The curse of the mom-guilt

It's hard enough being a parent than having to deal with all the guilt that comes attached with it. Why is it that I automatically feel guilty about anything I do only for myself since I became a mother? The degrees may vary, but every parent feels it. Especially those who cannot spend enough time with their kids due to work or other factors. But even the littlest things can trigger guilt in me. I stay at home and am there with Little Dude all day, but that doesn't stop me from constantly questioning myself. Am I giving him enough attention? Should I play with him all day or let him play independently? Are we doing enough productive/creative/skill-building activities? Most of the time I end up feel guilty for doing it 'wrong', as I convince myself.

The mom-guilt factor is probably a gift from Mother Nature to ensure that we will always place our child's well-being before our own. But something must be wrong when one feels guilty for silly things, like I do. Spending any amount of time by myself is a very hard thing for me. I can't even take a nap without wondering what I should really be doing. Or has the guilt been compounded by the images of 'perfect parenting' we see across social media (read 'Parenting in the age of Pinterest')? Since we have access to so much information about how others are raising their kids (like this blog, ironically!), we end up feeling guilty about every little thing. I mean, it's okay if you haven't potty trained your toddler yet. Or given your kids a sugary breakfast. Right?

I also think that this has something to do with being a first-time mom. Since you're the only one around, you are the caregiver-cum-playmate-cum-entertainer. With subsequent kids, I imagine, there's less to worry about and feel guilty as they'll at least play with each other.

I haven't figured out how to avoid the curse of the guilt, but when I see my happy kiddo, I know I must be doing something right.

This post has been linked to The Prompt.

(Pic: Happy Boy And Mum by Peter Griffin)
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Unknown said...

You hit the nail on the head right there, as long as little dude is happy and healthy, you're a good parent. I understand the guilt totally, I sneak off occasionally to do the food shopping by myself, and I'll be trying to enjoy the five minutes peace and quiet while I decide what to have for tea, but before too long I'm grabbing the first thing I can find so I can get back home and get rid of the guilt I feel for wanting five minutes peace and quiet.

Tarana Khan said...

Thanks for stopping by! The only time I 'allow' myself a good cup of tea is when he's napping! Otherwise I just gulp it down...

mumturnedmom said...

I think we're all too hard on ourselves - your last sentence is key - if your child is happy and secure, you're doing a good job. Attempting to be 'perfect' (whatever that is!) doesn't make you a better parent, and the guilt at not succeeding isn't worthwhile. I think there has to be a difference between being a concerned parent and a guilty parent. Thank you so much for linking up to #ThePrompt xx

Tarana Khan said...

I agree with you about differentiating between being a concerned and a guilt-ridden parent. We can't let it get the better of us!

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