Dealing with the Mom-Guilt
Hi! For 30 years I have introduced myself as Sanya Hariyani, for the last decade-nearly I have introduced myself as Sanya Hariyani, an early childhood educator and entrepreneur and for the last 11 months I have most often added Mom-to-Baby-D in my introduction! Oh, this takes such a big place (not just in my heart, in a motherly way) but in my brain and my life and my time and of course in my sleep (and food and lifestyle and what not!) And after it taking alllllll this mental-space and other space, I still feel the famous “mommy-guilt”. So I thought, let’s address it.
Flashback to the last 2 days of pregnancy and my best friend who lives abroad, (also a mommy of 2) sent me a message saying, “Be calm and don’t be shocked at what all uncomfortable things they do to you in the labor room and yeah, be prepared for a lifetime of guilt”. And voila! It’s come true!
Son has a fever, I am guilty of something – not checking the temperature of the water, not using cotton in the park, not listening to the zillion aunties who told me not to go for walks during December, and what not!
And of course, the famous mommy guilt around do I work or work-from-home or enterprise or be a stay-at-home-mom. And trust me mommies, whatever we choose we’re still guilty. About either giving the little ones too much time/attention/dependency or then too little. Now, why do we moms carry this mountain of guilt on us? While I don’t have an answer to that, but I am making an attempt to highlight some things that help me!
- Accept Mom-guilt. It’s kinda stubborn like the hormonal imbalance causing morning sickness during pregnancy or post-partum hair fall. The more you think about it, the more it increases
- Mom-Guilt is only for Moms. Dad’s experience something different, and I haven’t coined a term for it yet. (It most just covers doing fun activities and taking away the most-liked-parent award)
- Mommy-guilt is inversely proportional to the age of the child (or so I am hoping). Younger the child, higher the guilt… about anything and everything, so as children grow older, we’ll be better at this Mommy-ing business.
- Mom-guilt and comparing other moms. Most commonly heard, “I never have fun activities to do with kids!” This is for real and the only way you can overcome this is to find a fixed quality time slot with your Minnie.
- Mom-guilt and food have a deep correlation. Child’s not eating, not eating enough, not liking what she’s eating or eating-not-so-healthy, all leads to an immediate increase in mom-guilt. But remember you offer them what to eat, they choose how much to eat!
Lastly and most importantly, Mom-guilt is not helping you! So yes, everything said and done, brace yourself & keep telling yourself, I am being the best version of myself and every baby has the best mommy, just like my baby has me!
Trust me the only way we’re getting through this mommy-hood Jurassic park ride is when we are nice to ourselves, supporting each other, and enjoying those naughty grins and tight hugs.
Be proud to be a Mommy, who’s feeling guilty but knows how to keep herself positive!