how to avoid mom guilt

How to avoid Mom guilt

Mom guilt hits us no matter what we do.

Whether you co-slept or your baby was in a crib, it doesn’t matter.

You’re guilty.

Whether you stayed at home or went to work, it doesn’t matter.

You’re guilty.

Whether you fed them junk food or didn’t allow it, it doesn’t matter.

You’re guilty.

Regardless of how you taught them, disciplined them, or provided for them it doesn’t matter.

None of it matters.

You’re. Still. Guilty.

From the time you learn you are carrying life inside of you it becomes your number one priority to keep the most precious thing in the world safe.  Understanding that another being’s best interest is in your hands is a terrifyingly humbling feeling. Your children have an enormous amount of trust in your capabilities, and depend immensely on your ability to make practical, reasonable, and informed decisions on their behalf until they reach an age where they can make their own. With this in mind, you agonize over the daily decisions you have to make pertaining to what you think is best for your child, sometimes spending hours weighing options, doing research, and finally narrowly compromising with ourselves on a decision.

It’s a part of motherhood that many struggles with and it is entirely normal.  However, being aware of the normalcy doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Using a simple approach, such as a “R.E.L.A.X” strategy to help us cope with the heavy responsibility on your shoulders allows for the opportunity to overcome the daunting mom guilt and carry on as effective parents.

How to avoid Mom guilt

Regardless of how you taught them, disciplined them, or provided for them it doesn’t matter. None of it matters. You've sill got mom guilt.

Research

Ask people you know and trust. Read books. Find online articles from well-known and dependable resources. Pull in information from a number of sources and really contemplate what you’ve learned. Does it feel right? Does it compliment your beliefs? Does it make you feel comfortable? If your newfound knowledge makes sense to you then it is time to make your decision. It’s a lot easier to come to a conclusion when you are confident that you’re educated. Once you’ve reached a decision, stick with it! You’ve done the research and you’ve weighed your options. Ultimately, you know your child best. Have solace in the fact that you’ve paired an informed decision with intuition; this equation usually has the best outcome.

Escape the media

Take a look on your social media feed. What do you see? Probably plenty of headlines stating the latest and “best” research contradicting everything you’ve ever done as a mother. There’s a lot of information floating around on that worldwide web. We live in a society that is so hard on parents and seems to constantly perpetuate Mom guilt. There is no pleasing anyone, and everyone is an expert. Some of it is legitimate and worth considering, but a lot of it comes from unreliable sources masked as reputable. Narrow down what you’re subjected to. You can control the media that you see. Take the time to customize it and ensure you’re not being inundated with material that isn’t going to benefit you. Take everything with a grain of salt and don’t allow yourself to be put into a frenzy with information that may or may not be accurate. A simple “unfollow” can turn unnecessary hogwash from anxiety provoking to “out of sight, out of mind”.

Let yourself off the hook

It truly takes a village to raise your child. You’re not the only person impacting the outcome of the day to day care of your child. Moms tend to put so much pressure on themselves that they often forget that they are only a part of how a child is being brought up. Everything a child does, everywhere they go, everyone they see all impact the way that child thinks and behaves. They have teachers, extended family, coaches, daycare providers, community program facilitators, etc. that they see daily. All of these people your child comes in contact with will make an impression on the person they become. Understand that you aren’t your child’s only source of influence, especially when you see behaviour from them that you don’t necessarily understand.

Allow yourself to make mistakes

Parenting is an incredibly difficult job. An individual manual that came with your child would make raising them a lot easier, but seems how that doesn’t exist, heed that as a reminder: there’s no way to do this perfectly. Acknowledge to your child if you feel you’ve done something you need to apologize for. It will make you feel better and they will appreciate seeing you as a human being. Your child will build a reasonable understanding of self-awareness when they make their own mistakes. They will be able to take the necessary steps to redeem themselves in an appropriate and mature manner. You grow and learn from the mistakes you make. Your child will grow and learn from your mistakes, as well.

eXhale

You’re only raising a child to be a productive member of society that has strong morals, high ethics, that is responsible, hardworking, and compassionate while being healthy, well-educated, and independent. It’s no big deal, right?

