Do you go through mom’s guilt when your child falls sick or an accident occurs? Do you feel guilty about returning to work after childbirth? If you are going through all these, then you are in a phase where most moms were or are in. Mom’s guilt is normal and it’s perfectly fine if you are going through this psychological phase. I must say you are not alone.
Being a first-time mom can be emotionally draining, postpartum depression is common and when you have not completely dealt with it, comes with the mom’s guilt.
Let me share a personal story here to help you co-relate. My daughter was eight months old and I was taking care as usual as a first-time mother should. That was the first time she was ever rushed to the hospital for an emergency. She had severe indigestion and was throwing up whatever goes into her stomach.
The reason why I felt bad is my child is in pain, and next, I am her mother and it is my responsibility to keep her in good health. The doctor said that it is all because of some food poisoning. So all fingers were triggered towards me that I must have fed something to my child unknowingly, which has caused the problem.
I was just 27, by then, where do I know what exactly to feed my child and how. We all go through tests and trail and sometimes it may go wrong.
Just as you, I was also not able to overcome my mom’s guilt. I was constantly under this psychological pressure that I am the reason for my child’s bad health. And just as you can understand, even your near ones will leave your side at that time.
The most common reasons for mom's guilt
So, just as my story there are many mothers out there who feel the same, and here is the most common reason for which you may feel bad.
Mom's guilt for stay at home moms
Not every time it is working mothers who go through mom’s guilt, but stay at home moms also goes through the pretty same thing. You could constantly feel like a bad mother to my newborn. This can be a result of being unable to lactate, unable to calm a newborn, etc. These symptoms are more commonplace for first-time mothers and it mostly stays during the first few years of their motherhood.
Guilt after injury
There is hardly any mother who can keep away from this. If a child gets injured, moms are held responsible by family members or by herself for the injury. The situation can be worse if the injury is deep and long-lasting. However, in the worst scenarios, it creates a psychological impact on the mother. Moms constantly think, “this happened due to me, I am the reason for my child’s sudden accident,” and so on.
Mom's guilt while going back to work
A woman chooses her life before and after being a mother and she has all the right to do so. Mostly, moms going back to work after childbirth go through severe mom’s guilt that can be a result of several reasons. For some, the family plays foul as they decide to go back to work. The family members instead of supporting her, holds her back by saying how can she leave such a young child back at home?
For some, they are constantly cursing themselves for not being able to breastfeed their child during the time they are at the office. And some think they are missing out on the special time, which otherwise they could have spent with the newborn.
A guilt for not being able to breastfeed her child
Just like being a mother is not completely in our hands, similarly, lactation is also not in our hands. However, we want to breastfeed our child or not that is completely our decision. Mostly moms with low breast milk supply constantly go through a difficult phase where she thinks she is incapable of being a mother.
How to overcome mom's guilt?
Being a mother myself, I admit that mom’s guilt is real and it is common with most first time mothers. But constant grieving can bring in anxiety and depression. Here is how I have dealt with mom’s guilt and this will help you too.
Admit that few things are beyond your control
You are a mother, that’s true, but you cannot take charge of everything that happens around your life. There are some situations in life that we don’t have control on. So, what is the point of trying to perfect everything? Overthinking can only make things worse. So, do your best and leave the rest.
Don’t pay heed to what others say
In this context, I must say, there is a Hindi song which says “Kuch to log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kahna”, which means, “people will, of course, say something, there work is to point out faults.” So when you sure about performing your duties, don’t pay heed to what others will say. You are an adult and a mother with greater responsibilities and you can take decisions on behalf of yourself.
Feel you are an important person
After giving birth to a child, we start to neglect ourselves. In most of our lives, what stands important is our child and family. There is no harm in this, till you take adequate care of yourself. Shred those feelings of ‘I am not worthy of something good’ ‘I don’t feel like taking care of myself’, ‘there is not much importance to my life now’, and so on. Instead, take out some time for yourself and devote it to what you like. Pamper yourself and relax. It is true that unless you feel that you are important, no one will follow your way.
There is nothing called a perfect mother
I have seen many asking how to be a perfect mother? I find this to be a wrong statement as there is nothing called a perfect mother or a perfect person or a perfect anything for that matter. And in this context, we have to agree with the notion that there is no perfect human on this earth. Therefore, there is no point in stressing out on perfecting your motherly skills. Sometimes it is good to let things go.
You are doing the best for your child
Never overstress yourself and feel that you have failed as a mother. A small injury cannot take account of your motherhood! You are the best person for your child and you are the one who goes beyond her limits to satisfy your child’s needs. Therefore, shred that mom guilt and say to yourself that “I have done the best that I could do for my child.”
I hope that helps, and if it really does, stay in contact and write back to me in the comment section below.