A Mom On A Mission – Reframing the “Mom Guilt” conversation

//Dress c/o JumpEatCry // Shoes c/o HeatWave c/o //  Similar Necklace // Stroller // Similar Diaper Bag

Three weeks ago, I had my first outing as a new mom. With the baby at home with Nani (grandma), I attended an event with Inc. Magazine celebrating fashion designers in Southeast Asia. Even though I planned well in advance to be away from home and made sure Baby Aadhav was well taken care of, I still felt pangs of guilt that I was leaving my little one. Since then, I’ve been out a few other times and still get the same feelings. Chatting with other moms, I realized that “Mom Guilt” is a very normal thing. While I understand that I have to start leaving the house (more than just to get my eyebrows done), it’s still hard for me to not feel guilty when I do. Over the weekend, I took my mom to Singapore’s Little India for sightseeing and yummy chaats (Indian appetizers). We all agreed it was best to leave the baby at home since Little India, right before the Diwali festivities, is extremely crowded. Over chole batura and chai, I shared with my mom how it’s been so emotionally tough to leave the baby. My mom assured me that my feelings are normal but then said something I didn’t expect. She told me I needed to reframe how I was thinking. Having raised my sister and me on her own, my Mom had to balance raising us while supporting our family. She said that she too felt guilty working long hours and being away from home – but she was on a “mission” to give us the best life possible. That mission drove her to raise her two daughters, excel in her career, and be a pillar in our community with all her energy and heart. Now when I do have to leave Baby Aadhav, I tell myself I am on a mission – to give my baby the best life possible. Whether I am leaving for a meeting, workout, even a quick grocery trip – I tell myself I am on a mission! Now I feel more energy when I am out, get things done quicker, and feel stronger both emotionally and physically. I do still give Baby Aahdav tons of hugs and kisses when I get home but from the smiles and giggles – I don’t think he minds. I put together a list of things have helped me reframe my feelings of “mom guilt”. I  would love to hear your experience dealing with “mom guilt” in the comments section below!

A Mom On A Mission – Reframing the “Mom Guilt” conversation

  • Define your own success: Before I had Baby Aadhav, I measured myself on how much I achieved in a day, week, month, year, etc. My MO was to do as much as possible (work full-time, blog, workout, spend time with family and friends, etc.). Now my first priority is my baby and his well being. I prioritize based on his needs and try not to focus on trying to do it all. Being present, enjoying this time, and redefining how I measure success have helped me manage my time and energy.
  • Support: It’s ok to ask for help. When I was 8 months pregnant, I started having someone come to the house to help with cooking once a week. For the longest time, I refused to have someone help since I thought I should be able to manage. Thankfully we found someone within our budget who can cook a week of food in 3 hours! Having support in even one area like cooking frees up a lot of my time. The best part is I don’t have to worry about a dish not coming out right since I am still trying to get the hang of cooking.
  • Celebrate: Celebrating is so much fun with a little one. For each month during Aadhav’s first year, we have a little celebration. I get a small cake and take photos to capture how Aadhav is growing. With Diwali around the corner, we are excited to celebrate Aadhav’s first Diwali too!
  • Recalibrate: Every few weeks, I try to take some time to reflect on how the baby is doing, what his needs are, what our family’s needs are, and my own needs. Based on this, I re-prioritize my approach, time, and energy. Now that the baby is sleeping more at night, I am trying to make sure I rest as well. Often I would write my blog posts at 2 am after the baby went to sleep. Now I am trying to find time during the day to get more done so I rest better.

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Comments

  1. This is a wonderful post Kamanna! I am not a mom but recaliberating is something I also do that helps me to better plan my day to achieve my goals

  2. How I wish someone had said the things mentioned in your post when I went back to work after my first baby was born. Love you for such and inspirational post.
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  3. I would say you are lucky to have supportive people and family members around who understand your need to go out and work. More than the mommy guilt its the judgment from others which make us feel guilty. Superb post, Kamana!
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  4. Wonderful post with great tips. Support from the right people really makes a difference. Indeed, we need to get out of the guilt. That only helps us to be at peace and gain success at both fronts!

  5. This is such an amazing way to look at it. Guilt is such a huge part of our lives and we hold ourselves back because of that. Loved your mom’s idea on treating it as a mission and more power to her for doing so amazingly well on her own! <3

  6. Everything changes with the arrival of a baby. It is tiring and not easy at times but all worth it. Enjoy this phase of motherhood.

  7. I agree with all your points.It Can be hard as a mom tout yourself back into the centre of your own world, but these tips sure help look after our own lives.

  8. Disha Bhandari says:

    Being someone who has had major mom guilt trips, this fresh outlook makes so much more sense to me than the traditional bad mom debate. Love your moms take on this Kamana.

  9. This is post every mother can relate to. You have beautiful explained how mothers feel guilt while they start working with leaving their tiny souls. I admire that you are able to overcome your guilt. Good to hear about your strong mother. SHe is an inspiration really.
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