Mommy guilt. We all have it, don’t we?
When we thought we should have done better as a mom.
When we serve instant or hawker food to our kids out of desperation and lack of time to prepare more nutritious meals.
When we allow our kids to stare at the screen (be it TV, iPad, iPhone, computer) just so that we can have an hour of uninterrupted peace to complete our work.
When we see the creative activities that other moms are doing with their kids and we are not.
When we hear about the places that other moms are bringing their kids to but ours are stuck at home, bored.
When our kids drive us up the walls and we snap at them.
When we’re so exhausted and stretched beyond our limits that we get impatient with our kids.
We all have it.
But when we strip away all the external reasons for our guilt, what exactly is the source of it?
Where does guilt come from? Why does one feel guilty?
Doesn’t a person feel guilty as a result of being judged?
Judged by one’s conscience, by certain standards and norms, by society, by the expectations of others?
So, why do moms feel guilty?
I would think that most mothers are way too hard on ourselves.
We expect ourselves to be perfect moms and when we’re not, we judge ourselves and feel guilty that we have fallen short of the standard of a perfect mom.
We feel that we don’t measure up to the standards or image of a perfect mom.
A mom who doesn’t yell at her kids, who is ever patient and loving.
A mom who feeds her kids organic, healthy, home-cooked meals, whose kids do not know what screen is, who homeschools her kids and brings them to educational and fun places every other day.
But, truth is, nobody is perfect.
Not even mothers.
So I guess we should all relax a little and be a little kinder to ourselves, mothers.
And when I look at my kids, they showed me that they do not expect me to be perfect.
When I am there for them when they need me, that’s perfect.
And they will say to me, “You are the best mommy!”
I need to say this to myself sometimes.
How about you?