5 Tips to Push Back Mom Guilt and Become a Happier Mama!

How to deal with mom guilt in the age of social media and “keeping up with the Jones'”

As cold weather comes, and the TV has been on WAY more than I care to admit, mom guilt has definitely set in!

(P.S. Prepare for some super real life shots of my mom guilt! I hope you can relate!)

Like most people, when I was pregnant with my son, I swore we’d have hardly any screen time (cue laughing from other mamas). I wanted to spend EVERY WAKING MOMENT with him, and cherish him, blah blah blah!

However, I’ve found that sometimes it’s just not possible. Having one child is a little easier to not get burnt out, but now that I have three three and under, sometimes I just need to have my coffee and breakfast in the morning in peace. And that might mean that a show comes on for my kids for half an hour or so. Or maybe everyone is being crazy so I leave it on longer!

Then comes mom guilt – you know, you see some other child who knows their entire alphabet, can count super high, and knows tons of songs and your kid is sitting there on their 3rd episode of Blippy (actually Blippy is great for colors and counting now that I think of it!)

You wonder if you are letting your child down, not doing enough for them, not setting them up for success. You find it difficult to balance staying sane with “me time” but also having enough time and patience with your child. You feel guilty about ever leaving them, or taking a break!

I get it mama, I’ve been there! But I just think about these 5 things, and it tends to really help put things in perspective.

mom guilt over kids watching too much TV
A guilt most moms are familiar with – feeling like their kids are watching too much TV! BUT this mama needs her peace in the morning to drink coffee and start the day off right!

Why do we get mom guilt?

There are SO many reasons in this day and age! I could do this all day! This probably doesn’t help get rid of mom guilt, but I want other mamas to know that it’s so normal in this day and agP{e of social media perfection and study after study saying basically EVERYTHING is unhealthy and bad for you to leave you feeling inadequate!

It starts from the moment their born!

 Perhaps you had an emergency, and couldn’t get the natural birth you wanted and so feel like you might have messed them up for life because you didn’t have immediate skin to skin. You may have had to feed them formula because you couldn’t produce enough milk and you were deadest on breastfeeding.. Perhaps you had to go back to work or school and leave them with someone, and are scared that your baby will attach to the daycare lady more than you. Perhaps your child slept awful and you were about to lose your freaking mind so you had to do a LITTLE bit of sleep training so that you could get one good night of sleep. Maybe you have multiple children and feel like it’s not fair that they don’t get as much as attention as they should.

See also
11 Tips to Live on One Income (and not feel deprived!)

These are all things that I have felt!

How to get rid of mom guilt through positive thinking

When all these negative thoughts start to come up, just remember that it’s very likely that you tried your best! You have done everything with the best intentions, and your child can feel the love no matter what! Here are some things to keep in mind to keep the negatives at bay

Little known fact – I get mom guilt even from having this website sometimes!

I think some people, or maybe it’s just me judging myself, see this domain name and expect me to have awesome cool outdoor activities going on ALL the time!

If you were to look at my instagram, you might think that is all I do! I purposely, like most people, use Instagram as a highlight reel and ONLY post outdoor pictures!

However, I want to be more real on my website. I do not go out all the time, I do have the TV on for hours if the kids are sick and the weather is too cold (I should embrace the cold blah blah… I know) and that is OK!

It can be intimidating seeing all the amazing stuff other people are doing (for me, other outdoor families and their websites that only include awesome outdoor stuff with their kids) and think that you are only sub par!

That’s why I try to keep these 5 things in mind with those negative thoughts come up!

The kids love to chill and watch Moana – but this isn’t what you’ll see on my Instagram, because the whole no screen time AT ALL before 2 thing that the American Academy of Pediatrics put out….. and the judgment that would follow because of that!
What is actually on my Instagram because I feel like I need to be as outdoorsy as all the other “outdoor families”.

Think of the positives for your child in the long run

Don’t get stuck in the short term!

If you have to feed your baby formula, then think of how easy it will be to allow others to help feed the baby and also experience that special bonding time! Not only that, but supplementing or using formula entirely can make you a lot less stressed since you won’t have to worry about your supply or what you’re eating! (I’m all for the breast is best, but I also want to acknowledge that some people cannot breastfeed or choose not to do to health reasons, and they too should feel happy with their feeding choices!)

