Ditch The Parenting Guilt.
- Why am I not home with the kids?
- Why isn’t the house clean?
- How can I miss the school play?”
That same negative nagging voice makes comments such as:
- I am a terrible parent to have missed the school play.
- XXX is a much better parent than I am.
- XXX does so much more in a day than I do.
The list can go on and on. But, who does this voice, the voice of this person putting negativity inside of you, serve?
Guilt is self-destructive, wastes energy and adds stress to your life.
The first step to ditching the parenting guilt is to identify if you even should be feeling guilty.
Guilt usually manifests when a person feels they have gone against their own moral compass.
What needs to be determined is if you have really done so or if something else is making you feel guilty. Is your conscience playing tricks or were your actions truly wrong?
Did the event already occur for which you feel guilty, or is it a future event?
If it is an event in the future than it is not guilt that is being felt but rather the close cousin called “worry.” In the case of worry over a future event keep in mind that you can still change the future.
Create a list of all of the reasons for which you are worried, evaluate the list for real issues and then brainstorm how you can handle the real issues.
If the event is in the past then you must learn to make your peace with it so that you can move on. Consider what could have been done to create a more positive outcome. How could the situation have been handled differently?
Even if it could have been handled differently, if there is nothing that can be done to improve the situation, then you must let go of the guilt.
If you could have handled things differently and you now have a plan should the same situation arise then you must let go of the guilt.
LET GO OF THE GUILT.” Guilt serves no one.
Allow yourself the realization that you are doing the best you can. You have made decisions to the best of your knowledge at the time.
Do not look back and be upset because you did not make the healthiest choices but, rather, think about whether or not you made the healthiest choices based on what you knew at the time.
Holding on to parenting guilt, or any guilt for that matter serves no positive purpose.
Guilt is toxic to your mental and your physical health. Guilt can cause extreme bouts of anxiety, stomach cramping, weight gain, sleep deprivation and a whole host of issues with the people in our lives.
Originally published September 9, 2014