I’m carrying this mommy guilt with me ever since Kai was around two years old. Despite being a work-at-home mom who gets to be with his son 24/7, somehow I feel I’m not doing enough. Juggling multiple online gigs, I feel like I spend most of my time glued to the computer screen. If not, I tend to the house chores and during my itty bitty spare time, I go to my journaling and crafting. But where does Kai really fit into my schedule?
Yes, I’m the one who mostly takes care of his needs but that’s what a mother is supposed to do, right? But to me, it feels more like a routine and I needed something more to happen. I want to be really involved and not just talk to him when he asks me to all the while my eyes are still on the computer or laptop. But the truth is, I never really figured out how to be really involved. The only time I’m 100% with him is during naptimes and bedtimes as well as 20 minutes of rough play and goofing around. Sometimes, we take a walk at the park for a good one hour and take him to his favorite spot to see insects like ladybugs, butterflies, and grasshoppers.
A lot of moms can’t help but be overwhelmed by the mommy guilt.
Despite that, my boy still seeks for my attention. He tells me he wants to play using his begging voice. I, on the other hand, wouldn’t want to be bothered especially since I need to get things done at work, on top of making sure my family gets to eat or the house is – at least – a bit cleaner. I then feel a pang of mommy guilt after ignoring him. So there are times that I spend a lot of time with him to make it up to him. Still, as a parent, you tend to think about whether or not you’re giving enough time.
I belong to this group of planner moms on Facebook called Mama Planneristas PH. It’s a community of mothers who all have on thing in common – being planner addicts. I joined the group in March and I can say it is a great place where kind mothers who don’t judge build each other up. Besides sharing their gorgeous planner spreads and photos of awesome art supplies, these moms also share stories and advice about motherhood.
I just needed some encouragement that time because I’ve been feeling this way for two years. And I did get plenty of advice from moms that I would like to share with any parent who feels as if doing everything is not enough.
Some thoughts to lift you up…
- Cliche as it may seem but your presence makes a big difference. If you’re a SAHM/WAHM, your kid is luckier than most because he or she gets to see you all the time despite having your hands full.
- SAHM/WAHMS, make yourselves feel better from the mommy guilt by telling yourself that they see you all the time. Whenever your kid needs you, you are within arms reach.
- If you’re a working mom, being around your child is more than enough. It’s not about how long you’ve spent time with your child – it’s about the way you spend time with him or her (or them).
Suggestions on how to deal with the mommy guilt…
- Don’t beat yourself up. It’s normal for a parent to feel inadequate, to have worries, and to feel guilty about different things. Accept the fact that these emotions exist but don’t let it get to you. Think about preparing food for your family, cleaning the house, wiping your child’s bum, giving him a bath, preparing his milk, preparing his bed, telling him stories, giving him/her hugs and kisses every day – these are all simple tasks to remind you that yes, you’re doing an awesome job.
2. If you feel you’re overworked, take a break sometimes. Even 15 minutes of break and using those minutes to stroke your child’s hair, cuddle, and goof around is enough.
3. Spice things up by letting your child engage in fun activities. Here are some suggestions for you
4. Afternoons are the best time to spend with your child. Kai and I would go to the park or just walk around the village every other day. Maybe you can do that as well
5. Get your child involved in your tasks at home. Check out this list of age-appropriate chores for your kids. I got this suggestion from a fellow Mama Plannerista, who said to let your kid join in whenever you clean. Make that moment fun for both of you. Loosen up a bit on those chores and let your kid help out. It’s a win-win. You get to have a helper and he or she gets to have fun. Both of you are bonding over chores.
Remember that every moment that you are there doing all you can to take care of your kids is more than enough. You may not be like other moms out there who have all the time to goof around with kids, or that super-organized mom who, after keeping the house in tip-top shape, still has time to get her kids engaged in fun educational activities, but you are you. You are the mom your child wants to be with. The littlest thing you do to show your love and care can be the biggest thing for them. Hugs, momma! You’re doing awesome!