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Enough of the Mom Guilt

Image Source: Heather Neal
Image Source: Heather Neal

This weekend, I was innocently catching a few relaxing minutes on the couch, drinking my pre-6 AM-wake-up coffee and perusing Facebook while my son sat curled up in my lap watching his latest 18-minute obsession, Super Wings, on TV.

As fate would have it, one of the first things I scroll down and see is a “Bingo Board of Mom Guilt.” As if I needed something else to try to make me feel bad about my parenting skills, my child’s behavior, or my homemaking skills (or lack thereof), here was a so-called game staring me in the face while I’m admittedly not doing anything productive or positive in terms of outwardly defined “good” parenting.

But instead of being upset by this list of things I’m probably doing wrong as a mom, I had to laugh. And when I was done laughing at the ridiculous things that made it to the “You should feel guilty about this” list, I practically screamed out loud, “Enough!!!”

Enough of the mom guilt, enough of the parent-shaming, enough of the judging. And seriously, enough of it coming from social media, where it just endlessly perpetuates itself and encourages people to jump on board with the guilt-inducing antics.

I’ve worked hard enough on my own to drop the self-inflicted “guilt.” I do not feel guilty for any way in which I parent or keep house or anything that may fall under the broad wife or parenting umbrella. Sure, of course there are times and days when I could do better, but I accept it as just that – something I could do better, not something I need to feel guilty about or something that qualifies me as a “bad” parent.

I’d rather focus on all the things I am doing well instead of making myself feel bad when I’m not doing them. The list on the made-up bingo board would make me cringe if it hadn’t made me laugh first. If there’s a parent that hasn’t done one of these things (and doesn’t on a regular basis) I’m not really sure we can be friends. Also, I’m not sure you exist.

Are you ready for some of the things on the list of prime “Mom Guilt” offenses? Here you go:

Turning on the TV to get something done.

Nope, never. If you believe that, go back and re-read the first sentence — and yes, scrolling through Facebook counts as “getting something done.” Don’t tell me otherwise.

Served pizza for dinner.

Isn’t that what Fridays are for? And Mondays and Tuesdays?

Didn’t buy organic.

If money grew on organic trees, I’d certainly entertain putting in a better effort for this one, but until that magic happens, that’s what vinegar is for: washing veggies.

Haven’t lost the baby weight.

I’m pregnant, so I get a pass, right??

Bed head at school pickup.

I highly recommend the yoga-pants-bed-head look. It takes much less effort when those times you truly want to impress come around.

I think this game would be much better suited for a parenting version of Never Have I Ever – that way at least you get rewarded with a drink every time you’ve done something on the list.

But in all seriousness, let’s stop pointing out all the things we’re doing “wrong.” They’re not going to destroy our kids and feeling bad about them doesn’t make you any better of a parent. I’d even go as far as to say that embracing some of these supposed offenses pushes you over to the positive side of parenting. It takes the pressure off, let’s you relax a little, and let’s your kids have a little not-so-rule-centered fun.

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