Guilty mom complex

You know that awful feeling that creeps in when you let your children watch an extra 20 minutes of TV, or when you slip them some chocolate to quiet them down after a particular fussy day, or when you flip through facebook on your phone rather than play lava monster for the 15th time?

That ever so dreary feeling is known as “mom guilt”. This guilt is your conscience reminding you that despite all you do for your children you can still in some way be a better mother.

First and foremost, mom guilt is a very common feeling. Most of us come across it at least once a day. In many ways mom guilt is more common now than ever before thanks to the skewed perceptions created through social media. We see the most positive aspects of our friends’ lives that that they care to share, and assume that the rest of their time must be so glorified. We don’t see the messes, the tantrums, and the tears that are reality.

No one’s life is perfect. Just because we want to focus on the good doesn’t mean that there isn’t bad. At best, we are just fighting the same fight to be the best parents possible. And mom guilt is a very important aspect of this journey.

Mom guilt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the mere occurrence of mom guilt signifies that you are on the right track: You want what is best for your children. Sure you don’t want to be beating yourself up, but to be a good mom you must be realistic about your faults so you can be open to improvement.

If you can see an area where you lack in parenting skills, then you can always find ways to do it better. Take a parenting class, talk with your partner, friends and family to find out how they handle certain situations better or find out which parenting books/websites they have found helpful.

Mom guilt is one of the most significant feelings we are faced with on a rather consistent basis. Why? Because, this guilt is a motivator. It pushes us to do better & be better in a realm of our lives that is the most important of all. As long as we are striving to be better mothers we are on target. Sure, failure is part of the mothering game. To be honest, we will all fail in one way or another. It’s inevitable. But the fact that you aren’t complacent about motherhood proves that you are a pretty dang good mother. So the next time a bit of that guilt pops in your head consider it, think of what you could do better, and reassess for next time. Moms are human.

Keep up the good work Maui mamas!

Image Credit: Gaia Photography

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Sara Watkins is a stay at home mother of 3 rambunctious little men. She has a bachelors in psychology and a masters in social work. She likes to stand up paddle, take pictures, and bake however right now her whole world kind of revolves around her boys.