Letting Go of Parental Guilt and Taking Time for You

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, that’s normal and it likely means you aren’t taking enough time for yourself. Self care is important and parents should not feel guilty about prioritizing it.

I struggle quite a bit with feelings of Mom guilt. 

Most of the time, this happens when I’m sitting in the bathroom, taking a 5 minute break from the chaos of being laundry goddess, snack tender, chauffeur, lunch packer, email responder and business owner. 

The ability to snack on stale gummies while scrolling through ridiculous, mind numbing videos and posts on Instagram is probably the glue that holds together my patience some days, especially in the winter. 

(Nature, you’re a cruel bitch)

While I sigh and leave the bathroom with a feeling of coming up for air, I almost INSTANTLY plummet back down into self loathing, especially if when I come out of the bathroom, there’s a darling child of mine staring back at me, with innocent eyes. 

I imagine that they think I’m abandoning them. 

That they’ll tell their friends, their teachers, their parent - MY parents! - that I’m an absentee Mom. 

That I’m lazy, uninterested. 

Nothing could be worse in the world, I tell myself. 

I know I’m not alone in thinking this. I see this same story echoed out in posts of friends, internet Moms uniting in the common bond of feeling like they need a few time outs of their own. 

And - get this - YOU ABSOLUTELY DO.

Parenting is not a faint hearted, graded and analyzed 9-5. It is a balls to the wall - sometimes literally - 24/7, 365 endeavor. 

There is no pay.

There is no time for a break, a poop, a second to smear on mascara and grab anything other than your sleep scrunchie and some dry shampoo. 

With that much of a demand, you do not need to beat yourself up for the human, natural inclination to crave and need a few minutes of sanity during the waking hours of tending to your children. 

Self care means sustenance. It creates an environment where you can continue to parent the way you know best, at the best of your ability. 

You do not need to feel guilty, bad, or anything other than relaxed for taking the time to save some for yourself. Your kids will not make you feel bad or guilty. Your partner should not make you feel bad or guilty. 

So repeat after me: “I deserve to take care of myself.” 

I personally will have to keep repeating that to myself, but in the sake and spirit of our month of love and self care, it needs repeating. 

You deserve it, you un-showered, grubby Cinderella, you.

For some help getting started, make sure to check out our tips on self care for parents.