A couple months ago I talked to my therapist about all the single mom guilt I was feeling. I sat in front of her and listed all the things I felt I was doing wrong (the list was long!). As a widow, I felt that I now had to be mom and dad. When I was done my rant, she looked me in the eyes and said “Ann, you are not a super mom.” I looked at her surprised. I was almost offended. Was I that bad of a parent? My therapist continued “You have to realize that no one is a super mom. You are human and will make mistakes. You are mom, not mom and dad. Don’t stress or expect to be both roles.”
It took a few seconds to digest her comments. I was convinced that I was a parenting failure so hearing someone tell me the opposite was bizarre. Slowly, as my therapist kept talking, I realized that she was right. I was NOT a super mom, no one EXPECTED me to be a super mom. No one expected me to be mom and dad. It was a title that I placed on myself and it was up to me to remove the burden. Once I decided to change my attitude about my parenting style and accept myself as a single mom, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders.
I know many people experience mom guilt. As moms, we place expectations on ourselves and beat ourselves up when things do not go as planned. For example: the kids are late for school, the laundry is not done, the kids do not like dinner, money is tight and activities are limited….the list goes on. We expect ourselves to be perfect when in reality no one is perfect.
My advice is to release your mom guilt. Realize that no one is perfect, the house does not need to be clean 24/7 and the laundry can pile up. I promise you will feel a weight lifted from your shoulders.
After the devastating and sudden loss of her best friend and soul mate in August of 2011, Ann is working to reinvent herself. Committed to living the life her husband would have wanted her to, she is learning to do things she never had to do before, including maintaining the household and raising two teenagers as a single mother. Inspired to help people, Ann is focused on the positive.
You can find Ann at her site LivingThroughTheTears.com, or on Twitter .