Working Through Guilt -- Or Is It Just Regret?
Nancy & Betsy
Well, don't do it! If you made informed choices, with the best information available to you at the time, you did the best you possibly could have done.
In her talks, renowned speaker and anthropologist Kathryn Dettwyler points out that moms should be aware of the important differences between guilt and regret. "Guilt is what you feel when you knowingly choose a lesser option for your baby. Regret is what you feel when the choices, and the consequences of your choices, are not explained to you."
If you are truly unhappy with how things have gone, consider these tips for coping with regrets:
- Don't trust hindsight: Acknowledge that you were vulnerable and made the best decisions you could in challenging circumstances.
- Forgive yourself: There's no better time than now to accept that this parenting gig is hard and you're not going to be perfect at it.
- What have you learned? Leverage your experiences to empower yourself in the future.