Moms Tell Moms How to Let Go of Guilt

Thank you to Mirum Shopper for sponsoring this post, however, all the opinions, suggestions and observations are our own (and the Pregnant Chicken Facebook community’s, too!). Thank you for supporting the brands and affiliate links that make this blog possible.

If there’s one thing most moms have down to a science, it’s giving ourselves a good old guilt trip. From unsolicited advice (thanks but no thanks, random lady in the supermarket) to social media angst (apparently everyone else’s children eat green vegetables)—guilt creeps into so many facets of our lives:

  • Struggling with your decision to work or stay home
  • Stressing about how you feed your baby
  • Not appreciating the glory that is Bachelor in Paradise because you “should” be doing something else instead of watching reality TV
  • Wondering how that perfect Instagram food blogger gets her kids to drink avocado smoothies topped with artisanal bee pollen for breakfast (while you’re popping a plate of frozen pancakes in the microwave)
  • Resigning yourself to the fact that your baby will go to college with his pacifier
  • When your toddler points at your phone and succinctly says, “Kids YouTube” in front of your friend with a “No Screens” policy, insisting she said, “Kiss you too!”

Any of these thoughts or scenarios sound familiar? Back in the day, kids had to amuse themselves with a wooden spoon while their parents were busy churning butter and hunting for dinner (or something like that). So, why are we so hard on ourselves for not crafting a working computer from the empty Amazon Prime box for an 8-month old?

When the folks that represent Parent’s Choice Formula approached us, we suggested a post where we could ask our Facebook community to share their tips for letting go of mom guilt (or just not giving AF), and advice from family and friends that helps them keep things in perspective. What better way to cut ourselves some collective slack than hearing words of wisdom from fellow moms in the trenches?

Guilt Trip Tips About Feeding

“Our pediatrician could tell I was majorly struggling with breastfeeding. His advice has stuck with me and I go back to it often. He gently reminded me that there is one thing that is so important for a baby, a happy mama.” – Erin R.

“What I learned and what I like to tell any new mom…. Do what’s best for you and your baby. That’s the bottom line. Healthy is best…. Fed is best… let the guilt go ladies… it’s so damaging to your relationship with your baby and your significant other.”  – Steffeni M.

“Yes I struggle with the mom guilt. I’m not a good enough mom, they aren’t eating “clean”, I had to bottle feed my children, I’m a terrible wife because I’m tired and cranky, and I want people to stop touching me. Including the husband. But when I feel like this, I go in the bathroom, look myself in the mirror and say “you’re doing your best. You’re good enough. Your children are well cared for and loved. You’re an amazing wife. So keep being effing awesome!” – Ashley S.

“‘In order for me to be a good mom, I need to be a happy mom.’
What I tell myself about making the decision not to breastfeed our second child due in January.” – Jessica B.

Mantras

“Good for her, not for me.” – Amy Poehler (Shared by Lindsay C.)

“I’m the best mom I can be when ____________________”
It started with “when I work” or “when I take time for myself to exercise.” Sometimes it’s more like “When I let him subsist purely on milk and pirate’s booty instead of fighting him on vegetables” but hey it helps. – Jessica B.

“The mom in E.T. had an alien living in her house for days and didn’t even notice.” #Perspective – Olivia V.

“First time mom here. When things don’t go well/as I would like – I’ll say to myself, my babe is having a day as if he’s my third instead of my first.” – Lynda L.

“Pick your battles.”
If putting abc kids on gives me 30mins of freedom to make lunch or get the dishes done I’m not going to beat myself up over it (or try not to at least). – Sandy L.

“Is what I’m stressing about going to matter in … 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 weeks or 5 months from now?”
That helps me gain perspective in letting go of the ‘small things’ and not letting a mole hill become a mountain in my mind. – Melissa C.

“I’ll do me, you do you.” There’s no room for guilt in motherhood, we’re all just trying our best. – Shannon H.

Staying Sane on Social Media

“We are not a Pinterest project, we are a family.” – Amber R.

“Remember that someone’s Facebook or Instagram is generally their highlight reel!” – Kimblerly J.

“My kid won’t be happier if I am miserable trying to make sure he has Pinterest worthy shaped sandwiches or Martha Stewart crafts to do everyday. My goal is a happy, healthy child and a non-d*ck adult at the other end of this whole thing.” – Melissa D.

“#1 solution for me: get offline.” – CG B.

“Start focusing on being present and not perfect. Every child is a gift and be your best self- whatever that may look like. Do not let the fabricated reality of social media jade your time with you little one(s)… it goes by way too quick!” – Elizabeth S.

Advice from Wise Aunts, etc.

“My wise aunt shared this with me when I was pregnant with my first: “Whatever gets everyone the most sleep”. That is honestly the one thing I’ve kept in my head as I’ve muddled through. Every time I questioned a decision, wondered if I was going to need to switch money from college savings to therapy savings, it all came back to that. “Whatever gets everyone the most sleep”. – Erica H.

