Menu
Learn About Yourself

Mom Guilt: Are You a Bad Mom?

Who here has seen the movie Bad Moms with Mila Kunis? Show of hands.

{Insert image of me waving my hand high in the air}

Are you on the Pinterest perfect moms team? Or, are you one that fits in with Mila Kunis and the Bad Moms team?

Uh, yea. I am definitely one of the moms that would fit in with Mila Kunis and her group of friends. I curse around my kids and they make their own lunch for school (or they get sugar-filled snacks like granola bars and Mott’s applesauce — not the unsweetened kind. And, yes, I am a dietitian!).

I’ve also never been the type of mom to hover over my kids’ every move. They’ve never had me do a school project with them for them.

My parenting philosophy: I’m here to teach my kids to be independent. Strong beliefs within in me say raise humans that are capable of managing themselves without you around. You can often hear me saying, “You’ll thank me when you get to college.”

You may struggle with the idea of your kiddo not being around and needing you one day. But, I’d like to remind you that is ultimately the goal of parenting. You want your kids to be able to handle life without you. Seriously.

At times, I imagine it would be nice to be a Pinterest perfect mom. All the other moms would look at me with amazement, like ‘how does she do it?’ Or, would want to be my friend their kids benefitted from my Martha Stewart-level skills for crafts, snacks, and birthday parties.

But, it just isn’t me. And, the thought of being a Pinterest perfect mom is overwhelming.

How do I know I’m a Bad Mom?

{Insert massive mom guilt}

Well, been there, tried that Pinterest perfect mom shit. The one who has girls with perfectly braided hair in matching outfits and always bringing some extravagant bento box lunch for school lunch…

Alas, the most unhappy I’ve been in my life was when I was trying to make everything appear perfect — from the outside looking in. Sadly, the people who suffered most were my kids. My husband and I weren’t far behind.

It is hard for me to admit this to myself, let alone the internet. But, I was a bad mom — depending on the day, my kids might say I still am.

For the past few years, I’ve carried around a tremendous amount of guilt due to my bad mom status.

Wait, let’s define Mom Guilt. Here is the top definition on UrbanDictionary.com:

Mom Guilt: Guilt a mother feels anytime she takes time to do something for herself, outside of work, that does not involve her children.

After barely seeing my children all week due to work, I had horrible ‘mom guilt’ when dropping them off at the sitter so I could go to the gym.

by HMarshall79 December 31, 2016

It is the worst form of guilt that exists on the face of the planet. If there are other living beings out there somewhere in the cosmos, then I’d say mom guilt is the worst form of guilt in all the Universe.

Some of my Failures as a Mom

To help you feel a little better about some of your mom guilt, I’d like to offer some failures I’ve had as a mom. Ok, wait. These are not major failures (for the most part), but can serve as a demonstration of how I am not a Pinterest perfect mom.

  • I missed my oldest’s first day of kindergarten.
  • I’ve never been a classroom mom for my kids. (I don’t view this as a failure, but my kids will remind me of it from time to time.)
  • When celebrations happen at school for holidays, I may or may not send my kids with a snack or treat to share with their classmates. If we are honest, I’ve probably only sent something to school with my kids a handful of times over the past 10+ years (and those times were when I was trying to be a Pinterest perfect mom).
  • My kids make their own lunches and do their own laundry. They’ve done this for
  • I almost pulled my daughter’s earring out of her ear helping her to get her shirt over her head to take a shower. (It might sound like an innocent mistake, but I was not in a good mood when it happened. Looking back, the circumstances of it make me cringe).
  • My kids have yelled at me, on several occasions, “you’re a mean mom!”
    • This one is my favorite.

The guilt that I’ve carried around the most…

  • My inability to tend to my children’s emotional needs in the past.

The last one tears me up when I think about it. However, it is also the time when the phrase ‘when you know better, do better’ plays in my head on repeat. I’m working on helping my kiddos with this shit because I know better now.

It’s Time to Change

It is time we forgive ourselves and let go of that mom guilt. You are not a bad mom for doing what you need.

It is time we forgive ourselves and let go of that mom guilt. You are not a bad mom for doing what you need.

This mom guilt feels like you are carrying a ton of bricks everywhere you go. Or, maybe you could describe it as a ball and chain that weighs 1,000 pounds. Either way, mom guilt sucks.

We also need to stop mom shaming. Can I get an Ah-Men?! But, we will save that rant topic for another day.

Today — and everyday — I am working on letting go of mom guilt.

My newest mantra is: I forgive myself. (I hope you will join me after reading this).

This phrase has played in my mind on repeat lately, kinda like when I got a single track CD of Britney Spears’ first song …Baby One More Time. To make sure my point is clear here, I played that shit on repeat!!

These days, I am constantly repeating to myself, “I forgive myself.” And, it is often accompanied with, “When you know better, do better.”

You are Not Alone

It is hard to carry mom guilt around all day, everyday. Today is the day to start letting go of your mom guilt weight. Ditch that heavy ball and chain of guilt.

If you are struggling with things you wish you would have done differently, remind yourself of this: When you know better, do better.

We cannot be mad at ourselves for not knowing something in the past. But, we can be mad at ourselves for knowing something now and not doing better. Instead of focusing on the past, it is time to strive to do better now that we know better.

Most importantly, be open and honest with your kiddo. So, next time I struggle with the fact I haven’t always been a great mom. I’ll have to remind myself of this: When you know better, do better. We cannot be mad at ourselves for not knowing something in the past. But, we can be mad at ourselves for knowing something now and not doing better. Instead of focusing on the past, it is time to strive to do better now that we know better.

No Comments

    Tell us what you think

    %d bloggers like this: