This week I went with Camilo to his annual health checkup. It felt to me as an annual appraisal, yes, those ones your boss does at work. Was I a good mom?
We always go together as a family to this kind of appointments. But this time my husband was ill, so I had to do it all by myself. Drive there. Park. Pay the parking. Keep the emotions of my toddler in check. Ask the right questions. Keep calm.
I had all kind of negative expectations: we’ll be late, there will be traffic, there won’t be parking space, he didn’t grow enough, he’s underweight, he’s going to have a tantrum, he’ll pee in the wrong moment, he won’t do what the doctor ask him to…
And of course, if any of those things materialized, it would be MY fault. Just my fault. Gosh! I am such a bad mother. He didn’t eat enough, my fault. He has tantrums, my fault.
Camilo started complaining and almost crying when we were close to the building. First we went to prepare the meeting, I mean to the toilet. Then we got in the office of the nurse. He was not very enthusiastic when he was asked to take his shoes off. He started to calm down with two cars. He was measured and weight with ease. Then we saw that his height and weight were just perfectly in line with expectations. Then we waited for our turn with the doctor.
Then he was happy. He played. He did all what the doctor asked him to do. All her questions on his abilities, interests and more were positive. He was almost dancing in the office. He was a happy little child.
I was out of myself. I was so happy. I was so thankful to my amazing medical choice. (If you live in Amsterdam, take your children there: Antroposofisch Consultatiebureau. We have to cross the entire city and it’s worth it) Of course, I didn’t think for a split second that the beautiful unfolding had anything to do with me. Of course not! It was great because of Camilo and because of our medical center.
I came back home and read a story of a mom with exactly the opposite experience. Taking a toddler to her annual check and suffering her behaviour and that of the medical staff. The worse was that she was blaming herself.
She made me think about my own experience and how I was blaming myself even before we got into the building. We mothers blame ourselves for everything: the behaviour of our children, the behaviour of medical staff, the traffic, even the weather!
Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you decided to look beyond the imperfection.
Now it’s a good time to let go of guilt. My mother felt guilty about this as well. My grandmother did too. I will now stop this vicious cycle. NOW!
Easy! 3 steps to obliterate the bad mom guilt
- Take a decision! Yes, this is the first and most important step. Decide now that you will not fall into the trap again of feeling guilty. No matter if people criticize you. No matter if that includes family members, other mothers, your mother, your mother in law… No matter if that includes YOU. Remember that all your choices, yes, I mean ALL your choices towards your children are based on love. Love is your basis, your nature and that makes you the best mother your children can have. So now take a decision that you will not play this record ever again.
- Anchor it. Once you decide it, let’s program yourself to make this decision a permanent one. Your body has memory, let’s use it for this purpose. Now that you have taken the decision not to feel guilty of being a “bad mother”, see in your body where is that sensation coming for you. For me it’s in my left shoulder. So, when you see yourself doing it again, playing the record of the guilty bad mother, touch your left shoulder. So you’ll remember your promise to yourself. Stop this record and play a new one.
- Appreciate. It’s hard to appreciate. It’s specially hard when we’re talking about motherhood. Because of that, today is a good day to start. What do you do that makes you a great mom? If this is difficult to answer for you, this is a subject you need to work on. Buy a beautiful journal and every night give 3 answers to this question. As you every night repeat this exercise, your appreciation for your work as a mom will increase. AND your appreciation for your mom and your grandmom will also increase. AND the bad mom guilt will vanish!
Inspired? Let us know how this work for you. Write a comment below. Share with your friends.
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