Don’t beat yourself up sis, you’re already they best SugaMama you can be.
Whether you want to admit it or not, mom guilt is something most SugaMamas have struggled with at some point or another. That negative feeling of not doing enough as a parent, not doing things right, or making decisions that may “mess up” your minis up forever, can wreak havoc on your mental health and self-esteem. If you think you’re alone in this feeling sis, you’re not. Even the moms that look like they have it all together often feel guilt around simple things like getting their hair done or having to work.
This week on The Suga podcast, Tika and Thai spoke to actress Kyla Pratt about mom guilt and how they individually deal with it as working moms. One piece of advice that Kyla shared with fellow SugaMamas was to remember that taking care of you allows you to better take care of your mini.
“I tell people all the time that having a kid is a life altering thing. Nothing is the same, and it’s not a bad thing, it’s just that your brain automatically goes towards this human being and needing to take care of them and make sure they’re okay. A lot of the times moms, we forget to take care of ourselves in the process in order to be able to do that. Mommy has to have her head together in order to help these children grow.”
If you’ve been struggling with letting go of the guilt, we’ve got a few tips that can help you start parenting guilt-free, so you can enjoy what’s really important – your family. And in case no one has told you today, you’re doing an amazing job and you’re already the best SugaMama you can be!
Stop Trying to be Perfect
Motherhood is one of the only jobs that doesn’t come with an instruction manual. All we have to base our work on is the images and work of those before and around us. Comparing ourselves to others is easy when, well, they make it look easy. Social media moms with the perfect bodies, making the perfect Disney shaped healthy lunches all while homeschooling their well-behaved A+ student kids and doing burpees with the newborn strapped to their back. Oh, and don’t forget all the television moms running big corporations who have all the time in the world to get spa treatments with friends on a Tuesday and strut around town – well dressed -with happy hubbys and minis in tow. You could easily spend your days trying to recreate this “perfection,” but you shouldn’t, it’s not real. What’s real is that life is hectic and messy, and you may not be 100% all the time – and that’s okay. Get comfortable with imperfection and remember that while each day might not be the “perfect” day, it’s a day that you did your best. Allow yourself some grace.
Focus On Your Accomplishments
It’s natural to get swept up and focused on all the things we do wrong each day, spending hours being our own worst critic. Instead of focusing on the negative, choose joy and gratitude by keeping a journal of all the things that went right with your mini. They don’t have to be huge and over-the-top, they can be simple things like spending phone-free play time with them for a few minutes or making them smile by ordering in their favorite chicken nuggets (a win for you both by the way!). Making note of the small wins before you go to sleep at night will fill you with happiness and allow you to see tomorrow as a better and brighter day. Besides, we can all benefit from a little self-praise.
Make Time For Yourself
If you ask many mamas what’s one of the first balls to drop once they have children, they’ll probably tell you it is self-care. And not just the going to the spa or beauty salon type of self-care, anything thing that allows them a moment to themselves. Gone are the moments when they stole an hour to read a book in their favorite corner, explored their city in search of hidden gems or went to brunch with their girl squad. Their minis were here and taking time away from them to do seemingly selfish things like get their nails done, fills them with immense guilt. However, part of being a good mom is knowing that when you’re at your best, you can be your best for your minis. Showing them that it is okay to pour into oneself from time to time is a great example to model, and perhaps even encouraging them to make time for their favorite things during the day will help you feel less guilty about doing the same.
Find Your Tribe
Here’s some not so shocking news, one place mom guilt comes from, is other moms. You see it every day in real life and online, those moms that want to make you feel guilty for using a pacifier – or not. Who shame you for breastfeeding in public, not breastfeeding at all, giving minis nuggets instead of gluten/dairy-free, vegan approved kale and spinach salads (because you know, all kids just love salads), the list just goes on. Instead of forcing yourself to deal with people who feel the need to judge and criticize a SugaMama just trying to do her best, find your tribe. There are other mamas out there who are just as perfectly imperfect as you are, and looking for a mom they can build a circle of support and encouragement with. Once you eliminate that negativity from your life, you’ll see how much better the journey of motherhood will feel.
Ask For Help
Mom guilt can feel so overwhelming and heavy because often time moms feel alone in their struggle. You are never alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones or trained professionals to say they you are having a hard time and need help. There’s no shame or blame in needing a hand to help guide you through a difficult time. Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of post-partum depression or simply feeling overwhelmed, help is never far away. If you’re not sure where to start, get support and more information by calling or texting the Postpartum Support International helpline at 1-800-944-4773. More information can be found on their website.
Listen to our conversation with with actress and mom Kyla Pratt about breaking generational curses, managing mommy guilt, and understanding postpartum depression: