This post was originally posted on Social and Style and is republished with permission. All photos are courtesy of the blog’s founder, Kamana Sharma.
Three weeks ago, I had my first outing as a new mom. 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 mom guilt that I was leaving my little one. Chatting with other moms, I realized that mom guilt is a very normal thing.
Over the weekend, 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 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 of the community with all her energy and heart.
[Read Related: Capturing Childhood: How to Take Great Photos of Children]
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! 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.
Below, I put together a list of thoughts that have helped me reframe my feelings of mom guilt.
1. Define your own success.
Before I had Baby Aadhav, I measured myself on how much I achieved in a day, week, month, year, 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.
[Read More: 7 Simple Ways to Raise a Confident Child ]
2. Seek support.
It’s okay to ask for help. When I was eight 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 three hours! Having support in even one area like cooking frees up a lot of my time.
3. Celebrate joys, both big and small.
Celebrate and make memories with your 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.
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.
Mommas, I would love to hear your experience dealing with mom guilt in the comments section below!
Kamana Sharma of Social&Style is a fashion and lifestyle blogger. She loves fashion, fitness, travel, and supporting strong and talented South Asian women. A Washington D.C. native, Kamana currently lives in Singapore with her husband and had a baby boy this September!