shine or set

a lifestyle blog

Mom Guilt

It's 6:30 PM and Jaxin just went down for bed. I tidy up a bit upstairs before I head down to the living room to sit for a few minutes before I start on dinner. Truthfully, I tend to feel a tinge of guilt after I tuck him in for the night. I pose all these questions.
"Did I do enough?"
"Did we do enough activities?"
"Did I talk to him enough?"
"Were his meals nutritional enough?"
The common word being E N O U G H (it starts to look funky when you've spelled it out a few times).
I am okay at not comparing my mothering or my child to what I see on social media. I definitely get myself worked up sometimes. Like on IG stories, I see a kid eating salmon when the only way I can get Jax to eat protein is if it's breaded and doused in ketchup. Hell, I don't like salmon - how is my toddler supposed to? Or I see a picture of a mom with their baby at the aquarium. It looks like a fun and teachable moment, but I know Jax could care less about fish in a tank at this stage. There goes $50 that we can't afford.
Don't get me started on worrying/comparing developmental milestones. That's a whole other post.
I don't even think it's social media is the main cause of me questioning if I'm doing enough. It's more about the expectations I place on myself. It's about how I think things should be - what I imagined them to be before I became a mother. I imagined every day being filled with arts and crafts, play dates, balanced meals, reading books, and cuddles. Some days slightly resemble this "perfect" motherhood. Most days don't.
There are days I stay in my pajamas and Jax roams around in just a diaper. There are days I'm on my phone too much. There are days I use the TV as a babysitter. There are days when I give Jax cereal and string cheese for dinner because I just don't want to put up a fight. There are days I'm too focused on getting the house clean that I can't enjoy anything until it's done.
I'm not proud of these days. In fact, I had a major meltdown last night in front of my husband. I got so freaked about the "screen time" thing that it made me sick to my stomach. I tore myself to shreds, cried, and it carried into an unsuccessful night of restful sleep.
I think as moms we will always feel a sense of guilt. I think it simply means we care. Sure, there are things we could all improve on. BUT - it's important to remember we're not perfect. Not every day will go according to plan. We will probably always question ourselves. Self-reflection is helpful, but learn from it and do better - don't let it destroy you.
Also, try to use the word "enough" less. Change the questions you ask yourself.
"What did I do well?"
"What activities did we do?"
 "What words did I try to teach?"
 "What foods did he try?"
Changing the way you look at things can really help - not just as a mother, but in life. Give yourself more credit. We are all doing the best we can - most days.

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