Guilt Free Parenting
Lately I have found that the word “guilt”, seems to be largely associated with the act of parenting; I have come across a few articles recently about this very association. Strangely enough they actually should have nothing in common but still we keep hearing about how guilty parents feel about : “ not spending enough quality time with their children”, “not participating in school events or functions”, “not giving equal attention to each child”… and so the list goes on.
So firstly let us look at the dictionary definition of the word “guilt” – “an awareness of having done wrong or committed a crime, accompanied by feelings of shame and regret”. “OMW” 🙁 this does not sound like a healthy mind set for someone trying to parent children.
The big question is, why are we feeling so much guilt and are we passing the “Guilt Gene” onto our children? I sincerely hope not because the last thing I want is my children growing up, with such a negative outlook.
If I think back to my early days of motherhood, I can remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the responsibility I had for this young life – if you let it, this can turn into feelings of guilt, inadequacy and even depression. We might not realise it but we may harbour feelings of regret or guilt from our own childhood and this can often manifest, in a damaging way in our own parenting.
So what can we do to stop this pattern from occurring in our lives? How can we practice Guilt Free Parenting? I think, essentially we need to say NO to guilt! Which brings me back to an article I read many years ago, I cannot tell you who wrote it but the essence is: you need to practice “good enough parenting”. This sounds like such an easy concept but think about it – you actually need to learn how to say “no”. That means not over committing yourself – which can be hard for many of us to do, especially moms. Stop being a people pleaser – ask me, I know I am one, stop trying to be everything to everybody! This includes your children. I need to remind myself, that I do not always have to give in to everything they want and I need to say no sometimes and yes – not feel guilty about it.
This clearly is something I know I need to work on – so let’s say it together “I will banish the guilt!” 😀 Stop trying so hard and being so hard on yourself -stop the blame game – let it go and just be free from it!
A few books on the topic of Guilt Free Parenting which could be helpful to read:
- “Guilt-Free Motherhood: Parenting with Godly Wisdom”- by Julianna Slattery
- “Mommy Guilt: Learn to Worry Less, Focus on What Matters Most, & Raise Happier Kids”- by Julie Bort, Aviva Pflock and Devra Renner MSW
- “The Balanced Mom: Raising Your Kids Without Losing Yourself”- by Bria Simpson
- “Motherhood Without Guilt: Being The Best Mother You Can Be and Feeling Great About It”-by Debra Rosenberg