©2018 by primpedmommy

Mom Guilt, It's Time For A Break Up

March 6, 2019

 

Mom Guilt. Two little words that often linger in a mother’s head and cause undue suffering. If you’re a mother, and I’m going to guess if you’re reading this you certainly are (or soon-to-be), this is a feeling you’ve encountered probably more than you would like to admit. As a mother, I used to feel guilty about things I shouldn’t, like returning to work or dropping my daughter off at Nana’s house, because frankly I needed a break! As moms, we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

 

That’s why I’m encouraging you to break up with #momguilt for good. 

 

But, don’t just take my word for it. I met Linda Meier Abdelsayed, LMFT at a local wellness expo recently and we hit it off right away. While we were chatting about her business Smart Talk, one of her brochures caught my eye. In big bold letters was the phrase: MANAGING MOM GUILT. I picked it up and told Linda that mom guilt is a topic I’ve been wanting to discuss.

 

Linda graciously offered to let me interview her and dig deeper into this topic and we both had a lot to say, but I dove right in and asked the big elephant in the room question, “where does the mom guilt stigma stem from?”

“It’s becoming more and more common now as this new generation of women, that we’re a part of, become more and more dominant in multiple aspects of life.  As the generation progressed, as more women went to college and are becoming more dominant in the work force, we have taken on more and more responsibility in the household. Men are doing a good job supporting the household, but in most households the women take on the majority of the responsibilities.”

– Linda Meier Abdelsayed, LMFT. 

It goes without saying that times are shifting quickly and this new generation of motherhood has a lot of influence from the outside world. You bet I’m talking about social media. For a lot of women, social media can feel like a place of turmoil. However, it can also be a place of community and refuge. I tend to use my platforms for the latter and only follow accounts and people that make me feel happy and good about myself.

 

It took time to realize that, but when I finally did I totally took to the #konmarimethod and did a social media cleanse.  

 

Speaking of social media, I did happen to do a bit of research and the results I found were quite shocking. I wanted to see how guilty moms were feeling on social media and as of this post the hashtag #momguilt had been used 59,647 times on Instagram alone! There are tons of other hashtags also associated with mom guilt. Naturally I wanted to see how guilty dad were feeling so I searched #dadguilt, which resulted in 337 posts. To say there is a discrepancy would be seriously understated. I had to ask Linda her thoughts on this.

 

So much of our lives are curated on social media, but moms are clearly expressing their guilt more. How can we shift this difference paradigm?

“In general from my personal and professional experience regarding social media the genders are looking for different things. As women we go to social media to feel connected, heard and to express ourselves. And so, we are more vulnerable on social media. Whereas men are more conservative with those things. They tend to not want to put out those parts of their lives. I think we also need to have men empower other men about the struggles. With each generation men are becoming more open and honest with each other in private settings.”

– Linda Meier Abdelsayed, LMFT. 

 

Being a parent is hard work! Work. Another topic that is often at the forefront of my mind. I am a working mom, and if you’re a stay-at-home mom so are you! In my opinion, stay-at-home moms have the toughest job. Which is why I wanted to pick Linda’s brain on what advice she would give to SAHM who experience mommy guilt. 

“I would say in general that when the child turns 1 there should be some sort of social interactions that happen. When my twins turned 1, we started daycare 2 days a week for language and physical development. There’s all this research that shows that’s a good thing to do. And so, then I also automatically got 2 days off. Using those 1 or 2 days a week for YOURSELF. Don’t use it to clean or cook or do anything around the house. Use that time to do fun things, like meeting up with old friends who might be a little further away and you can drive in peace and listen to the music you like to listen to. Do things that make you feel like an adult.”

– Linda Meier Abdelsayed, LMFT. 

As a mom with a full-time job and several side gigs, with a toddler in full-time day care, my husband and I have a pact. Every Wednesday is my “mom free” night. He is in charge 100% of kid duty. This gives him quality time with our daughter and me a night to do whatever I want to do. Usually it’s writing blog posts from a local cafe, but sometimes I sneak in a dinner with a girl friend or even a much needed massage. Whatever it is, we both get the quality time that we need. 

 

Before my interview with Linda wrapped up, I wanted to get one last question answered. I wanted to know if she were to give just one piece of advice to moms what would it be?

“Don’t compare yourself to anybody. Only compare yourself to yourself, whenever ago. A month ago, three months ago, a year ago. Don’t go comparing yourself to others. We tend to compare ourselves to people we believe are doing better. Very few times are we looking at people who are doing worse and comparing ourselves to that. Especially in those moments of weakness, we’re looking at those people [that] are thriving.”

– Linda Meier Abdelsayed, LMFT. 

 

 

 

I know this is something we can all relate to on some level.

I’ve had those nagging thoughts of wishing I could be more like somebody else, or if only I had what they had. 

 

Comparing will destroy your happiness.

 

Change your perspective and be happy and thankful for the many blessings you have in your life, as small as you think they may seem. 

 

Moms. Dads. Parents. Guardians. Can we all agree to break up with the guilt and shame of parenthood? Our kids love us unconditionally and we love our kids unconditionally. Let’s try to love ourselves the way our children do and not fall into this trap of guilt any longer. If you needed a reminder, you’re doing a great job and everything is going to be okay. 

 

If you are a mom struggling with mom guilt, work-life balance or with your relationship please reach out for professional help. You may connect with Linda through video and telephone calls at www.smarttalktherapy.com or via email at linda@smarttalktherapy.com. 

 

 

 

 

*This post was originally published on OCMB on March 5, 2019

Please reload

Our Recent Posts

Please reload

Archive

Please reload

Tags