Ya, right…

The importance of your job as a parent is significant. Aside from all the required duties (providing food, shelter, and love) there’s everything else you put on yourself as well. Give yourself a minute to recharge. You’re going to struggle if you pour from an empty cup. The best thing you can do for your child is to take care of YOU. Whether you exercise, meditate, take a bath, read a book, or whatever it is that makes you relax, you need to take the time to ensure that happens for YOU. Take a literal breath. If you can’t fit in the self-care that you require immediately take a moment to take a few deep breaths. Inhale for 3 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds. The more taken care of you are, the more you can take care of your child in an effective, positive manner. Do you know what else? Your child needs to see that, too. They need to realize that parents require love, care, and attention so they can grow up understanding that loving yourself is just as important as loving others.

It’s impossible to not feel any Mom guilt about anything. However, the looming feeling that your choices weren’t the “right” ones or that you could have done something better are indicative of one thing: You’re doing a good job. No. You’re doing a great job. Let yourself know that. Focus on the things that you undoubtedly know you have done “right” and let go of any thoughts that contradict that.

Your children truly don’t stay little for long. I know you’ve heard that a million times, but it’s true. There are so many other distractions in daily life such as bills that need to be paid, careers, housework, preparing food, and the list goes on. These tasks take us away from enjoying the moments of parenting that really are exciting and powerful. Don’t let guilt become a part of that list of distractions that consume your already limited time.

Take a minute, R.E.L.A.X., and enjoy raising your children.

ways to save money, frugal, tips

21 ways to save money when you have kids

Remember this post on the actual reasons why kids cost SO much money? I figured that many of you are in the same position that we are- spending most of your hard earned money on floor food and toilet paper- so hopefully this list of 21 ways to help you save money will come in handy!

21 ways to save money when you have kids

-Stretch your meat a bit further by adding lentils to ground beef and chickpeas to chicken. I can feed 3 adults and 6 kids a dinner of Butter Chicken with one chicken breast!

-Buy discounted foods. A lot of grocery stores will mark down food that’s about to expire. Get in on this! You can freeze a lot of it, or incorporate it into a meal prep day to make some meals you can freeze for those nights you’re too exhausted to cook and don’t feel like putting on clothes to greet the pizza delivery man.

-Sign up for rewards at local grocery stores. In a year and a half I’ve gotten us almost $600 worth of free groceries at our local store.

-Kids are notorious for eating about 3 bites of their food, declaring they’re full, and announcing 15 minutes after meal time that they’re famished and you don’t feed them enough. So, what do you do with all that extra food? I’d love to say “eat it”, but my experience tells me that those extra 1500 calories a day from their unfinished plates will end you up 25 lbs heavier. Put it in containers and save it for your lunch (notice how I said “your lunch”) the next day.

-“I rarely if ever buy clothing at full price. I’m always looking for great thrift or consignment store finds. And since moms are so busy I’m glad there are some awesome websites and apps for that these days. ThredUP sells consignment quality clothing in a great, searchable format. And for more high-end clothing I like Poshmark. It’s an eBay-like resell site with a Facebook style of interaction between buyers and sellers.” -Tracy, Frugal Florida Mom

-Mama, we can’t wear white anymore. Or black. Or grey…or blue…If you’re going to buy any new clothing save your money and buy prints ONLY prints, nothing solid, so tiny chocolatey fingers don’t show up on your blouse!

You no longer have to spend $20,000 on toilet paper if you use these 21 mostly helpful ways to help you save money!

-Still wearing your nursing bra from 5 years ago? Don’t be embarrassed! Own it! Not only are you providing easy access to your significant other when sexy times miraculously occur, but you’re fully committing to your frugal lifestyle by not running out to buy a whole new expensive bra just because you’re no longer nursing (and haven’t been for 3 years….again, own it!!).

-Meal plan!!! Seriously, this is a life saver for me. I’m not creative in the kitchen. I don’t enjoy cooking. Having a meal planner forces me to think about what I’m going to feed these people once a week and then I can forget about it (until I have to actually cook what’s on the menu, of course). Plus, this one is super pretty and super cheeky so I don’t mind it so much after all!

