TGIF! Today I welcome Meghna from Love, Life, & the Little One. Meghna has allowed me to share with you her story about guilt as a mommy and how she is learning to release it. Letting go of the guilt and allowing yourself to make mistakes is vital as a mom. Meghna seems like she’s doing a great job at that, and mommyhood. Thanks, Meghna!
Mommy guilt is a bitch. (I know your kids can’t read it, so please excuse my French) I am mostly the cool mom in my head. I care for my baby but I am not in the paranoid category (yet!). I make mistakes.
I have been around when she has fallen, bumped her head, hurt her knee even swallowed a hairpin and I have felt terrible. I asked myself those terrible questions, “Why was I not alert?”, “How could I not jump faster to protect her from that fall?”, “Why didn’t I put the hair clip away!!” Oh! I whipped myself so many times that it left mark on my soul but I have eventually now come out of that dark cloud of #mommyguilt.
I am her mother. I am supposed to be her protector, her guide, and mentor. Yet, many a time my human limitations and sheer carelessness have landed her in trouble.
It’s tough to be a mom when you are an overgrown child yourself. If you know me you would know that I have always been the baby of the house. My parents pamper me silly, my friends spoil me by bearing all my whims and tantrums and loving me for it and my husband has only taken after my father in the doting and caring department, so I have lived a very entitled and pampered life.
Things dramatically changed when I came home with a (real) baby in the house. I had no option but to grow up. I had to be less selfish and less self-involved and care for another person and her life. It was exciting but very scary.
Scarier was the attitude of people around me. Overnight I changed from being ‘the baby to the mother of a baby. My parent’s love diverted to their grandchild and I started getting instructions more than I ever did even in my teenage years.
My husband now wanted a mature partner who should have his level of perfection, awareness, and dependability. Someone he can trust with his baby.
And I assumed that role. We are mothers and it comes naturally to us. Doesn’t it?
But still the core of being a care a damn, free bird, childlike person continues to live inside of me as another part of myself. And it emerges many a time mostly when my child goes to sleep.
But what lives permanently is the fear of “AM I doing enough? “. And it becomes even more difficult to love your mommy self when you hurt your baby by mistake. What hurts more than the realization that you have hurt your baby is your significant other or a family member telling you, “How could you not be careful?”
It feels like a tight blow on your chin, as you try to chin up and face yet another day of mothering your little one.
“The worst part of feeling guilty is being accused of the thing you are feeling guilty about- loud. Aloud.”
Being told that you are not taking enough care of your baby is like being told you are a terrible mom at this point in time. And if you see it deeply, it’s not a false allegation. And then comes the worst of the kind of mommy guilt. Yes, you messed up. You know it. And people around you are not letting you forget it.
Then you wallow in self-pity and cry a bit in the toilet and come out smiling for your baby. Then your toddler comes to you and smiles and gives you the biggest hug and you think, “F*** this shit, my baby thinks I am awesome. And baby never lies”. You need approval and acknowledgment, and your baby gives you that.
Release the Guilt
So, my dear Mamma. If you are feeling inadequate, sad, broken, lost, confused & at the bottom of what’s left of your positive self-image. Please, receive my virtual hug and know that you are not alone.
You are like any other woman who is shouldering the responsibility of being a mother at this moment. Every mother even the so called perfect ones have “fu**** it up” sometimes. Every mother has heard negative comments and seen rolling eyes from the people they want the least judgment from. We are all messing it up one time or the other. But guess what?? We are driven by good intentions.
We are mothers and we take care of our babies not because it’s our duty. (We are not paid for it. It’s a duty of a nanny to look after a child, not mothers.) We look after our child because nature has altered us so. Because the love that we feel for our children, make them our priority. We do the best for our children most times, and that’s what matters.
So please put your hands on your ears, and mute the noises of people around. Most importantly, stop listening to that nagging, high pitch voice of “guilt” who stays inside our head, because she is one unforgiving, judgmental bitch.
Listen to your heart. Listen to your child. Listen to the woman who is you, who is a wonderful mother, a dutiful wife, and a shining Goddess. All you have to do is believe & kiss mommy guilt “Goodbye”