Parent Guilt is Real Life
Have you ever felt regretful for wanting to lounge in front of the TV all day instead of playing with your kids? Perhaps, you’d rather play with them rather than get that last deliverable for work done. Or maybe you work overnight and during the day you’re way too spent to give them any attention. ? -- Well, we have all been there and while we might feel guilty about this, the truth is, it’s just part of life and part of being a human that happens to also be a parent:).
Olivia, a mom to a 3-years-old, got a call from her daughter's daycare staff, telling her that Emma (her daughter) didn't have an appropriate winter jacket. Olivia expressed what she felt to her friend "I thought a fall jacket with a sweater underneath would be a suitable winter jacket. I was incredibly embarrassed". However, her friend's reply is what we all need to hear "Just because you're a mother doesn't mean you cease being a person."
As parents, we care, and that's why we feel guilty. When we are away from our kids, we feel guilty because we miss our kids and want to make sure they are well.. Simply put, the gift of having children is a calling to love, nurture, and care. So feeling guilty at some point is inevitable and part of life. So keep your head up and keep being the parent you should be!
Parent guilt triggers.
Many parents struggle to balance their careers, self-care and being the parents they envisioned. We feel guilty when we are working or doing things we love for missing out on time with our kids, and we feel guilty when we stay at home because we think we are not providing enough for our family.
Whether we are working or stay-at-home parents, making the most of the moments when we are spending time with our kids is one of the best ways to shake off that feeling of guilt. Moments and memories of our undivided time together pulls us through when we need to be away and can’t be there. Bear in mind a happy parent = a happy kid 😊. So take care of yourself and do what makes you happy and that will ordinarily translate to those around us, especially our kids.
-Societal Pressure; never let Social Media get to you.
When we scroll through Social Media's perfect posts, we could start feeling terrible about ourselves or who we are as parents. We see how other parents on Social Media are productive, their homes are “ideally” clean, and it appears they have the time for everything -- Self-care, quality time with their kids, work..etc. (It feels like the are able to cram 73 hours into a 24 hour day!).
Realize that Social Media is idealistic and not always realistic. It’s a platform to celebrate and elevate and so many people onSocial Media post the bright side of their reality. Hardly do we see people consistently post about their struggles, vulnerabilities and insecurities.
A Snapchat mom to two kids, Arwa, once posted a snap highlighting this fact. She said, "People message me all the time how my house is constantly so calm and tidy....well, it's not. There are many 'non-snapped' days (more than many, actually) where my house is an entire mess, and I am just too exhausted to do anything, so I let it be". Parents are not robots, after all.
Tips to cope with guilt that have worked for us. .
- Identify then watch out for the source of guilt; acknowledging and working on the source that causes this feeling is the first step toward obvious change.
- Our children are the best source of information; asking them about our decisions and what they feel is the best way to know our truth.
- Avoid comparison; comparing ourselves to other parents is like comparing their fiction to our reality. Also, comparison negates gratitude.
- We are not perfect; accepting this fact makes it simpler for us and our kids to accept their imperfections, too.
- Highlighting our success; opening our eyes to our achievements reflects the fact that we are doing better than we think.
Conclusively, the very fact that we worry about being good parents means that we already are. 😊