Ask Arya: “How can I get rid of mommy guilt (or daddy guilt)?”
The Dreaded Mommy Guilt
“There will be so many times you feel like you’ve failed. But in the eyes, heart, and mind of your child you are a super mom.” ~Stephanie Precourt
Anyone who’s ever attempted to care for a child has felt some form of caregiver guilt.
We wake up in the morning determined to be the Mary Poppins but go to bed crying because we feel more like Cruella De Vil and are convinced our kids think so too.
First off, tell that inner critic to pipe the f$% down!
Caring for yourself is hard enough let alone trying to perfectly model how to be a proper human being to someone else. And you do know nobody’s perfect, right??
And what if giving yourself permission (and thus your children by proxy) to not be perfect is the absolute BEST gift ever anyway?! …just food for thought. 😉
Top Suggestions for Guilt-Free Parenting
As you will see in the video clip, besides the number one, “let’s just all agree right now that we don’t have to be perfect,” as a relationship counselor I’m a big fan of:
Focus on authenticity.
You may not be the Pinterest type mom. I sure as hell ain’t. But mad props to those of you who rock that sh$%! I’m also not a PTA mom or dance mom (although I have played one from time to time).
EVERY PARENT IS DIFFERENT. And we can all be great!
Ask your kiddos what they enjoy about you. Mine will likely tell you that I’m ridiculous with dance offs and pep talks that could light a fire under even an ice queen’s ass. And I follow through with promises. And I’m great at cuddling.
Just don’t ask me to make you anything crafty. Because I am much more likely to hand you my check book or get your friend’s mom to do it for me.
Ask yourself, “What themes/ skills/ values do I want my child to someday leave my house with?”
This may or may not match what your parents wanted for you. Or what your friends want for their kids. Don’t try to do it all or even do it the way someone else would.
Personally I want my daughters to feel empowered to accomplish whatever they feel is in their soul to do.
I also want them to be empathetic to their neighbor and serve their fellow persons in some form or fashion.
I also enjoy a clean room but depending on where we are at in life (see more in the video), how often that happens and to what standard may shift here and there. My current preference as a mom’treprenuer is to keep the shared common spaces as clutter free as possible.
Remember that your child is as unique as you are.
What works for someone else’s kid may not work for yours. Hell, what works with one of your kids may not work with the other!
Stay flexible and focused on being your munchkin’s best advocate.
One of my daughters is a great nurturer but tends to be easily wounded. The other is a fireball but could use extra empathy training here and there. The guilt stays away when I pay more attention to meeting their specified needs rather than some generalized rulebook.
The Key to Unlocking your Child’s Heart (as seen on Momastery)
“Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours” by Dr. Kevin Leman
“For Parents and Teenagers: Dissolving the Barrier Between You and Them” by Dr. William Glasser
“What a Difference a Daddy Makes” by Dr. Kevin Leman
“Parenting is Heart Work” by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, R.N., BSN (Christian book)
Tamara Powell, LMHC is the founder of Arya Therapy Services, a Pensacola based counseling and coaching practice that also offers services globally ONLINE. She is a relationship therapist and empowerment coach and is Arya’s resident “identity and intimacy guru” with specialties in gender, sexual, erotic, and relational diversity (GSERD). If you’re interested in working with her, you can book a session with her here.
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