If there’s one thing I learned about being a parent, it’s that it’s never easy. Couple this with what we see in social media (hello, perfect family where the parents seem to figure it all out) and that feeling that I’m doing the best for my kids is going down the drain.

Then again, so what? Does letting my kids eat chips from time-to-time make me a bad mom? I don’t think immediately rushing to them when they trip makes a bad mother, too.

I used to worry about what other people might think out of fear of being judged. You know what? Instead of feeling good, there’s a constant pleasure to do this and that – and I failed to notice what my kids really need.

So, I’m saying goodbye to these things that used to make me feel guilty and instead, I give myself a pat on the back because I am doing my best in this crazy world called parenting:

The Not-So-Clean House

I’ve been yaya-less for four years already, which means all household chores are under my responsibility. Now that my kids are a little bigger, I assign them simple chores to help me out at home. There are moments when I feel that I am not performing my role as a homemaker when the house is messy.

Then I realized, it’s okay. Mess is okay. It’s not like I’m not going to tidy up. It’s just that there are other tasks that needs to be done (like cooking or study time with kids) and the chores could wait.

Having “Me” Time

Three years ago, I went through depression. I got myself up and decided that I should start focusing on myself, too. I decided to pay more attention to myself, shopped for clothes, get a massage or foot spa occasionally, get a quiet time to read books, and the list goes on.

Yes, I’m a mother but this doesn’t mean my needs (and wants) don’t matter. Me-time is important because it helps us mommas to recharge and keep our sanity intact before we face our daily battle of stacked dishes, laundry, and mess. Never feel guilty for giving yourself that reward.

Date Nights

Aside from being a mom, I’m also a wife and the husband deserves time, too. The husband and I schedule date nights once a month. We were able to go out of the country without the kids, which is what we needed as well.

READ: Why Married Couples Should Travel Together Sans Kids

Yes, I Let Them Use Gadgets, Too

We all know the harmful effects of too much gadget use. As much as possible, I set a limit whenever they use an iPad. I am also firm in saying that gadgets are not allowed UNLESS they finish studying.

But there are times when I just need to get the work and chores done, and gadgets have been my best friends. I must admit that it keeps my kids quiet and behaved, which is what I need at times, especially during weekends.

Raising My Voice

My kids listen when I use a “quiet voice.” But for some reason, there are instances when speaking voice is not enough. That is why I raise my voice to emphasize something or to get my kids’ attention.

Of course, I don’t do this in public places or in situations where my kids could get embarrassed.

READ: I Shouted At My Daughter For Not Speaking Up

Eating “Outside” Food

I’m not the best cook and I’m not a kitchen mom as well. Still, I do my best to serve my family healthy homecooked meals.

Still, there are instances when I’m just too lazy to cook or kids are buried in schoolwork so I had to dial 8-McDo. The husband and I agreed that takeouts should be once a month, so I had to schedule it strategically.

Not Giving Everything The Kids Want

I admit that I used to buy the kids everything they want and when they asked for it. I just love spoiling them and seeing their faces every time they walk out of the toy store with paper bags.

As they get older and after realizing how much money I wasted over toys they rarely get to play with and shoes they wore twice, I decided to be more mindful.

What Educational?

I have to admit that at times, I used to envy moms who do all those crafts and educational things with their kids. I try to do my best to incorporate educational activities in their routine but being consistent was my issue.

Then again, why should I be bothered by it? I stopped feeling guilty for not consistently doing Pinterest-worthy activities and focused more on spending time with them. We watch movies, bake cookies, play board games, and play water gun. When I’m in the mood to look for “educational activities,” then we do some – but I don’t feel guilty for the lack of it.

Tough Love

I have to admit that I’m not a malambing person. My love language does not include touching as well. When my kids cry or they fall out of carelessness, I don’t immediately go to them and comfort them but instead, tell them to brush it off and stand up again. When they have to study or want to do something, I let them do it on their own instead of me helping them in every step. When they didn’t copy their homework because they “got tired from writing,” I let them figure out how to do it by themselves and make them realize of the consequences.

Yes, I practice tough love. It’s not that I don’t care but for me, kids need to learn how to be responsible and independent. I want them to learn and realize the effects of their actions. The world is tough and cruel, and they need to be prepared for that.

Not Being a “Perfect Mom” On Social Media

Social media is cruel. I know that I am doing my best to be the best mom to my kids but somehow, I would see posts that would make me look like I am the worst. I feel guilty because despite being a stay-at-home mom, I am unable to do things that fellow SAHMs are doing.

Thankfully, the husband appreciates everything I’m doing for them. In fact, he is thankful for all the efforts. It also melts my heart when I hear my kids say thank you for the little things. It keeps me going even though my family life is not social media perfect.

The bottom line is let’s not be too hard on ourselves. Relax and breathe. Life is short so make the most out of it.