scheduled for us
  • I am already late getting dinner started, so we are going to eat later than I'd like
  • Eating later means that we might not have enough time to play a board game before bed

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

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Comment by Lauren Markman on September 23, 2017 at 7:57pm

I think that is the positive attitude we all have to adopt, Shantell!

Comment by Shantell on September 23, 2017 at 6:11pm
You know mommyhood is tough. We have our own expectations, the expectations the world creates. The challenge is excepting your limitations. I have decided for myself that each day I will do the best I can. That is all I have to give.

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