Before I was a mom, I knew that mommy guilt was a thing. I knew to be careful if I experienced this. One thing I didn’t expect was to give it to myself. Only a couple people in my life told me that I needed to do something different and gave me mommy guilt, but the worst person who did…was myself. Mommy guilt: If you are giving it to yourself, stop it!
Should I do Something Different?
Shortly after my daughter was born, I got together with some friends that had their babies around the same time. We were talking about how we were doing things as moms and all of a sudden, I felt like I needed to be doing more. I felt like I needed to be doing things differently. Was I doing things wrong? Did I need to put her on a strict sleep schedule? What was the right way to be a mom?
This had nothing to do with my friends making me feel bad or anything like that. They never once said I needed to be doing things differently. They never made me feel bad about my decisions as a mom. Heck, most of the time I was the one asking the questions of how they were doing things!
The guilt that I felt initially overwhelmed me. I felt like I needed to change up everything I was doing. Did I to make structured plans for every second of every day? I needed to make sure I was cleaning the house every day. I needed to be super mom and do everything without help.
Again, no one told me that I needed to do any of this. No one made me feel bad about what I was doing. In fact, all of my friends said I was doing great and that everyone does this mom thing differently. The guilt took over though..
It did not take me too long to realize what I was doing to myself. I was exhausted. From having a newborn and mentally. I wanted to be the best mom I could be, but I had no idea what that meant…I mean, I am a first-time mom.
It took me a little bit, but the realization helped me put things into perspective. I looked at all the developmental stages that my daughter was meeting. I looked at how she was thriving. How strong she was getting and the amazing little girl she was becoming. I knew in that moment that I was doing just fine.
Mama, Stop Giving Yourself Mommy Guilt
This trap is so easy to get into! You see how other moms are doing things. You hope that you are doing everything right, but you second guess yourself. The important questions that really matter are these:
Are you feeding your baby when he/she is hungry?
Are you changing him/her?
Are you interacting with him/her the best you can?
Are you meeting his/her most basic needs?
Then mama, you are doing everything right. Sleeping schedules, routines, co-sleeping, non-co-sleeping, etc. that is all your decision. Do what works for you. Everyone does things differently. And that is okay. You are going great!