Let's Talk about Mom Guilt
By Ruchi Dhami
Before we became moms, we often felt pulled in a hundred different directions — work, family, friends, self-care, events, date night, etc. The FOMO was real when we couldn’t make it all work. But then, we became moms. The laundry list of things to do and places to be grew exponentially, and that FOMO manifested into something deeper: mom guilt.
Mom guilt is that gnawing feeling of anxiety when you feel like you’re falling short in one or several areas of your life, particularly relating to parenting. You might feel it as you leave for work in the morning and your little one whimpers “mama” as you walk out the door. Or, you might feel it when you and your partner spend a rare night catching dinner just the two of you. Here at Milx, we’ve felt those pangs of guilt while we try to juggle working, mom-ing, and general life-ing, and it’s challenging to put those stressful feelings aside. So, we asked our co-founders: what triggers mom guilt for you, and more importantly, what do you do to mitigate those feelings?
Melanie: Mom guilt definitely creeps up on me when I feel like my son notices me responding to work e-mails or texts from friends and family. I try my best to keep my devices out of sight during our time together, but sometimes it’s just not possible. To quell those feelings, I explain to him what sort of information I’m exchanging with others and remind myself: “I’m showing my son that women can be loving mothers as well as dedicated members of the workforce, loyal friends, and supportive family members.”
Jess: Doing things for myself that takes time away from my family, like working out on the weekend, is when I feel mom guilt the most. But carving time out for myself helps me feel better and makes me healthier. And, I get to talk to my kids about how I’m going “to get strong” and how exercise is good for me, which hopefully teaches them that balance is important. By showing them that I take my health seriously and respect my body, I hope that I instill those same values in my girls.
Marisa: I’m the type of person who has always dedicated fully to whatever I do, so when I’m at work, I’m laser focused. Since becoming a mom, I feel mom guilt when I’m away from my kids so much during the workweek. I think I mitigate those feelings of mom guilt by giving 120% when I get home and completely focusing all my energy on my kids, and more importantly, forgiving myself for being away from them during work hours.
As moms, we all are susceptible to experiencing that “I-should’ve-done-this-instead,” “I-can’t-believe-I-missed-that” keeps-you-up-at-night monologue of guilt. But, at the end of the day, we can sleep soundly knowing that we’ve done our best — for ourselves and for our kids. And if you need a little reminder on how amazing you are, check out our 2020 Milx Manifesto for positive affirmations -- you've got this, rockstar mama!
Milx mamas: we want to hear from you! What are some of the strategies that you use to mitigate mom guilt? Share them with our community!