Mother's guilt is something I think all mothers deal with at some time. If you don't, please share your secret. I know it is something I have struggled with. I didn't stay home with my son the first 2 years of his life. Breastfeeding didn't work out for us. We watch too much TV as a family. He gets sweets more than he should. He doesn't have any siblings to play with. The list goes on and on. It is also different for different moms.
I also believe mothers guilt is something we can all overcome. The question is "how?" I am not quite sure, but here is what I have decided to do. Maybe it will at least alleviate some of that guilt.
First, I plan on setting some daily goals. Sometimes the day gets away from me and I feel like I have accomplished nothing. It's not that I have been sitting on the couch, eating ice cream and watching TV, but still, I never seem to get ahead. I figure this way at least I can cross something off a list. Then I can feel some sense of accomplishment.
Second, I am going to start being completely honest with others. Let me explain. It's not that I lie about how I am as a parent, but sometimes if I do something I worry others won't approve of, I just don't ever bring it up, even if we are talking about the topic. I decided to stop doing that. Some people might still judge me, but I think more likely is they do similar things. An example. A friend of mine on Facebook confessed she lets her daughter watch TV while she gets ready in the morning. Mother's guilt would have you think that a young child should never watch TV, but rather be engaged in creative, education play at all times. Guess what the respond to her comment was? Everyone did similar things! We are all hiding our mothering "faults," when in reality we are all in the same boat.
Third, and probably the hardest, I want to stop comparing my parenting and my son to others. Along with this is to try and not judge others for how they choose to parent. This is a hard one because I think as women we have a nasty habit of making comparisons in all aspects in life. I hope as I catch myself doing either of these, that I can stand back and make a conscious effort to stop myself. With time I think it will become easier.
Lastly, I want to try and enjoy all the time my son and I spend together. Let's face it, in the long run all he is going to remember is not how often I brought him to fun extracurricular activities, or how many veggies I made him eat (However he will still be easting them often.). Rather he will remember if he enjoyed being with his mom and if his mom loved being with him.
As a final note, my husband often points out that he watched a LOT of TV as a kids, and he ended up getting a PhD, so I doubt a little Phineas and Ferb is going to ruin my kid.
I would appreciate any, more practical ideas on how to alleviate mother's guilt. I doubt I will stop comparing myself overnight.