-I’m a fan of bathing my kids when they need it (a.k.a. when there’s visible dirt). I figure by doing this we’ll save money on shampoo and conditioner (we have 4 girls, people…) and save money on our hydro bill. We can then put that money towards our hydro bill that’s racked up from that guy I live with keeping the t.v. on all night while he falls asleep on the couch.

-“I freeze EVERYTHING to prevent food waste and save money, then find ways to creatively (and deliciously) repurpose it. Leftover chicken can be thrown into soups, leftover steak or pork can be made into chili, leftover rice can be frozen and later used for fried rice. The average family throws away $2200 a year in unused food, and I’m DETERMINED to keep that money in my pocket!-

-All Mom Does-Use bar soap. Kids tend to pour out anything liquid.

-Look for free programs in your community. We keep ourselves busy all week long and rarely have to pay for anything! Try going for a hike or spending time at a park. There’s a great resource here!

-Kids eat toilet paper (at least I think they do because we go through A LOT!!). Modern Day Hippie Mama used to be Super Duper Hippie Mama who used to use family cloth. Ya. Cloth toilet paper. It’s not as bad as it sounds, and we saved about $20,000 in toilet paper that year, but I definitely opt for the disposable type of bottom wiping materials now.

-“Budgeting is essential to setting your family up for success!”- AC, Right Meow or Never

-Buy your kids experience gifts for birthdays and Christmas like movie tickets or a trip to the science centre. They’ll be thrilled and you’ll get to have a wonderful family day.

-Drink grape juice out of a wine glass. Allow yourself real wine, too, but you’ll never be able to keep up with the expense of drinking it as often as necessary. Drinking something resembling liquid sanity will deliver a powerful placebo effect.

-“Coupons are great for saving money while grocery shopping, but now there is something even better, Rebate Apps.  I use apps such as Ibotta, Checkout 51, Saving Star and MobiSave to get money back on items I buy at the store.  Each week they offer a list of items with rebates available. After purchasing the item claiming the rebate is as easy as scanning the item barcode and taking a picture of your receipt.  This provides additional money saved on all my grocery shopping trips.”-Stephenie, Blended Life Happy Wife

-Cancel your cable subscription. #Netflixandchill is the best option for 3 reasons: 1) It’s relatively inexpensive 2) Binge watching is so satisfying, and 3) Netflix originals

-Use a Diva Cup

Workout at home!

-Have a no-spend day, week, or month. Only buy the absolute essentials (yep-wine and chocolate are included, ladies!). You’ll find you probably spend a lot of money on things you don’t necessarily need and will break bad habits quickly.

 

What are your favourite and creative ways to save money?

 

this is the best birth control you can use

THIS is the best birth control you can use

Dear, guy,

I’m done having babies. Like, so done. I’m done having babies to the point that when I see a baby my ovaries scream at me in such a way to remind me that I’ve had babies and I DON’T WANT ANY MORE BABIES. I’ve also gotten rid of all my maternity clothes so unless we’re going to buy hundreds of dollars worth of boutique maternity clothing (not that I ever had boutique maternity clothing but I would definitely want it if we got pregnant again), we aren’t having any more babies.

You don’t want to get a vasectomy. Fair enough. I know it’s intimidating wrapping your head (sorry, didn’t mean for that insensitive pun there) around a simple, relatively painless, 15-minute procedure. I’m sure I can be empathetic of it CONSIDERING I PUSHED OUR BABIES OUT OF MY VAGINA after a 10 million hour labour. But…your body, your choice. I dig it.

I don’t want more babies. You don’t want to lose your ability to have more babies in case I finally actually leave you. Fair.

So, what do we do to appease both of us?

We have a few options for the best birth control to use.

I’m not a fan of most of them, except for one:

Condoms.

They might be a nice idea but your whining about the use of condoms often takes the pleasure out of sex (although maybe your whining could cover up my vagina fart). I agree, they’re really the best birth control for having a whole lot of fun-unless they’re used as balloons…balloons we maybe shouldn’t use at the kids’ birthday parties.

Hormonal birth control.

“GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!! Oh, I’m so sorry I yelled at you *wipes tear*. Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahaha.”

You like that? That will be your life if I have to remember to take a tiny little hormone-altering pill at the same time every day. Also, I forgot to pick up our kids from school the other day; do you really want this whole birth control thing to be on me?

IUD.

It’s probably the best of all the options but it’s still not awesome. You see, there’s a foreign object inserted into my body for an extended period of time. Considering I’ve spent a considerable portion of my life already with foreign objects in my body (babies) I think I wouldn’t mind taking a break.

Tubal ligation.

Speaking of simple, relatively painless 15-minute procedures let’s hop right on over to the other end of the spectrum.

Abstinence.

I’m 150% game for this. Wanna know why? My Battery Operated Boyfriend (BOB).

 

BOB, BOB, you’re not a man,

You won’t get me pregnant like a real penis can.

You give off great vibes and you don’t want to cuddle,

I use you when I want to; no need to be subtle.

 

I think we have a winner for the best birth control!

I’ll enjoy a healthy relationship with BOB while you go fuck yourself!

 

Lots of love!

 

 

parenting articles you'll want to read

Parenting articles you’ll WANT to read!

We’ve all encountered parenting articles.

They’re on social media, on the news, in magazines and the newspaper:

“THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO PARENT” articles, written by Dr. Iknoweverythingaboutkidsbutdontactuallyhaveany.

They are filled with “current and updated” information that contradicts everything you currently do as a parent and make you feel like the shittiest parent on earth.

I used to read these parenting articles until one day I clicked on a link to the “50 things NEVER to say to your child”.  By the time I reached #38 I realized I had said every single one of those things at some point or another. I then proceeded to spend the next 2 weeks feeling guilty over the inevitable irreversible damage that I’d done to my children’s psyches.

I now avoid these articles like they’re alcohol-free playdates. Instead, I focus on my attention looking for things that empower me and affirm my fantastic parenting skills.

Parenting articles you want to read!

There are some parenting articles that aren't worth your while. These are not those parenting articles! You're going to want to read these!

“TOP 10 WAYS TO DISCREETLY DAY DRINK”

From stainless “coffee mugs” to a flask in your nursing bra that you’ve been wearing since you stopped breastfeeding 4 years ago. As long as you can maintain a consistent, healthy buzz and not slur your profanities no one will ever think booze is your preferred method of keeping your shit together.

“STEPS TO GET YOUR KIDS TO HAPPILY EAT A HEALTHY MEAL”

Forgetting threatening and fighting with them. All you need to do is bribe them with bacon and a little candy!

“SANCTIMOMMY AWARENESS”

Surefire ways to spot these bitches before they make it within a 1-kilometer radius of you and your little angels. You know, the ones you’re currently screaming at while feeding them fast food and non-organic powdered sugar doughnuts while they sit in front of the t.v. watching “Orange is the New Black” for the sixth hour in a row.

“WHICH WINE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TONIGHT?”

Life’s full of tough decisions. This handy quiz will help with those extra challenging choices.

”BEST HIDING SPOTS IN THE HOUSE FOR YOUR CHOCOLATE STASH”

A list of Mom-approved spots that your little mooches wouldn’t even think to look, like the cleaning supply drawer or anywhere near the washing machine. *Bonus–these spots are also husband proof!

“HOW TO KINDLY RESPOND TO COMMENTS ON YOUR HOUSEKEEPING”

Telling Judgy McJudgy Face to “fuck off” while slapping a nice big smile on your face is no longer your only option!

“SEX AFTER KIDS: CLEAN THE HOUSE, PACK LUNCHES, SHOWER, CHECK YOUR E-MAILS, FEED THE DOG, LOCK THE DOOR AND THEN FOLLOW THESE TIPS FOR A WILDLY QUIET, POSSIBLY INTERRUPTED SHAG”

Rekindling a faded sex life has never been easier than now! Following these simple tips could lead to THREE sexy encounters, which is double what you got last month! If you’re lucky you may even get to give some sexy parent specific sex positions a try!

 

Parenting articles like these are hard to find. Please join me at the park so we can scour the internet for them on our phones and ignore our children while they play.