• mom guilt

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    “I must be doing something wrong!”

    “I wish I had more time for my kids.”

    “I’m messing up their lives, I just know it!”

    “I could be a better mom if I was like…”

    Many of us have certainly entertained thoughts like the ones above too many times to count. “Mommy guilt” statements like these don’t help at all, especially when all of us are just doing our best to parent our kids.

    This is why we asked Tala Ocampo, an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation, to share with us a few tips on how to deal with mommy guilt. Ocampo is based in Singapore and focuses on helping people cultivate vitality at home, in their work, through their leadership, and with their relationships. She enumerates them below:

    1. Find out what’s causing your mommy guilt.
    As a mom herself, Ocampo says her own “mommy guilt moments” are usually based on the following three reasons, which are actually quite common among all mothers:

    a. Presence: When you aren’t around for your kids (e.g. You’re going on a business trip, you’re working overtime, etc.)

    b. Being Off-Form: When you’re tired, stressed, etc.

    c. Comparison: When you compare yourself with other people, especially other moms.

    Add these reasons together, and we sometimes end up thinking we “have caused irreparable damage to our children or family, which could spiral to many other forms of catastrophization (i.e. they will forever remember this bad moment, etc.),” Ocampo emphasizes.


    2. Remember that there is no such thing as a “perfect” parent.
    “Mommy guilt is a very tricky emotion primarily because the reason why you feel guilty is that you're thinking of what's best for your family, your children etc.,” Ocampo explains. This usually drives us to also do things in a certain way, i.e. go on a perfectionist mode, etc. 

    Digging deeper into such feelings can help us realize that they are not healthy, because we are just putting ourselves down.

    As mom of two kids, Ocampo says she doesn't want the hallmark of her parenthood/motherhood to be operated from “this space of guilt” — and neither would other moms out there, of course.


    3. Look at the “bigger picture.”
    “What usually helps is to take a big picture perspective,” Ocampo says. She expounds by giving an example of a personal situation: “If I could not be around for doctor's appointments (some work commitments are hard to make flexible i.e. when I'm running a workshop or, even worse, traveling to run a workshop), my husband usually takes over,” she shares.

    “Now if the guilt is talking, I would beat myself up for not being there,” Ocampo continues. “But if I catch myself, I am assured of the fact that my children are equally safe in the hands of my husband (who is an amazing father and a real partner), or, if they are sick, that we have excellent medical care.” 

    “Having that knowledge strengthens me and my heart,” Ocampo continues. “We are not meant to parent alone.” So when you’re tempted to feel guilty about not being there for your kid, always try to look at the bigger picture — and enlist the help of others who can support you as a parent, be it your spouse/partner or someone else whom you trust.


    4. Take care of yourself.
    According to Ocampo, our "self" largely dictates how we are as parents. “So if we are stressed, etc. then we could make more mistakes, or exhibit ‘bad parenting behavior,’” she adds.

    Make sure that you are able to take care of yourself, get enough rest, nutrition, exercise, and emotional support.

    “Personally, I try to leave behind all my worries when I need to engage with my child during moments that require a lot from me (e.g. during temper tantrums),” Ocampo shares. “Bottomline, take care of yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.”


    5. Learn from others — and don’t compare.
    Ocampo says, “When you compare yourself with another mother or parent, remind yourself that we are all trying to do our best and what is best for our families.” 

    Instead of looking at it as a “you as a parent versus that other person as a parent,” look at what he or she is doing well, and consider if it will work for your own family. Ask yourself, “Will that work for me? What could be barriers if I do it? How realistic is that?”


    6. Know yourself.
    “The foundation for all of this is really all about knowing yourself,” Ocampo emphasizes. “Nowadays, there are so many inputs from the world, thanks to internet, social media. This is good because it widens our perspective -- but dangerous, too, because we could also drown out our internal voices, and our inner truths.” 

    The important thing, then, is to know your strengths and weaknesses, and not be guilty if they are different from what the “world” says you should or should not be able to do. “To thine own self be true,” as Shakespeare says.


    7. Learn to forgive yourself.
    Ocampo advises, “If we make mistakes, let’s try not to beat ourselves up over them. Instead, make amends first, then reflect and discern what you did, and how you could do better next time.” 

    At the end of the day, it’s crucial to keep Ocampo’s words in mind, especially when you’re dealing with mommy guilt: “Parenting is hard as it is, and dwelling on the guilt only makes it harder. Be consoled by the fact that we are all trying, and by doing so, we are all learning.”

    How do you deal with mommy guilt? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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    7 Tips for Dealing with Mommy Guilt

     

    Are you feeling guilty about your choices as a parent? Learn how to deal with our expert’s tips.

     

    By Tina Santiago Rodriguez

     

    “I must be doing something wrong!”