If you have to go back to work, think of how the money you’re providing can help your family do awesome stuff together later on! You are building a foundation for the rest of their lives!

If hiking is your thing (I love it!) a solo hike can help both your physical and mental health, and help you get in better shape to hang out with your kids!

If yoga is your thing, then just think of how beneficial it is for your health! When you feel clear and painless, it definitely allows you to be a more patient and happy mama!

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why moms need to stop mom guilt
The craziness anytime a mama tries to go to the bathroom! Sometimes you need to refresh to be OK with this!

Think of how your child is being taught responsibility

I know we’ve both seen those articles saying “I held you instead” when talking about doing chores. And while that may work for some people, for others having a gross kitchen and messy house may make stress worse than actually just doing it!

This isn’t knocking anyone who does choose to cuddle – I know I definitely had some days where I came home from work and said screw the chores!

However, when your child sees you doing things like dishes, picking up and cleaning it teaches them to take care of your work first, then you can play!

In fact, you might even get lucky and have a kid who wants to help! I know my preschooler loves “doing the dishes” with me, and it’s kind of motivating to get them done when I know he wants to do it too!

Related: Check out how to clean your kitchen in 20 minutes (even if you hate it!)

how to clean the kitchen quick, let the kids help
I got lucky and my guy loves to help with the dishes. It might take longer, but it makes me happy that he is learning to do work before play! Maybe I could learn from him… because I HATE cleaning the kitchen!

Think of how your child is seeing you as a hard worker

While I am now a stay at home mom, I know some KICK BUTT parents who work their tails off to provide for their family!

My husband is one of them – he is always trying to work over time, often working 14 hour days in order for us to enjoy the sweet stuff in life when possible! My son knows that because his papa works hard, we are able to get yummy food and go out to town and have some fun!

I also know a relative who had an awful sickness that used to make her bedridden for days, however, she has started to heal herself and is now teaching others how to do it too! This woman goes to all of her kids meets and drops them off at tons of classes, all while building a booming business and managing to keep herself healthy enough! I have no idea how she has the energy or the patience (she is a SAINT!) but her kids know how much she does, and what she must go through every day with her health issues, and can see how hard she is working!

Kids aren’t oblivious, and they can often understand that being able to buy things takes money, and that is earned through hard work!

If you are gone often for work, just know your child probably thinks you are amazing!

mom guilt about chores
My hardworking husband in action! While it would be WAY easier to just make the house warmer at the touch of a button, he cuts down, splits, and stacks a whole winters worth of wood to save a ton of money for us! Besides, it’s a fun way to get the kids involved in chores and have some family time!

Think of how time away makes you a better mom

This is one alot of moms struggle with – I personally try to avoid leaving the kids for any amount of time, because I feel bad that someone else will have to watch them. I especially hate leaving during rough times such as naps or bedtime, because I know how difficult that can be, and I don’t want the kids to have to deal with change or stress due to a different schedule.

See also
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Related: Find out the most lightweight, powerful and portable breast pump that goes anywhere you go for some much needed break time!

However, my husband is amazing at letting me take time away. didn’t always accept it, but slowly started to go to morning coffee and work sessions (on this blog) and it felt wonderful to be undisturbed for hours! In fact, for the first time last week, I went to one of those “Paint N Sip” things at night by myself. And it. Was. AMAZING!.

While I was worried that the kids would freak out, I also learned to trust that my husband (and anyone else who would volunteer to help such as parents) would make it work and the kids would not be scarred for life by one night!

It actually went a lot better than expected – he texted me about 5 minutes after their bedtime to tell me that the kids were all asleep, and to take my time!

I came away from that event feeling renewed! I got to have solo time that didn’t involve needing to take care of anyone, be pulled on, or be responsible for wiping butts and noses!

It made me WAY more patient, and brought me back down when I felt like everything was coo coo!

Whether it’s taking a solo hike, attending an art class, going to yoga, or just a morning coffee alone, time away from the kids can help you decompress and come back a happier mama!

me time important for moms
Me in the middle getting some amazing me time at a local Brushes and Brews Event!

Do you have any tips, books, or ideas on how to help battle mom guilt?

Mom guilt is something we all deal with! Whether it’s about working, cleaning, making different choices than you had planned or just needing time away, we are WAY too harsh on ourselves!

Let me know what you do to help with your mom guilt!

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