When you become a mom, the idea that society seems to instill in your head is that is all you focus on. Your child should have your undivided attention, beyond all other priorities. As a mom, you’re “supposed” to be there for your child during all his or her major milestones and on a daily basis.
There’s also the idea in society that women should be working, and more women are becoming the primary earners in their family units. More women are also progressing to advanced positions in their companies, and there are more women entrepreneurs who are starting their own businesses as well.
There are a lot of expectations placed on the modern woman and more specifically, the modern mom. It’s difficult to meet those expectations in some cases, and in trying to do it all and have it all, it can take a psychological toll.
According to data from Pew Research, around four in ten working moms report feeling like they don’t spend enough time with their kids. 11 percent of stay-at-home moms reported the same feelings.
One specific concept that many moms feel, working or otherwise, is mom guilt. While it’s easy to feel mom guilt if you don’t work because you may always feel like you’re striving for unobtainable levels of perfection when you’re also working it can increase the level of guilt you feel even more.
The following are some things to know about mom guilt and ways to deal with it if it’s something you’re experiencing.
Try to Identify Specific Issues That Are Bothering You
Sometimes mom guilt may be a general feeling that you’re not achieving what you want to achieve and that you’re not successfully balancing it all.
Other times, there may be specific issues that you are experiencing and if you can identify them it can be easier to remedy them. For example, maybe you feel like you aren’t taking the time to have a one-on-one conversation or spend alone time with your children each day. The more you can drill down to an exact issue that’s causing you anxiety or stress, the more likely you are to be able to tackle it effectively.
There is the feeling of prioritizing everything that many of us working moms feel every day. We feel like everything is the utmost importance, and therefore if anything isn’t getting done to the fullest, we’re failing.
The thing about that is that priorities are just that, and that doesn’t mean that everyday everything can be at the top of your priority list.
There will be some days or even weeks where work has to be your number one priority. However, once you finish that project or whatever it is you’re working on during that time, you can shift your priorities to your kids and family.
Your kids and family don’t have to be your top priority every single day or week for you to be a good mom.
Avoid People Who May Bring Negativity
Sometimes our feelings of mom guilt aren’t coming from internal sources. They’re coming from outside sources. For example, maybe you have friends or family members who are constantly trying to make you feel guilty no matter what you’re doing.
If there are people who are bringing negativity, it’s important to deal with them. If it’s someone who’s an important part of your life, sit down and have a conversation with them. If it’s someone you can do without, cut them out.
Make the Most of the Time You Have
When you work and you have kids, or even if you’re a busy stay-at-home mom and you have multiple kids, you may feel like it’s about the quantity of time you spend with your kids, but that’s not necessarily true. Kids value quality time more than they do quantity.
Even if you only have 30 minutes to dedicate to one-on-one time with your children each day, that’s okay. It can be valuable, but make it count.
Ensure that you’re focused on your child and that you put away your devices, just for that brief period of time. That connection can make up for the fact that your attention may be divided elsewhere during the day.
Finally, you have to come to a sense of peace with the fact that you’re always going to be missing out on something in some area of your life, no matter how hard you work to balance it all. Work on coming to a sense of peace with where you currently are and what you accomplish each day, rather than thinking about the things you didn’t get done or the places you feel you could have done more.