Guilt – Every Mom’s Biggest Rival
Do you know a Mom who has never suffered from guilt or who is not constantly challenged by guilt? I would be glad to identify even one and, I honestly feel there are literally none. From the day of conceiving till the day your little one transforms into a grown up or may be much older, someone is always with you, and no, it's not your better half but the huge emotion called ‘Guilt’, how I wish it was the other way round. Whether you are a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) or a WM (Working Mom) or today’s WFHM (Working from Home Mom) thanks to the pandemic, you are always running away from guilt or submitting to it or finding out ways to deal with it and killing yourself in the whole process.
A Working Mom’s constant guilt is that she is not able to give her entire time to her child and is judged by the society for leaving the kid behind while going to work by letting a helper take care of the child or dropping the little one at a day care. A SAHM’s guilt is that she couldn’t do much with her career and is busy with household chores not being able to give her entire time to her kid or spending her complete time with her baby leaving no time for herself or her likes and sacrificing her independence.
In any case, the Mom catches herself guilty. So, let’s have a look at what can be done to balance both sides and overcome guilt.
Key to being Guilt-free:
- Timetable: Chalk out a schedule for yourself and your kid. Yes, following a routine not only makes you organized but also imbibes discipline in your child and makes her aware of her daily activities. The child here, also feels confident as she knows in advance the next thing to do in the list. Whether you are a WM or a SAHM, plan out your kids’ activities and some of them may require little or none of your attention like colouring, blocks, puzzles, picture books, etc., throughout the day so that she is not bored even when you are busy. It takes some practice, but the kid gets used to it. Believe me, they are more understanding and adjusting than us, adults.
- Quality Time: Try to carve 1 hour a day to spend quality time with your kid. It should be composed of only you and your kid. Get involved in whatever she likes – be it her favourite game or drawing or pretend play or anything she chooses. Your child needs that 1 hour of your undivided attention daily where she knows that she will be heard, cared, and loved by you. You will see your child waiting for that one specific hour. This way you would also feel satisfied having spent some quality time with your kid. In my perspective, quality time is more important than quantity time because when you give more hours but are passive with the kid, it's like just being there physically but not involved mentally.
- Seek help: Don’t shy away from seeking help, whether you ask your family for help or hire help from outside. You should do as much as you can and if you do more than that, you will find yourself exhausted, and it may disperse as anger for your child. If the mother is happy, the child will also interpret happiness as a child is the mother’s shadow, at least in the initial phase.
- Me Time: Carve out at least 30 minutes of time just for yourself in a day. Exercise, or sing or dance or paint or walk or meditate. Do whatever you like but that time should be for being yourself. This way your mind would work better the rest of the day.
Remember that nothing is impossible for a Mom. Think of your child as your strength, not your weakness. However, please do not try to be a super Mom doing everything. Distribute work between family members and helpers even if you need to be explicit about it multiple times. Do as much as you can, I repeat.
I have seen a Doctor Mom working long shifts in hospital including Saturdays and spending quality time with her kid on Sundays and whenever she is free. She is not being selfish; she has made her arrangements for the kid and does whatever works for them. The kid is one of the most well-behaved children I have met. On the other hand, I know a Mom who was in a leadership position but quit her rewarding career and chose to spend time with her kid. That is also great because it works for them. Now, she is an entrepreneur and is doing well balancing her business and her kid. I know a Mom who is a domestic helper and as her husband doesn’t support her, she brings her child along to work who patiently or sometimes impatiently sits and waits for her Mom to wrap up the work. She thoroughly adores her Mom. All I am trying to say here is that do whatever works best for you and your child. Do not kill yourself in guilt. You are the best for your kid.
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Anuja Dash is a Business Manager by profession. She was also a 24*7 stay at home Mom to her toddler taking a 3 year long career break which gave her new experiences and moulded her to be a strong woman. She is passionate about writing and pours her mind at anuja-dash.blogspot.in. Her creative side makes her a fashion designer as well and she runs her unique clothing brand by the name BYou Wear.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store