Are you a mother who experiences frequent mom guilt? I would like to shed some light on why this might be....
Many moms tell us they're abandoning themselves for the sake of their children. In our society, the more we do for our kids, the more positively we're judged (by ourselves and others).
The more we do for ourselves, the more negatively we’re judged (by ourselves and others). So we push ourselves to the limit, feel burnt out and aren't very happy people to be around.
We are taught that good moms sacrifice.
Many moms we meet in therapy feel really good about overriding their own needs at times. It is almost confirmation for them that they are good enough. I have fallen into this mental trap myself.
I hear from moms all the time who tell me the mom guilt is their own fault. Their partners don’t make them feel bad, it’s within themselves. In reality, when we take a step back we must realize we're not actually to blame. Society has a deeply ingrained set of unwritten rules of what a “good mom” is and so when we feel like we aren’t meeting them, we're overwhelmed with guilt and feel like we're failing our kids.
As a result, when we take time for ourselves, we judge ourselves incredibly harshly. And when we see other women pursuing their dreams, meeting their own needs, taking a damn break, we can judge them incredibly critically too. Between being consumed by the mom guilt and the fear of this judgement by others, we never get a break, but this is not serving us, our kids, or our families.
We can rewrite these rules.
Moms can be great parents and take care of themselves, have their own goals, meet their own needs. Kids need happy and healthy mothers who are fulfilled and able to give them attention and the gift of their presence.
"It is only when we give ourselves permission to pursue happiness, in whatever way it means to us, that we can extend that generosity to others. That is unconditional love. And we can only give it to others when we’ve learned how to give it to ourselves."
- Galina Singer
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