Ridding yourself of perpetual parenting guilt
May 13, 2010 (WPVI) -- Let's face it, guilt is just part of being a parent. In fact according to one study I read, 94 percent of mothers feel guilty about something. Dare I say the AMOUNT of time they spend feeling guilty probably isn't far off from that number.
I can easily say I feel guilty about something every day. Whether it's over how much time I spend with Sienna or whether I have the right educational toys. Part of it is being a new mom. Everything is unfamiliar and although reading baby books helps, most of parenting is on the job training. As I approach the end of Sienna's first year, the guilt has lessened but I'm starting to realize it will pop up in different areas. For example, I visited a preschool the other day because I had heard that they can fill up more than a year before your child is even enrolled! When I left, I stewed over whether I asked the right questions and when I got over that, I felt guilty about taking Sienna with me... I should have left her with her Dad! She was exposed to too many germs!
I've learned to accept the guilt as par for the course. But when it seems to overwhelming or it interferes with my day, I know I have to take a few deep breaths and relax. Here's something really important I learned: Stop stewing over things you can't control and things you can't change. It's either out of your hands or in the past. I've heard mothers say they've felt guilty that their child was born via c-section or prematurely. I've heard others that feel guilty they got a babysitter on a Saturday for a much deserved night out.
Guilt will do you no good and it certainly won't do your child any good. In fact, it's counter-productive. I know when I feel guilty about something I can't focus... and children need your focus.
Remember kids are resilient. New moms need to teach themselves that they will make mistakes but if you provide a loving, safe and healthy environment for your child, there are very few decisions that will have a negative, life-long impact on a child. Educate yourself and trust your instincts. I think if you can go to bed happy at night with how you've handled your child in conjunction with all the other things in your life, you should rest assured that you're doing a great job.
I found an interesting and HELPFUL article on the top things moms feel guilty about. It outlines why you SHOULDN'T feel guilty about those things.
erin o'hearn parenting reports, parenting, erin o'hearn
- Mourning NJ doctor killed in murder-suicide
- Stormy to spectacular
- WATCH: Action News Online
- Get the new 6abc StormTracker app
- Paraplegic man castrated in SW Phila. attack
- Storms bring floods to the Jersey shore
- Video: Incredible footage of wrong-way bus crash
- Police: Girl used in theft at Phila. nail salon
- Tire dumping probe targets Wilmington shop
- Teacher charged again for indecent exposure
- Construction worker killed on way to job
- US: Unruly traveler had worked at State Department
- $325,000 Cash 5 ticket sold in Philadelphia
- Phillies activate Carlos Ruiz from disabled list