“What is mom guilt?”
If you’re a mom, you have probably never asked this question. Because when you’re a mom, you know what mom guilt is.
It wasn’t until I wrote my book about mom guilt, Good Moms Don’t: Lies, Truths and How to Conquer Mom Guilt, that I started hearing the questions “What is mom guilt?” from men. Some of the men were even dads.
The first man who asked me was my publisher. He has a wife and three kids. The next man was a man from my critique group. He read every chapter of the book and still didn’t understand. In fact, he thought I should scrap the whole project and work on my surrogacy book instead.
It wasn’t until my boyfriend, Larry, asked me that question and another question that I started realizing that men just don’t get it. The other question was, “Why is it such a big deal?”
The “why is it such a big deal?” question is one I think a lot of people wonder also, but I answered that question in my blog What is the big deal about mom guilt?
I explained to Larry about the guilt I felt about my son’s babysitter being inappropriate with him. His response was, “That’s something you should feel least guilty about. There was no way you could have foreseen what she was going to do. Even statistically, women are less likely to molest children.”
My response, “That’s the thing I felt most guilty about. That’s what hurt him the most. That’s where I should have known better. That’s what I should have protected him from.”
All of this got me thinking about men not understanding mom guilt. So why don’t the?
I think the first reason is obvious. Men, aren’t moms. Even if they are a dad, they aren’t a mom. So it makes sense that they don’t understand mom guilt. If a man in your life doesn’t understand why you feel guilty, it doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t valid. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care enough to understand. It simply means he’s not a mom, so he doesn’t get it.
Another reason men might not understand mom guilt is because men typically are more logical and women are more emotional. Larry proved that point to me. He looked at the babysitter situation logically. Is there any way I could have possibly known that a 12-year-old girl could hurt my son while babysitting him with her mother in the home? It’s pretty unlikely.
The point I want to make is that men and women are different (duh!) but that difference doesn’t make one or the other wrong. Our differences are meant to complement one another, not shame one another. I bet if Larry and I had been dating at the time, I wouldn’t have created so much guilt around the situation with the babysitter because we would have talked about how I was feeling, and he would have shown me the logical side. I can’t say that for sure obviously, but that’s the type of relationship we have and I always feel better after we talk things through.
Do you need support with mom guilt? I’m here to help. Check out Good Moms Don’t: Lies, Truths and How to Conquer Mom Guilt or if you’d like to go more in-depth, schedule a free coaching consultation call. I am passionate about helping women from the inside out.
Until next time, Alysia
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