What is "mom guilt"?
Do you ever feel like you’re not doing enough for your kids? Have you found yourself struggling with balancing your work and family life? Do you sometimes feel guilty for taking time for yourself? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re not alone. Mom guilt is a common and normal feeling that many mothers experience at some point in their parenting journey.
Mom guilt can be triggered by many things, such as working outside the home, taking time for yourself, saying no to your kids, or comparing yourself to other moms. Mom guilt can make you feel stressed, anxious, depressed, or resentful. But it doesn’t have to ruin your happiness or your relationship with your children or partner. You can work towards overcoming mom guilt.
5 tips to battle mom guilt
Tip 1: Recognize that mom guilt is not a sign of failure
It is not a sign of failure but rather a sign that you care about your kids and want to do what’s best for them. It’s also a sign that you have high expectations for yourself and your role as a mother. But sometimes, those expectations can be unrealistic or unreasonable. You don’t have to be perfect, and neither do your kids. While common, mom guilt is not helpful or productive. It doesn’t make you a better mom, it only makes you feel worse. So acknowledge your mom guilt, but recognize it is not a sign of failure and don’t let it define you.
Tip 2: Reframe your negative thoughts
Mom guilt often comes from negative thoughts that we have about ourselves or our actions. For example, you might think “I’m a bad mom because I missed my son’s soccer game” or “I’m selfish because I took a nap instead of playing with my daughter”. These thoughts can make you feel worse and more guilty. But they are not true, and they are not helpful. Instead of letting these thoughts take over, try to reframe them in a more positive and realistic way. For example, you might think “I’m a good mom because I work hard to provide for my son” or “I’m taking care of myself because I need some rest to be more energetic with my daughter”. These thoughts can make you feel better and less guilty.
Tip 3: Set boundaries and prioritize your needs
Mom guilt can also come from feeling overwhelmed or stretched too thin by all the demands and responsibilities that come with being a mother. You might feel like you have to do everything for everyone, and neglect your own needs and desires. But this is not healthy or sustainable. You need to set boundaries and prioritize your needs, too. You need to say no to some requests or tasks that are not urgent or important. You need to delegate some chores or duties to others who can help you. You need to carve out some time for yourself to do things that make you happy and relaxed. You need to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. By doing these things, you are not being selfish or lazy. You are being smart and responsible.
Tip 4: Celebrate your achievements and strengths
Mom guilt can make you focus on what you’re doing wrong or what you’re lacking as a mom. But you’re probably doing a lot more right than you realize. You’re doing your best with what you have and what you know at any given moment. You’re raising amazing human beings who love you and appreciate you for who you are. You have many skills and qualities that make you a great mom and a wonderful person. So instead of dwelling on your flaws and failures, try to celebrate your achievements and strengths. Make a list of all the things you’re proud of as a mom and as an individual. Recognize and appreciate all the small and big things you do every day for your kids and yourself.
Tip 5: Seek support and connection
Mom guilt can also come from feeling isolated or alone in your struggles. You might feel like no one understands what you’re going through, or like you have to hide your feelings from others. You are not alone, and you don’t have to suffer in silence. You can seek support and connection from others who can relate to you and empathize with you. Talking to other moms who are going through the same thing as you, and sharing your experiences and feelings with them can be very helpful. A support group, an online community, or a mom’s club are all places where you can find friendship and encouragement. You can also seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed by your mom guilt or if it affects your mental health.
At Tod Augusta Scott Family Therapy, we have experienced counsellors based in Halifax, NS who can offer individual, couples and family therapy. To book a therapy session, visit our book now page.
This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute therapeutic advice.
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