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HEALTH

3 Mantras To Help You Deal With New Mom Guilt

You have to remember that you are doing your best

BY Naledi K

Jun 09, 2021, 05:37 PM

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So you are finally a mommy and your bundle of joy is as cute as can be but maternity leave is coming to an end and you feel bad that you now have to leave your child with someone else so you can go hustle… that feeling is normal, you have mom guilt but I pinky promise that you really shouldn’t feel bad.

What is mom's guilt? Well, it is mostly described as the feeling of guilt, doubt, anxiousness or uncertainty experienced by mothers when they worry they're failing or falling short of expectations in some way. It is that nagging feeling inside you constantly making you feel like you are failing at this motherhood stuff and making you think that you are not doing this whole parenting thing wrong every waking minute.

Mom guilt isn’t cool and for many moms – particularly new, working or single moms – the variables that contribute to this phenomenon are numerous and intense. This particular kind of guilt can creep up on you at any stage of your motherhood journey, like when your baby just won’t latch on to your boob no matter what technique you try or when maternity leave comes to an end and you need to leave your baby in someone else’s care. 
"Remember this, you baby is lucky to have you in his or her corner."
It can put you in a dark mental state just because you buy your baby purity from the store instead of making homemade puree or the fact that you let your toddler watch Peppa Pig for two more hours than recommended… 

But here’s the thing, it really doesn’t matter when it hits. What matters is that you know that as a mother you are doing your absolute best and know how to escape the guilt downward spiral when it creeps up on you.

Next time mom guilt shows up at your door, try to keep the following thoughts on rotation.

"I Need To Cut Myself Some Slack"

The biggest thing to remember is that you are new to this and that perfection is not the goal. Motherhood is a learn as you go process and there’s really no shortcut available. You gave birth to a beautiful baby boy/girl and they get to have you as their mommy… That alone is already their greatest gift. 
You love them and want the best for them as long as all your decisions and actions are made from that place of love, things eventually work out for your (and their) good.

"There's No Harm In Asking Or Accepting Help"

The truth is it truly does take a nation to raise a child. You will want to do it all, but in reality, you can’t. You need to accept this so that going to work doesn’t translate as “neglecting my child” in your mind but rather as “I am working to make the best life for my child and me”. 

Ask for help when you need it, when you can’t figure something out or if you need a little assurance from other mothers. Ask your mother or the maternal figures in your life for help, read a book, join a Facebook mommies club and you will soon realise that all mothers are different but the same and that essentially together is actually the best way to navigate motherhood.

"Time Out Mommy, Let's Take A Moment to Breathe"

You need to remember that while you may have a little human being depending on you, you also have yourself to consider as you go through this journey. Always take a few moments to stop and breathe.  Your feelings, no matter what they are, are valid and you need to pay attention to them and try to pinpoint their origin. Allow your vulnerable feelings of guilt, shame, and sadness to rise to the surface. Then respond to yourself with kindness and acceptance.  

If you need to shed a few tears, do so. Do whatever you need to come back to your peaceful space and for you to be centred so that you can deal with whatever next surprise motherhood springs upon you!