As a mother, it is common to experience feelings of guilt or doubt about your parenting decisions. This phenomenon, known as “mom guilt,” is a common experience among many mothers, especially those who have taken on the challenging role of being a primary caregiver. Mom guilt can manifest in various ways, from feeling like you’re not spending enough time with your child to second-guessing your discipline choices. The good news is that mom guilt is a normal experience, and many ways exist to overcome it. Below are some tips on how to overcome mom guilt.

I personally find mom guilt very challenging. With three kids and a writing career that is based in my home, it’s difficult. Someone always needs something, and deadlines pile up quickly. Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed my head spins, and my anxiety is through the roof. Then I feel guilty that I’m not being a good mom, that I’m not spending enough time with them, that they deserve better, and the list goes on and on. I feel guilty for spending time writing, but that’s how I make an income to feed my children. So today’s article shares 10 tips on how to overcome mom guilt. I hope you find them helpful!

In This Article, You’ll Find:

  • What is mom guilt?
  • Reasons you have mom guilt.
  • How to identify where your mom guilt stems from.
  • Tips you can use in your real life to overcome mom guilt.
  • How to overcome mom guilt.

What is mom guilt?

Mom guilt is a common experience that many mothers face. It is characterized by feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, and the belief that one is not doing enough for their child. Mothers may experience guilt in various aspects of their parenting journey, such as feeling guilty for not spending enough time with their children, not being able to breastfeed, or feeling guilty for disciplining their children. These feelings of guilt can be overwhelming and can significantly impact a mother’s mental health and well-being.

One of the underlying causes of mom guilt is the societal pressure and expectations placed on mothers. Society often portrays the ideal mother as someone who can juggle multiple roles flawlessly, including being a perfect caregiver, provider, and homemaker. This unrealistic expectation can lead to feelings of guilt and inadequacy when mothers cannot meet these expectations. In addition, mothers may also experience guilt due to the internal pressure they place on themselves to be a “perfect” parent.

Moreover, the constant comparison to other mothers can also contribute to feelings of guilt. The rise of social media has made it easier for mothers to compare themselves to other mothers, leading to a sense of inadequacy when they feel like they don’t measure up. This can create a cycle of self-doubt and negative self-talk, decreasing confidence and self-esteem. It’s important to note that mom guilt is a natural experience many mothers face, and it doesn’t necessarily mean a mother is doing something wrong. In fact, it’s often a sign of a mother’s deep love and commitment to her child. However, it’s important for mothers to recognize when these feelings of guilt become overwhelming and begin to impact their mental health.

How to overcome mom guilt:

Identify the source of your guilt.

The first step in overcoming mom guilt is to identify the source of your guilt. What is making you feel guilty? Is it because you feel like you’re not spending enough time with your child? Is it because you yelled at them earlier? Or is it because you feel like you’re not doing enough to provide for them? Identifying the source of your guilt will help you understand the root cause of your feelings and devise a plan to address it. For example, if you feel guilty about not spending enough time with your child, you can consciously set aside more time for them in your busy schedule.

Identifying the source of mom guilt can be a helpful first step in overcoming it. Here are some tips on how to identify the source of your mom guilt:

  • Notice your feelings: Pay attention to when you’re feeling guilty and what you’re feeling guilty about. Is it a specific incident or a general feeling of not being a good enough parent?
  • Ask yourself why: Once you’ve identified what you’re feeling guilty about, ask yourself why you feel that way. Is it because of societal pressure to be a perfect parent, or is it because of your specific expectations for yourself?
  • Check your expectations: Consider whether your expectations for yourself are realistic. Are you putting too much pressure on yourself to be a certain parent type or achieve certain parenting goals?
  • Identify triggers: Think about what triggers your feelings of mom guilt. Is it a specific situation, such as missing a school event, or is it a certain behavior from your child that you feel guilty about?
  • Reflect on your values: Reflect on your values and priorities as a parent. Are you living up to those values or feeling guilty because you’re not meeting someone else’s expectations?
  • Consider outside influences: Consider whether outside influences, such as social media or other parents, are contributing to your feelings of mom guilt. Remember that everyone’s parenting journey is different, and focusing on what works for you and your family is important.

Understand that you’re not alone.

One of the most important things to remember about mom guilt is that you are not alone. Every mother experiences mom guilt at some point in their parenting journey, and it is a completely normal experience. Talk to other moms in your support network about how they’ve dealt with mom guilt in the past, and you may be surprised to find that they’ve gone through similar experiences.

Practice self-compassion.

Another key to overcoming mom guilt is to practice self-compassion. Instead of beating yourself up for making mistakes or not living up to your own expectations, be kind and understanding to yourself. Remember that you’re doing the best you can, and it’s okay to make mistakes. Treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you would offer to a close friend.

