Every woman has her own perspective and vantage point on what it takes to be a great mom. Whether you’ve decided to take a break from working to raise your family, are at the office for 40 to 50 hours a week, or fall somewhere in between, there are bound to be moments of uncertainty when you question whether what you’re doing (out of choice or necessity) is what’s best for your family. We’re here to say that it’s time to feel great about the way you parent! While mom guilt is an inevitable side effect of motherhood, it shouldn’t overwhelm you. Check out these 10 ways to feel good about the kind of mother you are, whatever that looks like.
Be Confident in Your Childcare
Whether you’re employing a full-time nanny for 50-plus hours a week or just phoning up a babysitter every now and again, you need to be confident and trusting in the person (or people) who take care of your kids.
The peace of mind that comes with knowing that your family is in great hands when you can’t be there is invaluable.
Don’t Compare Yourself
For many moms (especially those second-guessing their choices), the grass can seem greener on the other side. Don’t assume that just because a friend is home with her kids while you’re at work (or vice versa), she doesn’t ask the same questions you do.
Talk About It!
Sharing your feelings and concerns with friends and other moms can yield surprising results. A working mom may discover that her neighbor who stays at home with her kids feels guilty about derailing from a promising career track.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to figuring out the best way to be a parent to your family, but hearing other moms’ stories can certainly help to realize you’re not alone in your mixed emotions.
Make Tradition a Priority
Create family traditions that your kids (and you!) will look forward to for years to come. Whether it’s something as simple as pizza and game night every Friday or vacationing somewhere new every Spring break, this allows you to establish something special that works for your family.
Leave Work at the Office
One of the main culprits of moms’ guilt is that feeling of being spread too thin. When you’re attempting to catch up on work and pay attention to what the kids are telling you at the same time, you’re not giving anyone 100 percent. Implement a “leave your phone and laptop at the door” policy, and if you need to pick back up with work, wait until they’re in bed.
Pay Attention When You’re With Your Kids (No, Really Pay Attention)
If your concern is that you’re not getting enough quality time with your family, make sure the hours you do get with them count. While moms are responsible for parenting, not just playing, carve out some time every week to just indulge in pure, focused fun with your kids.
Make Family Dinner a Priority
From the time they’re infants, children thrive on routine and stability. Make a concerted effort to eat together as a family every night. If dinner’s not feasible, consider family breakfast instead. That distraction-free time around the table is simply invaluable.
Love What You Do
Don’t view going to work solely as hours away from your family. Remember that you’re providing for them and putting your talent and education to good use. If you’re happy at your job, the time away from the house will be a lot less painful.
If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, explore your options. There’s more flexibility and opportunity for working moms than ever, so don’t pigeonhole yourself into something that doesn’t satisfy you.
Let Yourself Let Loose (Every Now and Again)
Whether your idea of relaxation comes in the form of a night out with girlfriends, a yoga class, or a seminar at the local library, every mom needs some 100-percent guilt-free “me” time. Allow yourself this every once in awhile, knowing that being a happier person will in turn make you a happier mother.
If You Don’t Work, Stay Connected
Working moms aren’t the only ones who suffer from feelings of guilt. Those who stay at home may feel mixed emotions from actually missing being in the office and like they’re not putting their education to good use.
Combat this by finding ways to stay connected to your industry — or discover a new and rewarding passion. Taking a couple of hours a week to volunteer or attend networking events doesn’t make you a more selfish mom, it makes you a more dynamic one!