Isn’t it preposterous to find only women and mothers especially the new age ones experiencing guilt? Is guilt only confined to mothers of the current generation who are in fact pros at multitasking and juggle a multitude of roles with panache? Is it an isolating malady that only women experience? Why is it only specific and exclusive to mothers? This world reverberates only with the loud cries of maternal guilt without even the slightest whimper of paternal guilt! Sigh!
Don’t men feel it? Is it just alien to them? Don’t their genes recognise guilt? Perhaps their systems automatically detect, abort it in its nascent stage and hurl it into far-flung inaccessible domains! Or just like feelings such as empathy and sensitivity men lack the resources and chemicals in their bodies to feel and comprehend that most basic raw emotion called guilt. Or perhaps women should openly admit and acknowledge that men are simply better equipped at handling guilt! Interviewing new-age dads on this will offer interesting answers and perspectives!
NUK, a baby-care product company concluded in its survey that 87 percent of mothers feel guilty at some point while 21 percent kept regretting either most of the time or all the time, which is alarming considering that chronic guilt is diabolical and requires immediate professional attention as well as treatment. Both young and experienced mothers go through varying degrees of this incapacitating feeling at various stages of life. Guilt lays the foundation for all other negative emotions afflicting our bodies and minds. Needless to say, it is negativity in our lives and minds that disrupts the harmony in our bodies and causes energy imbalance.
It’s time mothers recognise the unhealthy and detrimental effects of guilt on their bodies and make concerted efforts to overcome it. Identifying the root causes of guilt and underlying factors will be the first step to understanding and combating it head on as well as attaining the desired outcome.
Easy Tips to Get Over Guilt
Delegate and Share Parental Responsibility – Delegating parental responsibility to spouses can be the easiest way to get over feelings of negativity while mothers can relax and watch how their partners negotiate the tricky situations caused by the little ones. Chances are most men will come croppers as they struggle to confidently find solutions to the plethora of parenting dilemmas and may even give up, acknowledging that it is not in their DNAs to parent a child. They would probably seek refuge under the conventional argument that men are definitely not wired or tuned to raise a baby and it is the mother who is naturally programmed to nurture the baby. Men will now be able to immediately empathise with the mother’s situation and start to offer support both physically and emotionally. A few lucky mothers however will find much to their surprise that their husbands are competent and confident fathers as the latter can take up parental responsibility as well as its chores and challenges with grace, acceptance and elan!
Establish a Support System – Surrounding oneself with positive people in the forms of relatives and friends instantly lifts our moods and plunging spirits. It goes without saying that aligning ourselves with like-minded people who understand what we are going through and empathise with our personal feelings will alleviate our suffering of alienation. Connect with people who can relate to the general ailments and concerns associated with motherhood and parenting. Fortunately, at this age and time, several support groups formed by parents themselves as also exclusive mums’ networks are available to offer support and guidance for mothers who find parenting overwhelming and are looking for advice to resolve parent-child issues while developing healthier relationships with their children. A healthy social life definitely contributes to our sense of well-being!
Identify Coping Mechanisms – Negative tendencies are to be combatted with coping mechanisms. Any activities that offer solace such as exercises, long leisurely strolls, music, art, travel, dance, yoga, meditation that help us release the negative energy should be embraced and practised with commitment and devotion if we are to see the desired results or the fruits of our efforts.
Pursue Hobbies – Hobbies are invariably the surest way out of challenging circumstances. The more we focus on our interests as we hone, develop and strengthen them, the least impact will these negative emotions have on us. People with hobbies are usually believed to have fewer self-destructive traits.
Resort to Diversionary Measures – This is one of the convenient ways to overcome guilt. Any activity that distracts us and takes our minds off from self-harming habits and unproductive thoughts like guilt will provide instant relief.
Practise Mindfulness – Mindfulness and observation of our own thoughts and emotions is a proven technique to fight guilt. Being conscious and watching our thoughts time to time will help us in identifying the negativity arising within and also destroying them immediately. We gradually understand that we are not our emotions but it is only the dysfunctional mind patterns that are playing tricks. We slowly learn to detach ourselves from such self-destructive feelings.
Get Back to Work – Career provides us validation like nothing else and most of the toxic perceptions related to the self following motherhood can be eased when we return to work!
Go Easy on Yourself – Parenting is no easy task and there is no bigger responsibility than the former. No job is as demanding as motherhood and constantly mentoring as well as coaching the children is exhausting to say the least. It is even more frustrating and demotivating to see when our persistent efforts not yielding the desired outcomes. It is only natural to get exasperated when we see all our parenting endeavours going down the drain. Considering that parenting involves substantial investment of our physical and mental energies, it is all the more important to go easy on ourselves and relax our standards as well as expectations we have of ourselves. We need to back ourselves when the going gets tough and understand that it is unreasonable to fulfill all our parenting goals.
Know that You Are Doing a Good Job – The knowledge that as mothers we are doing a wonderful job is extremely empowering, uplifting and reassuring. Given the laborious nature of parenting, it’s time mothers stop underestimating and undervaluing themselves, instead understand as well as recognise their true worth and contributions!