Focus on the positive.

It’s easy to get caught up in negative thoughts when you’re experiencing mom guilt. Instead of dwelling on your mistakes or shortcomings, try to focus on the positive aspects of your parenting journey. Celebrate your successes and acknowledge your efforts, no matter how small they may seem. Focusing on the positive is a powerful way for a mom to overcome mom guilt and feel more confident and content in her parenting journey. One way to do this is by keeping a gratitude journal, where she writes down three things she’s grateful for each day. Another way is to focus on her strengths and progress as a parent, rather than dwelling on her mistakes or shortcomings. By consciously focusing on the positive, a mom can shift her mindset from guilt and self-doubt to self-compassion and confidence, which can help her enjoy her parenting journey more fully.

Set realistic expectations

One common source of mom guilt is setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Remember that you’re only human and can’t do everything perfectly all the time. Set realistic expectations for yourself and your parenting journey, and don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned. Setting realistic expectations is crucial for a mom to avoid feelings of guilt and overwhelm. To set realistic expectations, a mom should first identify her values and priorities as a parent. Then, she should consider her current situation, including her child’s age and developmental stage, her own schedule and limitations, and any external factors that may affect her parenting. Based on this information, she can set achievable goals that align with her values and consider her current reality. It’s important for a mom to remember that there is no one “right” way to parent, and that it’s okay to make adjustments as needed to ensure that her expectations are realistic and achievable. Remember to set priorities for yourself and your needs.

Take care of yourself.

Taking care of yourself is crucial when it comes to overcoming mom guilt. When you’re stressed, exhausted, or overwhelmed, it’s easy to feel guilty about not being able to give your child the attention or care they deserve. Ensure you prioritize self-care activities that help you feel rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated. This could include taking a long bath, walking, or simply sitting down with a good book. (If you’re looking for a terrific book, check out my post about 10 books for moms!) This might also include self-care activities like putting together great outfits for yourself! If this is you, check out my post about dressing for mom life.

Seek support.

When you’re experiencing mom guilt, seeking support from your loved ones is important. Talk to your partner, a close friend, or a family member about how you’re feeling. Sometimes just venting to someone who understands can help alleviate some of the guilt and pressure you’re feeling. If you’re struggling to cope with mom guilt alone, consider seeking professional support from a therapist or counselor. They can help you develop coping strategies and provide a safe space to explore your feelings.

Embrace imperfection.

One of the keys to overcoming mom guilt is learning to embrace imperfection. 

As a mother, it’s natural to want to be the best parent possible and provide everything your child needs. However, it’s important to recognize that no one is perfect, and mistakes will happen. Accepting this fact can help you let go of the guilt and pressure to be perfect and focus on being the best parent you can be in the moment.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can help you overcome mom guilt. By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to be more present in the moment, and less focused on past mistakes or future worries. This can help alleviate feelings of guilt and anxiety and help you enjoy your parenting journey more fully. Practicing mindfulness is a powerful tool for a mom to overcome mom guilt and stay present in the moment. One way to practice mindfulness is to focus on the breath, taking deep, slow breaths and observing the sensations of the breath in the body. Another way is to practice body scan meditation, where a mom scans the body from head to toe, noticing any sensations or areas of tension. Mindfulness can also be practiced during everyday activities, such as washing dishes or taking a walk, by fully engaging in the present moment and noticing the sights, sounds, and sensations around her. By practicing mindfulness, a mom can develop a greater sense of self-awareness and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Mindfulness is a great tool to improve mental health.

Reframe your thoughts

The way you think about your parenting experiences can have a significant impact on how you feel. When you’re experiencing mom guilt, try to reframe your thoughts in a more positive light. Instead of focusing on your mistakes or shortcomings, focus on what you’re doing well and your progress. This can help shift your mindset from one of guilt and self-doubt to one of self-compassion and confidence.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, mom guilt is a common experience among mothers, but it doesn’t have to control your parenting journey. By identifying the source of your guilt, practicing self-compassion, focusing on the positive, and seeking support, you can fully overcome mom guilt and enjoy your parenting journey. Remember, you’re doing your best, and that’s enough. Embrace imperfection, practice mindfulness, and reframe your thoughts to stay positive and confident as you navigate the ups and downs of motherhood.

Love always, natasha

2 Replies to “10 Ways To Deal With Mom Guilt”

  1. When my daughter was a baby, I was always worrying that I wasn’t doing what everyone else thought I should be doing. But, even though I still suffer the mom guilt from time to time, I have realized that the only person that matters is my child. As long as she is healthy, happy and growing into who she wants to be, I am doing my job well. There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a MILLION ways to be a good one. And I will do that every single day for the rest of my life.

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