Ditching the Mommy Guilt


A mom holding her baby.Mommy guilt is a very real thing. It begins as soon as we welcome our little angels into the world. Unfortunately, it tends to lay dormant and rear its ugly head at the worst times. Sadly, it never completely goes away.

Everyone defines it in their own way according to their own situations. In my opinion, I look at it as our other half; regardless of whether we are mothers or not, we are women first. I feel like the two become immediately entangled when we have children.

We subconsciously switch our female roles and become mothers first and women second. Motherhood is an identity. It’s what sets us apart from women who do not have children. Whether we like it or not, we are constantly mingling internally, and instead of finding a balance between the two, we may favor the mother and not the woman.

We adore our children. They are an extension of us, and their happiness is the most important thing in the world. However, there is much to unpack regarding finding and keeping our “pre-motherhood” identity.

Before our kids, we didn’t have any maternal obligations. Instead, we might have had a pet or a partner, and we would divvy up the time between that and fulfilling our own needs. Some of us had neither and only relied on ourselves for entertainment and self-gratification. The only person we needed to take care of and worry about was ourselves. It was a completely different world where bedtimes and school drop-offs didn’t exist. We carved out schedules for ourselves on our own accord and moved through life effortlessly.

Eventually, we settled down and started a family regardless of marital status. Nowadays, we have the luxury of having babies without a partner. These times are exciting and diverse because maternal fulfillment can be easily achieved solo. However, when we commit to having a child, it goes without saying that life will change and never be the same again.

It is no longer your own. You find yourself sharing your time with this beautiful human being you unconditionally love, yet somewhere along the way, you begin to feel a little lost or resentful. In this woman versus mother debacle, there is no room for selfishness, but there are some things that will always live within us that we want to give all our attention to, such as alone time – in other words, self-care. This is crucial for a healthy relationship not only with our partner but with our children as well.

As moms, we need time every now and then to do what we want without any interference. Take working out or a mani/pedi for example, these things are also forms of self-care and the opportunities seem to seldom present themselves. It’s hard to get out of the house and take care of ourselves, and in doing so, we may feel guilty and either rush back from our desired location or not go at all!

I’m all too familiar with this, but I found nothing wrong with occasionally venturing to clear my head. We all need that sometimes. You know the drill: when you’re about to leave the house solo – your kiddo stares at you with sad puppy eyes. Before you know it, you’re waving the white flag and settling it into the car or altogether rescheduling your personal day for another to spend time with your little one.

Spending some time alone is necessary to stay in touch with who you are as a person. A healthy balance is needed between yourself and your family. Not only will it fulfill you, but I feel like it is needed to check in with yourself and get in touch with what makes you happy. It’s great to be around family, and of course, that is the most fulfilling thing of all, but losing touch with the little things that complete you is a sure way to become detached and maybe even a little lonely.

Having the best of both worlds is possible without mommy guilt. It may take a little practice, but try to remind yourself that it is not a crime to enjoy your own company and grab a coffee on a Sunday afternoon by yourself or with a friend. Pouring into yourself and not stressing will replenish you and will most likely give you a new perspective the next time you return home to your kids.

You will be eager to want to spend time hearing about their day and what they did while you were out and about. Catching up on each other’s time spent apart is a great way to reconnect and introduce a new bonding experience now that a new (healthy) routine has been established.

Personal space is a part of any healthy relationship, and keep in mind that the next time you feel a bout of guilt before leaving the house, there will come a day when your little ones will be begging you to drop them off around the corner from school. Go easy on yourself and enjoy every minute without taking yourself or your time for granted.


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