As soon as I had my son, my happiness was shadowed by what we call the new mom guilt that 87% of the new moms experience.
The burden of increased duties and responsibilities to provide the best for your child and people reminding you time and again about them is the main cause for mothers experiencing mom guilt.
From reaching out to others for help to babysit my son to choose from fruits and vegetables to feed him in his mealtime, I never felt content about my mothering style.
Now when I see my son who is middle school and though I have doubts about my parenting techniques, he is still an active, happy, healthy, and kind-hearted child with a cheerful attitude.
This makes me wonder, “I did a better job than at least what I was thinking I did”.
Coming out of this phase and letting go of mom guilt took a long time, primarily because I couldn’t comprehend what I am going through being a new mom.
Once I rooted out the causes of me feeling guilty as a new mother, I was able to overcome mom guilt and shift my focus entirely to working on myself to become the best mother to my son.
Why do we mothers feel guilty at all?
There can be numerous reasons for this.
Having high expectations
Our love for our children knows no bounds.
Sometimes, in the course of loving them deeply, we tend to do everything in the best possible way and provide them with the best of everything within our capacity which puts us under pressure.
It leads to being in a place where we feel we aren’t doing enough. We blame ourselves for their struggles in reaching their milestones or for not providing them with sufficient quality from our time or efforts.
Social Media Portraying Perfect Moms
Most of us who are into social media and networking have joined a number of parenting groups and read their content on a daily basis.
Mom shaming, questioning others parenting choices, bragging about parenting styles in the name of fancy investments, depicting one’s own self as the epitome of perfection is what puts undue pressure on new moms who are struggling emotionally or financially.
Sometimes the posts don’t tend to do any of these but we still feel that we are lagging behind.
We start comparing ourselves with the ‘better moms’ and it makes it even harder for us to overcome mom guilt.
Family Traditions Or Motherly Instincts
When I wanted to introduce solids to my son, I was bombarded with advice to start with rice cereals first but I didn’t want him to digest starch when there are plenty of other healthier options available.
So I didn’t.
But not everyone can stand against family traditions.
The elderly of the family believe in their parenting methods because they worked for their children and want to impose the same on the next generation. But with times changing and the continuous shift in parenting techniques, the new moms find it confusing to either follow their instincts or go with the family traditions.
The outcome of this?
Being over-protective as parents and parenting with anxiety.
It is natural for a mother to put her child’s needs before her every time. But sometimes, when we do take some time out for ourselves, we feel selfish.
I remember, once I desperately wanted to have a cup of steaming hot coffee in peace. I handed over my phone to my son so that he can engage himself in YouTube videos while I can enjoy my coffee.
After I finished drinking, I had pangs of guilt strike me all over. I could have attended to him first and indulge him in some healthy activity rather than giving him screen time which wasn’t needed.
Having Another Baby
Mom’s guilt after the second baby is common.
Not being able to provide enough time to the older one and catering to his needs is a thought that occurs to every mother having a second or a third baby.
When I had my second one, I wanted to keep it well-balanced between both my children.
It may take some time to adjust as a mother so that you can balance it between your children while not neglecting the either one and also developing the bond of love, affection and connection equally between your children.
You Are The Best For Your Child, Always Keep This In Mind
Children don’t know anyone else doing better than their own mother. They love you for everything that you do and for those things which you don’t, they will still love you.
Once you realize this, you are going to ace it all without any tinge of feeling guilty at any phase during your journey. Every mother is different and so is her parenting style.
Just believe in yourself, Mama!