I think I shouldn't go for the dinner gathering with my friends. I've been out for work appointments the whole day, I should be home to spend time with the kids in the evening. Hmm. I really miss spending time with my girlfriends! I wouldn't be a good mum if I choose to spend time with my friends instead of my baby.
I think I better rush through my lunch, so I can quickly relieve my Mum who's watching my baby. I don't think I deserve such a luxurious meal time.
I feel some resentment that I have to keep waking up to nurse my Baby. Why can't she just sleep through the night? But it's my duty, nobody else can nurse the baby. Oh, I am such a terrible Mom to feel this way!
Does any of the above sound familiar to you? Have you experienced similar situations when you felt frustrated, even resentment over your responsibilities as a Mother and then feeling pangs of guilt for even having such negative emotions? Or do you blame yourself for not spending enough time with your baby because there's simply too much to do at work?
It's the phenomenon of "mother's guilt".
It seems to affect many mothers who are absolutely loving towards their baby and dutiful in carrying out their mothering responsibilities. Yet why do so many of us feel the mother's guilt? It's as if we can never be the perfect mom that we wish for ourselves to be, or the Super Mom whom we think our Friend is, but not us.
I think I struggled with the mother's guilt much more, earlier in my motherhood days. Over the years, I have learnt to be kinder to myself. I have realised that there is nothing wrong with desiring personal time away from my children, and passing the baton to another caregiver while I catch a much needed break. We are only as good as we believe ourselves to be. Our Husband may compliment us and shower us with lots of encouragement about how well we are doing as a Mother; our children can repeatedly tell us they love us, but nothing beats our self-belief that we are being the best mum we can be.
Be kinder to yourself and don't be tripped by the Mother's guilt!
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. - Romans 8:1
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