How to Handle Mom (and Dad) Guilt
We experience a lot of emotions the moment we step into the parenting wagon. There are times when we become angry, happy, wanting to cry, excited, pressured, afraid and most of the time… tired. Our efforts are focused on multi-tasking and making sure everything is done and put into place.
But, among the common emotions parents feel is the guilt of not having done everything right. Oftentimes, we feel guilty whenever we leave our children to go to work. We feel guilty when we did not bring an extra diaper or shirt. We feel guilty when we are not able to keep up with the kid’s schedule.
There are many reasons parents may start to feel guilty. One is because they think that they are not efficient enough to fulfill every task. Two is due to the high standards they set on themselves. And three are the standards other people set that they think they need to achieve.
But, is it necessary to feel guilty? When guilt happens, what should a parent do? Here are some tips on how you can effectively handle your parenting guilt:
- Identify your guilt and evaluate where it is coming from. Don’t just accept guilt as it is and sulk in the corner being too hard on yourself. Instead, know where the guilt is coming from and evaluate the reasons why you are feeling guilty.
- Resolve the problem. If you have identified a problem (hence your guilt), try to find solutions for these issues. This could be putting some distance between yourself and a parent that makes you feel like you’re doing a bad job, or putting down the parenting books that require you to clone yourself 1,000 times to accomplish everything. Learn from the mistakes you did and look for ways on how to alter your errors.
- Make amends. Find the time to make amends with your children. If you fail to attend a school event or a doctor’s appointment, make sure to make amends the soonest possible. For instance, take them for a day out, or make sure you are in the next appointment or for the next event in a big way.
- Accept and forgive yourself. It may sound easy but it is not always as it seem when it is your turn to do it. Still, accepting your mistakes and forgiving yourself can create a breakthrough in your life. Acknowledge the errors that you made and learn to be easy on yourself. Accept your limitations.
- Learn and start a new. It is never too late to start fresh. In fact, everyday can be a fresh start for us parents. If we failed or made mistakes yesterday, we can learn from those mistakes and try to start new lifestyle applying what we have learned, today.