Mom Guilt in 2020
We recently touched on how mom guilt helps with perspective on parenting as well as ways to embrace it and work through it by finding community. BUT what about this year? 2020. This year of weird where, on top of mom guilt as a new or not-so-new mom already, you’re socially distancing, taking on new roles as school-from-home parents on top of working from home. Or maybe your maternity leave ended but you decided to keep baby home from daycare and now you’re juggling an infant AND your full-time job.
“How do I manage the mom-guilt when we’re stuck at home with each other ALL THE TIME?”
As we discussed in our previous post on mom guilt, taking care of yourself and finding community are helpful ways to quiet the mom guilt. And while both approaches may look a little different this year, there’s still creative ways to center yourself and find your village.
Center Yourself at Home
Most importantly, how are you taking care of yourself when you may not have the luxury of leaving the house for in-person socializing, massages, yoga or other self-care services? Of course you can do many things from home like take a quiet bath, app assisted meditation, reading books for pleasure, at-home workouts, or even just zoning out on the newest binge-worthy show, but the real issue can often be actually taking that time.
Just like you would block time on your calendar and arrange for your partner to watch the kids if you were leaving the house, do the same for your preferred at-home self-care activity. And if that’s not an available option for you, look to those when-the-kids-are-sleeping moments, and squeeze even the smallest of things in there. This might look like going to bed 15 minutes earlier than you normally would.
In this time of so many unknowns, creating routine wherever you can will help you and your family find comfort in what you can control. And it will help you schedule alone time for you, alone time for your partner along with time for whole family activities.
Community from the Couch
When it comes to making connections during this time of social distancing, finding a community through digital means may not be ideal but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make new friendships and connections with whom you may one day be able to connect with in person.
For pregnant or new moms, here are a few ideas for finding digital connection:
- Virtual birthing classes. Whether through your provider, hospital/birthing center or private classes, you may find connection with other parents-to-be, your birth coach or doula.
- Is there a “New Parent Meet-Up” group at your hospital or birth center? Maybe they’ve gone virtual. You’ll find yourself among other moms / parents that have infants the same age. Ask your provider or check their website or events calendar.
- Find support and reassurance in Private Facebook Groups. Groups on Facebook that match your interests are a great way to start connections with other moms in your area or from all over, or even for specific pregnancy or parenting (or non-parenting) topics. Popular private Facebook groups to consider: Pregnant Moms Due in 2020 (or 2021, or by birth month and year), Fussy Baby Support Group, Milky Mommas, The Mommy Grind, Simple Families, Moms in Tech, and so many more.
- Listen to podcasts while doing mundane tasks like sorting laundry or washing dishes. While this may seem a little one-sided from a community standpoint, it’s a great way to hear from other moms and experts. And often, podcasts have a blog, newsletter or private Facebook Group where you can be part of the conversation. A few recommendations include: Katie’s Crib, The Birth Hour, The Mom Hour, The Longest Shortest Time,* One Bad Mother, Raising Good Humans, and so many more!
- Schedule a digital date with friends. You may be feeling a bit fatigued by yet another virtual call after a long day but it can be worth it when connecting with familiar faces. Maybe try something different - find a game app that you can play collaboratively (my sisters, mom and I play the card game Euchre online once a month) or meet up digitally for a book club.
Most importantly during this oddest of years, remember to give yourself grace. Every day is a new day and if you have a really tough day that leaves you riddled with mom guilt, you can try again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. Hug yourself, hug your partner, hug your kid(s). Breathe. Let it go.
* The Longest Shortest Time is not producing new episodes but there are many seasons of archives well worth a listen.