Guilty as Charged?

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Are you feeling guilty about how you’re raising your children? Here’s how to get rid of the parenting guilt

If you’re feeling guilty about how you’re raising your children, you are not alone. A 2017 survey by Farm Rich, found that parents feel guilty over the decisions they make concerning their children, so much so that a large number of respondents said that the pressure to be the perfect mum or dad from social media, family, and friends made it worse.

The research found that losing one’s temper is the main source of guilt. Others include being so busy with work and missing children’s activities, not being home enough, not cooking enough meals at home, allowing too much screen-time, not taking children for more outings, not playing with them enough and nagging them over chores.

All these feelings of frustration are normal. It may not seem like so when you see pictures of those supermoms on Facebook (maybe block them as you sort out your feelings), but experts say that all these emotions are normal. Stifle them and they will burst, outrun them, and they will catch up with you. Acknowledge that they are there, and you’ll buy yourself normalcy. Here’s how.

Stop Chasing Perfection

Perfect parenting does not exist (perfect anything does not exist). If you’re striving for perfectionism, you’re setting yourself up for burn out, or worse, depression. Perfectionism leads to unrealistic expectations, which can harm your health and that of your children.

Stop Comparing Yourself with Other Parents

Comparing yourself with other parents, or trying to compete with other people, will only induce more guilt and can lead to mental health issues which include depression and anxiety. Focus on your own efforts and remember, the perfect lives of other parents may not be as perfect as you think. It’s about quality, not quantity. If you’re worried that you’re not spending “enough” time with your kids, researchers say that it’s not about the length of time you spend with your kids that matter. It’s all about quality. You can “spend” two hours with them and you’re all on electronic gadgets the whole time, or you can spend thirty minutes baking together, which will create lasting memories (and offer them a life skill). Be more present with your kids, and you’ll reap the benefit of that.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

When you regret a decision you’ve made that concerns your little ones, don’t put yourself down. Life is already hard enough. Instead, practice self-kindness. Self-kindness has been shown to help alleviate the feelings of anger or regret after we’ve made a bad decision.

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