Mom guilt is the worst, and we’ve all felt it. All we see is the social media screen of perfection, day in and day out. But no one has this parenting thing under control all the time. Even those parenting gurus make mistakes.
At Purple Ladybug, we’re all about sunshine and rainbows. But on those days that the clouds come, don’t stress. Your kids don’t need a perfect mom — they just need you.
Below are some of the most common problems that bring on mom guilt. But we’re here to tell you — let it go. It’s time to channel your inner Elsa and ditch the worry and stress.
Are these parenting “hacks”? Not really. They are just real-life solutions to your problems so that you can show up for your kids as your best self. Because that is what’s most important. Ready to mom it up, guilt-free? Let’s do this thing!
6 Parenting Problems and Your Guilt-free Solutions
Problem 1 — Your kids want to snack all. the. time.
Every afternoon is the same battle. They get home from school, you start preparing dinner, and they go reaching for a snack. Or two. Or three. And if they’re younger, you’re being bombarded every few minutes with new food requests.
If you give in, they’ll be eating junk and not the healthy supper you already spent time planning, buying, and preparing. If you don’t give them their snacks, then they probably still won’t eat the healthy supper, and they’ll spend the next hour lamenting over their ongoing hunger. You are done.
Guilt-free solution — Have fun and healthy snacks handy
Stop fighting it and put out those snacks. Choose ones that help you feel good about what they’re eating and keep them accessible, even for your toddler.
To stop micromanaging their snack consumption, use special baskets or bins for storing each child’s snacks. Once or twice a week fill them up with their snack options. Make it a mix of chips, nuts, fruits, veggies, and sweets. Then once they’re gone, that’s it until refill day. This allows you to moderate without constant interference and interruption.
Then sit back and enjoy your dinner, whether they want it or not. You deserve it.
Problem 2 — The craft drawer is full of activities that never come out
You had grand plans when you stocked the craft drawer. But every time you open it, a huge mess follows. Why did you even buy all this glitter?!? And does your child really need 64 crayons? After 5 minutes of coloring they always just end up dumped on the floor.
Crafting and art is just one more mess to clean up, so now you never get any of it out. But you know these are great activities for your child. Here comes the mom guilt.
Guilt-free solution — Stock up on mess-free crafts
Go ahead and throw out the glitter. Ditch the anxiety-inducing stamp pads. And only get out the most basic set of crayons or pencils. Your child doesn’t need all of these messy things to make something great. You’ll be surprised how little is required for their imaginations to take flight.
If you’re looking for more variety, replace the problem items with mess-free crafts. Yes, they exist! Wax craft sticks and pipe cleaners will keep your child busy for hours. Stickers can be a great alternative to stamps. And your kids can even still enjoy some shiny, glittery fun with our Scratchy Scratch Paper combo pack. Hours of fun for them, without the mess. Woohoo!
Problem 3 — Your kids constantly argue
You made the choice to give your child a sibling, thinking they would have a lifelong playmate and friend. But nowadays it feels more like Highlander — “there can be only one”.
They argue about toys. They fight because one wants to be left alone. And then they yell because no one is playing with them. You find yourself constantly refereeing, being forced to choose a side, and it’s exhausting. And full-on guilt-inducing. There has to be a better way.
Guilt-free solution — Let your kids fight it out
We don’t mean punching or hair-pulling, of course. But learning to resolve problems takes practice. So the next time a fight ensues, lay down some ground rules.
Tell them you’re not the one who needs to solve their problems. They are big enough to come up with their own solutions. It’s time for them to use their voices to work through their differences. Talk through some scenarios and possible solutions together to help set the stage.
Then the next time a yelling match starts, don’t jump in right away. Listen, provide guidance if needed, and give them a chance to work through it. With some time and space, most disagreements can be resolved without you. You can keep your sanity while they learn valuable lessons in compromising and communication. Win-win!
Problem 4 — TV or tablet time is the only way you can get anything done
There’s always so much to do, and never enough time for it all. And the constant interruptions of “mom, mom, mom, MOM!” don’t help. You need 20 quiet minutes to yourself, but the only way you can get it — screen time.
But screen time is horrible for their brains, says every article ever. Too much screen time can lead to bad behavior, bad grades, and bad health. And then you’re a bad mom.
Guilt-free solution — Allow age-appropriate screen-time
Stop listening to all that nonsense! Yes, hours of screen time is probably not the best idea. But a couple of hours a day is not going to break your child. And it may save your sanity.
To ease your mom guilt, choose age-appropriate shows and video games. There is so much great educational content that is also entertaining. Some shows focus on math, science, and reading. Others teach social-emotional intelligence and kindness. Turn on Netflix and relax knowing your child is learning.
Screen time can be an asset to their education and even social experience. Games like Roblox and Minecraft allow kids to chat and work together while solving challenging problems. Allowing screen time does not make you a bad parent. It’s time to embrace it and get the break you need.
Problem 5 — You are drained and need a break
They are the light of your life, the very reason you breathe, and also the biggest drain on your energy. There’s always someone asking for something, or a room that needs cleaned, or an appointment to schedule. Caring for tiny people is exhausting. And it never stops.
Guilt-free solution — Take some time for yourself
It’s ok to need a break from your kids. Sometimes you just need to get away. And that means for more than a quick shower and phone scroll. It’s time to call in reinforcements.
If you have family nearby, ask them for help. Or hire a sitter for a night out with your partner. Ask around for recommendations and find someone that you feel good about. Yes, you’ll probably worry and check in. But take that break anyway.
You’ll get to enjoy an uninterrupted meal out. And the chance to have an extended talk with other adults without Paw Patrol blaring in the background. Take a nice, long shower, put on clothes that you feel great in, and hit up your favorite spots. Your kids will be fine, and you’ll feel rejuvenated.
Problem 6 — Your kid wants you to play, but you just aren’t feeling it
You’ve been playing doctor with your child and their dolls for what feels like hours. It started off cute, but now you are done. But every time you try to get up, they beg you to stay. And the guilt creeps in.
You know you’re no longer invested in this game, and that brings its own guilt. And now it just all feels like a giant waste of time.
Guilt-free solution — Set a timer
Kids love to play. It’s how they connect, but it doesn’t have to be your jam. If you’ve had all you can stand, give your child a time warning and set your phone alarm. Then tell them you’ll come back to this game another time.
You do not have to be Bluey’s dad. You’re not a cartoon dog with a super flexible work-from-home career (what is this magical job of his?). But, when you know you only need to channel his enthusiasm for a few short minutes, it gets easier. And more fun.
Another solution — choose a game that allows you to relax. Take another note from Bluey and try out Queens (just make sure you get to be queen 😉). Or have your child pamper you while you visit their salon. Every once in a while these games can work to your advantage. Enjoy them!
Mom guilt be gone!
Mom guilt can weigh you down and make it difficult to be present for your family. And you don’t need that. We hope our little “hacks” will ease your stress and keep the guilt at bay.
Have a parenting problem we didn’t cover? Let us know! We’re always looking for ways to make your parenting life easier and more enjoyable. In the meantime, check out our Free Printables and buy yourself a little time to relax tonight. You deserve it!