My Messy Mom Life

My Messy Mom Life: 2.12.20

Of all the sleepless nights I’ve had since my oldest was born seven years ago, nothing has kept me awake for hours on end like mom guilt. It’s the gnawing feeling that you could have done better or that you should be doing more. It’s been one of the biggest challenges of my motherhood journey. I can tell you right now, if you care enough to try to be better for your kids, you’re an amazing mom. Here are some tips that have helped me combat the guilt.

» Realize social media is not reality.
Some of my biggest guilt spirals have come from comparing myself to moms online who seem to have it all together and are always having fun. In the old days, women didn’t have to compare themselves to perfectly filtered moms constantly smiling and snuggling their kids. They did their thing and trusted it was enough. Coming from someone who works on social media, the perfect posts are just a millisecond of the big picture. We all struggle.

» Choose the right friends.
I’ve shared my heart with mom ‘friends’ before about my personal struggles with parenting, and they have looked at me like I’m insane. I left the conversation feeling more lost than ever. I have learned to only share my big challenges with the right people who understand and encourage me. Find friends that take the pressure off of you, not heap it on. Find friends to watch Bad Moms with.

» Do less and prioritize.
I remember throwing my daughter the most epic birthday party. I ran around like a crazy person, spent hundreds of dollars and invited everyone. That night after she went to sleep, I sobbed in my bed. I had spent so much energy throwing her the perfect party that I didn’t get to actually be with her on her birthday. The guilt was worse than ever. Thanks to my husband’s brilliant advice to “just stop,” I’ve started doing a lot less. Turns out, I’m way happier and because of that, so are my kids.

» Aim for a few minutes of present connection.
Our kids aren’t looking for us to hang the moon for them every day … they just want to feel connected to us, and we want the same thing. On my worst days, I try to step back from the chaos, put my phone down, and focus on each kid individually for just a few minutes. I hug them, kiss their face and tell them something I love about them. I go to bed feeling less guilty because we had a moment, even if it was just a small one. Focus on the moments because that is what they will remember, and give yourself space to be imperfect in between.

» Shake it off.
Here’s what I know about guilt: It’s not a proper motivator in any area of life. It leaves you feeling defeated. Shake it off literally (with a dance party) and figuratively. We don’t have time to waste mulling over our shortcomings; it’s better for everyone to just move forward.

There is a reason for the saying, “It takes a village.” We all need to help each other on this journey. Surround yourself with people who invest in your kids when you feel weak. Let them help you, and enjoy the ride.

Katelyn Young is a local mom of three (her #crumblycrew) who shares real moments of motherhood as it related to fashion, food and fun! Follow her on Instagram at @_katelynyoung_ or follow her blog at thebejuledlife.com

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