Paging Dr. Kathryn Smerling, Ph.D: 5 Tricks to Get Rid of Mommy Guilt for Good
MomPrep expert Dr. Kathryn Smerling recently gave us all some fabulous advice on losing the mommy guilt that plagues us all. I got so many positive responses that I asked her for more info. Read below for 5 quick tips to break free from the mommy guilt.
Losing ‘Mommy Guilt’: 5 Quick Strategies
We Supermoms are always so hard on ourselves! Often, instead of looking at all the wonderful things we have done, we concentrate on the things we have not done. What would it be like if you looked back on your day and reflected upon all you accomplished as a mom…instead of all the things that are on your “to do” list? This can be a very refreshing way to bring a smile to your face. You are suddenly a good enough mom instead of the frazzled Supermom wannabe.
I have developed several techniques that may help take some of the pressure off and remind you that you are a terrific mom (albeit, a human being). Try doing any or all of these at the end of your day.
1. Start keeping a journal. Each night, write down the things you felt guilty about as a mom. At the end of the week, go back and look at your list and circle the really important things. Try to eliminate 1 “unimportant” thing (or something that can wait) a week from your guilt list.
2. Take a Mommy Day Off! Once a week/month (whatever you can afford) take at least an afternoon for yourself. Studies have shown that vacations of any kind, albeit even a few hours, make returning to your routine more enjoyable and productive.
3. If childcare is an option, take an afternoon/full day off with your partner. As grownups we need time for romance and fun. Shake up your routine by making a standing commitment on a morning/afternoon/evening with your partner. Make a commitment to each other that this will not be a time to discuss children or problems, but only to laugh, have fun, and have a little romance.
4. Go to work happily. It is healthy for you to want to spend time with other adults and pursue a career. It will ultimately make you a more satisfied mom, and perhaps even give you more objectivity about your kids.
5. Exercise! Even if it’s only a walk around the block. Getting out and moving will release endorphins and give you a moment to think. Or, if you can’t do that, exercise with your kids. Turn off the TV and do some jumping jacks. It works especially well on a rainy day. Once an hour do 10 jumping jacks together. Believe it or not, exercise will help to replenish your energy and calm your kids down.
Feeling guilty takes up too much room in our brains. Not only that, but it takes time and pulls energy from more productive pursuits. We may not be able to eliminate all of our ‘Mommy Guilt’, but we can certainly make an attempt to let it go. We’ll all feel better.