     

    “I wish I had more time for my kids.”

     

    “I’m messing up their lives, I just know it!”

     

    “I could be a better mom if I was like…”

     

    Many of us have certainly entertained thoughts like the ones above too many times to count. “Mommy guilt” statements like these don’t help at all, especially when all of us are just doing our best to parent our kids.

     

    This is why we asked Tala Ocampo, an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation, to share with us a few tips on how to deal with mommy guilt. Ocampo is based in Singapore and focuses on helping people “cultivate vitality: at home, in [their] work, through [their] leadership and with [their] relationships.”

     

    1. Find out what’s causing your mommy guilt.

    As a mom herself, Ocampo says her own “mommy guilt moments” are usually based on the following three reasons, which are actually quite common among all mothers:

     

    a. Presence: When you aren’t around for your kids (e.g. You’re going on a business trip, you’re working overtime, etc.)

     

    b. Being Off-Form: When you’re tired, stressed, etc.

     

    c. Comparison: When you compare yourself with other people, especially other moms.

     

    Add these reasons together, and we sometimes end up thinking we “have caused irreparable damage to our children or family, which could spiral to many other forms of catastrophization (i.e. they will forever remember this moment, etc.),” Ocampo emphasizes.

     

     

    2. Remember that there is no such thing as a “perfect” parent.

    “Mommy guilt is a very tricky emotion primarily because the reason why you feel guilty is that you're thinking of what's best for your family, your children etc.,” Ocampo explains. This usually drives us to also do things in a certain way, i.e. go on a perfectionist mode, etc. 

     

    Digging deeper into such feelings can help us realize that they are not healthy, because we are just putting ourselves down.

     

    As mom of two kids, Ocampo says she doesn't want the hallmark of her parenthood/motherhood to be operated from “this space of guilt” — and neither would other moms out there, of course.

     

     

    3. Look at the “bigger picture.”

    “What usually helps is to take a big picture perspective,” Ocampo says. She expounds by giving an example of a personal situation: “If I could not be around for doctor's appointments (some work commitments are hard to make flexible i.e. when I'm running a workshop or, even worse, traveling to run a workshop), my husband usually takes over,” she shares.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

     

    “Now if the guilt is talking, I would beat myself up for not being there,” Ocampo continues. “But if I catch myself, I am assured of the fact that my children are equally safe in the hands of my husband (who is an amazing father and a real partner), or, if they are sick, that we have excellent medical care.” 

     

    “Having that knowledge strengthens me and my heart,” Ocampo continues. “We are not meant to parent alone.” So when you’re tempted to feel guilty about not being there for your kid, always try to look at the bigger picture — and enlist the help of others who can support you as a parent, be it your spouse/partner or someone else whom you trust.

     

     

    4. Take care of yourself.

    According to Ocampo, our "self" largely dictates how we are as parents. “So if we are stressed, etc. then we could make more mistakes, or exhibit ‘bad parenting behavior,’” she adds. 

     

    Make sure that you are able to take care of yourself, get enough rest, nutrition, exercise, and emotional support. 

     

    “Personally, I try to leave behind all my worries when I need to engage with my child during moments that require a lot from me (e.g. during temper tantrums),” Ocampo shares. “Bottomline, take care of yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.”

     

     

    5. Learn from others — and don’t compare.

    Ocampo says, “When you compare yourself with another mother or parent, remind yourself that we are all trying to do our best and what is best for our families.” 

     

    Instead of looking at it as a “you as a parent versus that other person as a parent,” look at what he or she is doing well, and consider if it will work for your own family. Ask yourself, “Will that work for me? What could be barriers if I do it? How realistic is that?” 

     

     

    6. Know yourself.

    “The foundation for all of this is really all about knowing yourself,” Ocampo emphasizes. “Nowadays, there are so many inputs from the world, thanks to internet, social media. This is good because it widens our perspective -- but dangerous, too, because we could also drown out our internal voices, and our inner truths.” 

     

    The important thing, then, is to know your strengths and weaknesses, and not be guilty if they are different from what the “world” says you should or should not be able to do. “To thine own self be true,” as Shakespeare says.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

     

     

    7. Learn to forgive yourself.

    Ocampo advises, “If we make mistakes, let’s try not to beat ourselves up over them. Instead, make amends first, then reflect and discern what you did, and how you could do better next time.” 

     

    At the end of the day, it’s crucial to keep Ocampo’s words in mind, especially when you’re dealing with mommy guilt: “Parenting is hard as it is, and dwelling on the guilt only makes it harder. Be consoled by the fact that we are all trying, and by doing so, we are all learning.”

     

    How do you deal with mommy guilt? Let us know by leaving a comment!

     

     

     

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