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Cut the Mommy Guilt!

Mommy guilt - the feeling you get when you do something logical or even feel something other than happy, thankful or patient.

From the moment the first child is born, moms start feeling the mommy guilt. I know I did. A lot of it has to do with "shoulds" and comparing myself to other moms and babies. Or I should say my perceptions of other moms and babies.

Looking back to the first month of mommy-hood - I wondered, "Were other moms feeling so overwhelmed?" "Did other moms ever look at their baby and feel at a loss rather than constantly consumed with love?" "Are other moms not enjoying breast feeding too?" Well unless you have a community of honest mom friends (which is hard to have from the start) all there is to look at is social media, advertising, and women in public.

I realize not everyone reading this is a neurotic, text book first born perfectionist. These parts of myself translated into mega mommy guilt. I didn't think other moms ever felt those feelings or ever felt anything but total gushing love over their little bundle of joy. It took me a super long time to even be honest with my mom friends about my struggles because I so desperately wanted to be like the mom on social media and on the cover of magazines. But just like the girls on the cover of other magazines, this perfect mommy does not exist.

Mommy guilt usually comes when I feel any of the following: angry, lonely, tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, bitter, or jealous. These feelings aren't great to feel - I don't think anyone enjoys them, but they are real. Everyone feels them. When I became a mom, all of a sudden I felt like I was not allowed to feel them anymore because when I did I would then feel all the guilt.

Mommy Guilt for - 
Feeling tired because some moms are more tired.
Feeling angry because some moms don't get angry at what little people do and are peaceful.
Feeling lonely because some moms have to go to work and can't stay at home to raise their kids.
Feeling frustrated or stressed about kids behavior because I just read a blog on my feed about a mom who lost her baby right after she was born.
Feeling jealous because some moms are in poverty.

I'm not saying I'm trying to wallow in these feelings (disclaimer because I'm feeling guilty for writing this post).  I am trying to teach my kids about their feelings. About how to feel everything and handle it. I'm not teaching my four year old to feel guilty for feeling things that are normal. So why should I ? Why should I feel guilty for recognizing I need a break? Or for knowing being a mom is hard. Parenting is hard. And that's okay. And instead of comparing myself to the non existent perfect mom out there who never feels anything but gentleness, patience and gushing love and is probably right now singing a beautiful nursery rhyme - I want to stop the guilt. I want to practice self care (going for a run, taking a walk, making a phone call to a good friend, getting a hair cut) .

Because maybe if I address these feelings and what's causing them instead of feeling guilty for them and stuffing them I will actually be a happier mom.


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