Friday, January 6, 2017

5 Things I Felt Strong Mom Guilt About in 2016

mom, guilt, 2016, single, mom, work, school, teacher

In most cases I focus on topics that tend to be exclusive to single mothers. However the topic this week is guilt. This is something every parent deals with and for various reasons. 2016 brought about a lot of mom guilt for me and I was really surprised, I managed to go most of Noah’s first  few years of life without the mom guilt. In many cases we cannot change the situation we feel guilt about so I am going to talk about how you can try and feel less guilty, but first here are my 5 major mom guilt moments in 2016.

  1. Interviewing for a job on Noah’s 4th birthday.This is one of those things that made me both happy and sad. I was happy about being back out there and so close to graduation. However, spending my son's birthday at an interview was a joy kill if I am being honest. Even if Noah and I did nothing that day I would have felt less guilty just spending the day with Noah.
  2. Spending the same amount of money on myself that I spent on my son. For the holiday season I got Noah a few gifts and myself one really expensive gift. I felt so guilty about my one gift I almost cancelled the order. I was so anxious about buying myself something that I could not sleep the night after I bought it.
  3. Being at work while Noah was sick. This one hit hard a few times after Noah started daycare he spent a lot of time sick and I still had to work. I would cry on my way to work, at night, and sometimes even at work. It is beyond hurtful to be caring for someone else's child while yours is at home sick.
  4. Spending too much time at work. I feel like this is a guilt almost all parents can identify with. This is a guilt that is founded in not being able to be home with Noah when sick, and the fact that Noah has shown signs of being through off. A few weeks back he stopped eating, talking, and started having night terrors. I was not able to take off of work to really be with him, but with the help of my sister we were able to get Noah back on track.
  5. The amount of time Noah spend in childcare/school. When I first started work Noah when to daycare from 6 to 6 and it drove me crazy. I hate the idea of him spending so much time outside of home, and more so away from family and friends. With the help of family and friends I have cut Noah's time out of the home down to 8 to 3. I am happy about that but still have guilt about the fact that I do not get home until after three.

Something that I have realized over the last 8 months is that mom (parent) guilt is really just in the head. We have ideas about who we want to be as parents and when we cannot live up to this idea it creates guilt. Here are a few ways I am dealing with the guilt.

  1. Now that I am full time working and Noah is a full time student I have started to try and re-evaluate what is realistic for me as a parent. What I was doing as a stay at home mom/working part-time is not going to work now.
  2. Talk about how you are feeling. This works better for some things than others but it is still important to talk about how you are feeling.
  3. Change what is causing you guilt. If you are doing everything in your power to feel less guilt and nothing is working, then change the situation. I don’t like the amount of time I am spending away from Noah so I am considering going to get my GACE so I teach and get more time with Noah.

I am not free of mom guilt but I am doing my best to get there. What do you feel guilt about? Have you tried any of these tips? What tips would you give for dealing with mom guilt?

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Shakirah is a single mom to a 5 year old. She is a blogger, teacher, and graduate student. Her goal is to bring a more positive and realistic look into the lives of single mothers.

1 comment:

  1. I hear that guilt in motherhood is A THING. You have some great suggestions here, definitely something I'll keep in mind when my time comes to be a momma :)

    xo Kathryn