So you all have probably see the video. It’s of women who confess to having Mom Guilt. What’s Mom Guilt you ask?
Mom Guilt is that feeling you get when you realize that you are not Martha Stewart, Mrs.Brady and the Supernanny 24/7. Examples are:
-When your son went to school with a big hole in the knee of his pants because you didn’t do an army inspection when he left for school that day.
-When you decided that YOU (yes YOU) wanted to have the last piece of brownie in the fridge (then deny knowing what happened to it).
-When your son gets detention for acting out in class and you think that the school and other parents BLAME YOU for not raising a perfect child.
-When you decide that you WANT to go back to work after having a child instead of being a stay-at-home mom.
Mom Guilt is a product of our society. We have been taught that once a woman pushes another human being out of her body, that she has to dedicate all of her energy, self-worth and that last brownie to that being. Now, to be fair, dads get to go through this as well but that’s a whole other post.
What are we teaching our kids when they see Mom Guilt?
I am actually looking at it as a mom with teenage boys. I find it interesting that in a society where they are being raised to respect girls, a society that teaches girls to be strong and independent, that we are sending conflicting messages.
Yes, a girl can be a strong individual. Yes, you should treat her as an equal. However, once she becomes a MOM…well…that’s when that strong spirit that you admire has to give way to the selfless, altruistic attitude that all good moms should have.
REALLY?? Where in the BOOK of MOM does it say that you can’t be independent and a little selfish sometimes? Believe it or not you CAN do that AND be a totally awesome parent!
Wow! Who knew?
I WANT my kids to see my flaws. I WANT them to see me being selfish (and having that last brownie). I WANT them to know that I am HUMAN. That you can be true to what you want and still be a good and caring person. I WANT them to see a woman who is trying to be the best mom that she can be. A woman that can do it without being subservient to her husband or making them the center of her world by giving up her own identity (How many of you are known as “Jimmy’s Mom” instead of “Barb or Mrs. Peterson”?). I want girls that see me to see me be a WOMAN and a WIFE and a MOM, without having to be a SUPERMOM.
Fortunately, this attitude is changing. Google “mom guilt” and you will find a ton of articles and blogs discussing the topic.
One article that attracted my attention was a post on the site http://www.psychcentral.com by Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed. D. called The Pros and Cons of Mother Guilt (here). I liked the fact that while it says that Mom Guilt can be bad, you can also use it to make you a better parent.
It’s true. It really is about taking something that is NEGATIVE and using it to be something POSITIVE. It’s a simple case of learning that you cannot control everything and that things can go wrong. It’s about letting them see you make decisions that you regret later. It’s letting them hear “I will play with you later once I finish my coffee” and realize that you are not neglecting them. In the end, it will teach them to be a better person.
We can’t help girls become independent if we define them by that one category of MOM. We can’t teach boys to see girls as equals if we tell them that’s all girls are once they have a child.
BALANCE. Find that place between being the mom that you want to be for your kids and the woman that you want to be for yourself.
Your kids will thank you for it.
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