For some reason moms tend to feel a lot of guilt when it comes to their role as a mother. I’m not a good enough mom, I’m not home enough, I yell too much, I don’t clean enough… on and on it goes. Does this continual stream of guilt serve us?
Quite frankly, no. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t evaluate ourselves and always strive for self-improvement. One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou “When you know better, you do better.” That’s true in motherhood too. People say you should have “teaching moments” with your child where every experience is a learning opportunity, well it’s the same for us parents too. You can learn so much from your child on what works, what doesn’t and how you can relate to them better each day.
Guilt, however, is a different story. Guilt is a waste of time and energy if you do nothing with it. Guilt is a warning bell that we feel if something is off or if we handled something poorly. That’s a good thing, but to wallow in it just builds anxiety and depression.
You can do two things with guilt. You can change your situation – i.e. learn from it and make improvements to change whatever is bothering you OR you can accept your situation. Sometimes we can’t change the circumstances right away…or ever. Perhaps you work long hours or maybe you need to manage your temper. It can take time to change things like that so start working on them and accept the fact that it’s not going to be an overnight success. It may be a circumstance in your life that will never change. Maybe you got a divorce and it was really tough on the kids. That’s not going to change, so accept that it happened and work on ways to make your kids feel loved and cherished through it.
Guilt’s purpose is to alert us, but beyond that it’s wasted time. Time that could be better spent in more positive and constructive ways. I’ll leave you with my absolute favorite quote about motherhood:
“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one”