The Worst Part About Mom Guilt
I was scrolling through TikTok as one does to decompress after the kids went to sleep. A video came across my FYP that said “The worst thing about mom guilt is that there is no dad guilt.”
How infuriatingly true is that statement?!
I’ve never heard those two words put together in a sentence. On the other hand, I have heard every single mom friend I have discuss the guilt of not being able to meet the expectations they put on themselves as moms and balance work, extracurricular activities for their kids, etc. It is typically the standard to have a dual income home and less common to have the wife as a homemaker. And yet, the expectation for the wife to be responsible for running the home smoothly and making sure the children’s needs are met is still a societal pressure.
“I can already see how there’s this crazy double standard in our society of how it takes so little to be considered a great dad. It also takes so little to be considered a s***** mom.” – Ali Wong
I’m really fortunate to have a true partner in parenting and balancing the life that we’ve created together. Gender roles and household duties have changed tremendously even since millennials were children. Many of us saw our mothers overextend while they navigated the shift of having a dual income home become the standard. They gave all of themselves at work and at home, but the pressure to be the best at everything to everyone was still there. The dynamics have shifted significantly, but still have a ways to go. So much of the time, the woman in the relationship is seen as the project manager of the home, the kids, the calendar, etc. There is a lot of unlearning we have to do to share responsibility with our partners AND not feel the guilt of this imaginary version of ourselves that can do everything perfectly.
There is also a new facet that was not a factor when our parents were in the thick of raising children. Social media.
This performative element can make it appear like everyone around you is managing just fine and you are the one who can’t handle it all. It’s important to remember that you are only seeing a snippet of people’s lives and it is the aspects they wish to show. Social media allows us to be our own PR person. Some people are better at it than others.
I don’t have the magical solution to mom guilt, but I do think that the more we practice self-compassion the better we will get at allowing ourselves to be. We are human beings, not human doings! You are doing better than you think you are.