What is “Mom Guilt” and How to Cope
Although we love our kids, it’s impossible to spend every waking second with them. And if you’re a single mother who works hard to put food on the table for your kids, you live this reality day in and day out. We sometimes beat ourselves up over the thought of missed opportunities, but work responsibilities can pull us away from being the PTA mom or the car pool mom we wish we could be. The reality of the situation is that you are only one person, so for starters, give yourself some grace. If you feel like what many refer to as “mom guilt” has got you down, keep reading for some helpful advice to lift you back up.
Like we said, you are only one person
The life of a mother is hard. Emotionally, physically, and for a single mom, financially it can feel like an extreme burden at times. Being a mother who works, whether that’s from home or at a place of business, it’s hard to juggle being present and “on” at all times in front of your littles. You have stress, your mind might be thinking about a work project, or you could just be flat out exhausted after a long day. This is acceptable and should be recognized, not ignored. You deserve a break, even if it’s just for a few minutes. You don’t have to feel guilty about turning on a cartoon for your kids and just sitting with them and relaxing together. Going a million miles a minute is a sure-fire way to send you straight into Burnout Town.
Utilize afterschool care when/if applicable
Many elementary schools offer afterschool programs for kiddos, most of which are free of cost. The best part about these programs is that they’re done on campus right after school ends, and it gives them a chance to have fun with their peers. Be sure to check those flyers that come home in your kid’s backpack for these golden opportunities! That way, you can relax or get some extra work done and not have to play mom again immediately when the school bell rings.
Be sure their other parent is doing their part
You might be bitter about the split between you and your kid’s other parent, and that’s normal. However, not asking for help and trying to do it all yourself is a recipe for disaster. You will experience mom guilt faster if you try to do everything and refuse help. Like we mentioned earlier, you are one person and you can’t do it all—nor should you have to.
Remember, you’re doing this for them
When my kids were young, I was a slave to my job. I would often feel plagued by mom guilt to the point at which I would be in tears thinking that I was missing out on their early lives. As I’ve grown older and wiser, and my kids are now not as little as they once were, my perspective has shifted. And to be honest, they don’t have vivid memories of me hovering over my computer day and night. They remember all the good times we’ve shared together, and they’ll ask me about fun stories that I’ve recollected to them. Everything we do is for them, and trust me, your kids will know it, too. Be gentle on yourself, because that matters.
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