“I was feeling guilty about not keeping up with the moms who do these elaborate activities all week, and worrying that I wasn’t doing enough to stimulate and entertain my 18 month old. My mom told me, “Your job as a mother is not to entertain your child…it’s to keep them fed, clean, and safe.” – Sam P.

“Zoom out. Best two words I ever heard or listened to. A friend told me to have a look at those puzzles online where it starts off completely zoomed in on one pixel then slowly zooms out until you can actually see the picture. She then told me to think of my baby and what I was stressing over as one of those pixels – once you zoom out and try to find it again, you won’t be able to see it! The only thing that fills in and connects those pieces is love which is the only thing that you will truly see in the final finished picture. Three kids later and know what? She was right.” – Linda J.

“You do the best you can, with what you have” – my mother-in-law. As moms we feel like we have to be everything to everyone, or parent just like everyone else. Instead we should celebrate our strengths while asking for help with our weaknesses. – Cassie B.

“My mom likes to remind me whenever I freak out about something my son has done/licked/touched/whatever that I survived and I learned so he will too. Also, I remind myself that as long as he knows he’s loved (and you can tell when they know, I think) that I’m doing my best.” – Rachael C.


Living Your Best Life

“I don’t do mom guilt. I do the things I need to make me the best version of myself. Because the best version of myself is the best mother for my child. You don’t stop being a whole person when you become a parent and it’s important to nurture all of the sides of yourself.” – Katherine T.

“Being too damn busy to care about what people think of you or your parenting is one of the most exciting parts of being a mother of three.” – Felicia

“Everything is just a phase! The sleepless nights, the utter exhaustion, the constant mess, the tantrums, the overwhelming toddler SASS is all temporary! Hang in there mamas, because even if all those things don’t necessarily get better themselves, you’ll get better at dealing with it all.” – Cassidy B.

“Wanting to be a mom for 20 years and it finally happening when I was 40 does a lot to put things in perspective. When he’s sick and I’m up all night, I think about how much I ached for a baby to rock. When he’s having a meltdown in the grocery store, I think about how I used to look longingly at the busy, frazzled mama and want to tell her how lucky she was. I fought for this little fella and as long as he’s healthy and mostly happy, I’m doing just fine.” – Aimee S.

Special thanks to Mirum Shopper and Parent’s Choice Formula for sponsoring this post so we could share such great advice from our readers. We hope you find it helpful in taking the mom guilt down a notch. Remember, none of us grew up with artisanal bee pollen smoothies, and we turned out okay (more or less). As always, all the opinions (and spelling errors) are my own.

About Parent’s Choice®

Exclusive to Walmart since 1998, Parent’s Choice Infant Formula has been a leading choice for feeding babies with millions of parents across the United States.

In addition to saving up to $600 a year over alternative formulas, shoppers who choose Parent’s Choice will discover an infant formula that is:

  • Nutritionally comparable to more expensive national brand infant formulas, including Enfamil, Similac, and 􏰀Gerber.
  • Compliant with FDA nutritional standards and the recommendations of the AAP – the American Academy of Pediatrics. 􏰀
  • Clinically proven to support growth and development. 􏰀
  • Easy to digest and has been well tolerated by millions of babies.
  • Clinically proven to be as well tolerated by infants as national brand formulas. 􏰀
  • Meets the highest-quality FDA nutritional 􏰀standards
  • The Brand at a Glance

Topics:Motherhood
More from Jessica Solloway

Moms Tell Moms How to Let Go of Guilt

If there’s one thing most moms have down to a science, it’s...
Read More

You May Also Like

5 Comments

  • Another one that was mentioned to me when I shared about my guilt of being totally happy being at work and not missing my kids once even when not seeing them for over 4-5 days in a row: “Maybe you’ve achieved work life and home life BALANCE and you are just happy”.

  • I have a hard time taking anything sponsored by a formula company seriously. The irony of a formula company sponsoring an article aimed to helps moms not feel guilty about not breastfeeding is not lost on me. No, breastfeeding is not always possible, and even when it is, it’s not always (or ever) easy. But do you know what else isn’t easy? Dealing with the guilt of a baby lost as a direct result of not breastfeeding. Dealing with health complications that are a direct result of not breastfeeding. Unfortunately the reality of both of those scenarios isn’t something we don’t seem to want to recognize as a society. In fact sneaky advertising by formula companies (such as this article) is just making them a lot more money as the health of our country goes downhill. Women seem to intrinsically believe that breastfeeding is going to push them over the edge of what they’re capable of. We are being shorted by “inspirational” articles such as this because it’s really just unethical advertising. Promoting doing what makes us happy is only going to get us so far- as moms and for our children. We don’t live in a perfect world and we can’t make the perfect decision 100% of the time but this is not the answer.

    • I’m really sorry that you lost a child. I can’t imagine how devastating that must be.

      Still, I don’t think it’s fair to dump on this post just because it was sponsored by a formula company.

      I was unable to breastfeed and the guilt I felt was crushing. It’s nice to read posts like this to know that I’m not alone.

  • I love this post thank you. I constantly feel guilty putting my baby in her swing for me to take a break or get things done. I feel like shes bored and that Im neglecting her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.