Featured Advertiser:


 
 
 
 
 
What is NFO?
Natural Family Online is your down-to-earth, "how-to" resource for natural family living. We offer natural tips, tools and information every family can use!
 
Natural Family Online Home Page
 
Natural Family and Parenting Community Message boards
Visit our chat boards for great natural family discussions
 
Read about natural parenting tools every family can use
Natural Family Living
Attachment Parenting
Bookshelf
The Bottom Line
Breastfeeding
Education & Learning
Pregnancy, Birth & Fertility
Questions & Answers
Resource Guide
Your Family's Health
 
 
Join now for article updates and exclusive articles only found on NFO eUpdate!
 
 
Shop for natural items every family can use

Product Reviews

Bookshelf

Shopping

 
 
Write to us or get writers guidelines

Reprint Permissions

Send Us Feedback

 

We're looking for writers! Visit our Writer’s Guidelines for more details.

 
 

Contact us or read about us

About NFO

Advertise with us
Contact NFO &
Read Testimonials
Media Page: Who's talking about us?
 
 
NFO is going to print!
Interested in getting NFO by mail? Send us a YES here. Be sure to include your full name, e-mail and mailing address.
 
 
NFO Special Reports:
The Deadly Influence of Formula in America
And the follow-up report:
When It Has to be Formula: Optimizing the health of your formula-fed baby
 

Join our newsletter for new article updates!
More AP Articles

Please visit our AP sponsor:



A Mother's Guide to Dealing with Guilt


By Susie Cortright


"Step on me, please."

When I was a teenager, my grandmother and I were on a family vacation in my parents’ RV. The quarters were close, the beds at a minimum. My grandmother insisted I take the couch and she take the floor. I objected to this arrangement, of course: "What if I accidentally step on you in the middle of the night?" She reiterated: "Step on me. Please."

“How absurd,” I thought. It wasn’t until I had my own child that I understood. To some degree, every mother wants her children to be perfectly comfortable, perfectly protected, perfectly happy -- no matter what sacrifices she might have to make. When we as mothers inevitably fall short of this ideal, guilt sets in.

The purpose of guilt
Is there a positive side to these feelings of guilt? There can be, says Lesley Spencer, founder and director of Home Based Working Moms (HBWM), an association that helps bring working moms closer to their children.

"Guilt keeps us in touch with our feelings," Spencer says. "If we are feeling guilty about something, there is probably an area in our life that needs addressing."

With the first pangs of guilt, ask yourself why you are feeling this way. Are there ways you can alleviate guilt by changing your priorities? Will this be a positive change? If so, make that change. If not, take steps to zap that unnecessary guilt.

A mother’s guilt stems from an inability to give more of herself, but Jane Adams, speaker, author and research psychologist, offers another perspective. "Guilt is an internal state that is self-defeating and also self-absorbing," she says. "Guilt is all about you, not the subject of your feelings."

Adams adds that she prefers the word “regret” because regret, she says, is "guilt without the neurosis. It is an expression of feeling that acknowledges the other person’s feelings, too."

Four tips for alleviating guilt

Re-examine your goals and priorities. Spencer offers sound advice. "If your guilt involves not spending quality and quantity time with your children, then the issue should be taken seriously," she says. "Decide your goals and where they are falling short. If you work at home to spend more time with your children, you’ll have to address the issue of a growing business that requires more time or growing children who require more time. Don’t hesitate to hire outside help to help you accomplish your goals."

Remember your role as a parent. Adams reminds us that it our duty to set limits. "Understand that setting priorities, limits and boundaries ... about time, money, gifts, etc., is part of being a parent and requires no apologies or guilty feelings," she says. "Don’t let yourself be run or controlled by these emotions, especially when it’s in the best interest of your child to stick to the limits or priorities you’ve set."

Learn from your mistakes.
Discuss the object of your guilt with people whose opinion you respect. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and vow to learn from them. Be honest and upfront with your children, if you determine you are at fault. Offer a sincere apology and explanation.

Change "guilt" to "regret." A simple semantics change could make a big difference. "Try substituting the world 'regret' for the feelings you now label 'guilt,'" Adams says. "Regret requires no expiation -- simply the realization that you did the best your could in the situation and that you're not going to let your child's reaction control your actions."

For more information
All Mother's Work
A guilt-free guide for the stay-at-home mom
Buy it Now

Goodbye to Guilt
Releasing fear through forgiveness
Buy it Now

Working Mothers 101
How to organize your life, your children and your career to stop feeling guilty and start enjoying it all
Buy it Now

© Susie Cortright


NFO contributor Susie Cortright is the creator of Momscape and More Energy for Moms, an interactive mind/body/spirit fitness program designed exclusively for moms. Read more about Susie.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operation Special Delivery offers Doula Services to Military Spouses
 

Join now for article updates and exclusive articles only found on NFO eUpdate!

Being a parent is only natural, so why not parent more naturally?
Let NFO show you how.


"The media have become the mainstream culture in children's lives. Parents have become the alternative. Americans once expected parents to raise their children in accordance with the dominant cultural messages. Today they are expected to raise their children in opposition to it."
-- Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe columnist


NFO is an open forum for the public exchange of information and statements made pertaining to the properties and functions of foods, supplements, herbs, medicines and other nutritional products as well as to strategies and procedures have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. Natural Family Online™ and Blame Mama Media™ are not affiliated with any political or religious organization and do not endorse the personal opinions of the individual writers presented on this web site. Please review the rest of our disclaimer and user agreement. Natural Family Online (NFO) is © 2003, 2004 Blame Mama Media™. All Rights Reserved. Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site. Graphics by . Hosting, Design and Management by Blame Mama Media.

Also visit: Spa products, Cosmetics and Skincare | Organic tea and other goodies | Home & Business Solutions!
| Long Distance Rates Calculator | Business Opportunity | For Home | For Business | For Travelers | In Canada | Worldwide | Long Distance |
| 800 Toll Free | Conference Calling | Broadband Phone | Unlimited LD | Voice Messaging | Calling Cards | T1 Dedicated | Bundled | Wireless |
| Home Security | Dialaround | Web Services | PC-to-Phone | Internet Access | Computers | Satellite TV | High Speed ISP