How to Curb Mom Guilt and Claim Your Happiness
Updated: Sep 13
Mom guilt might sound like some buzz word, but it’s actually a very real thing. Unfortunately, so many mothers suffer from some type of guilt over how they parent—whether it’s an intentional feeling or not.
The guilt can range from going back to work after having a baby to having to choose to go to your son’s baseball game over your daughter’s ballet recital.
Furthermore, guilt can creep up in many different ways in a mother’s life. If you let it get to you, it can make you start to feel like a failure.
While you’ll undoubtedly make mistakes as a parent, it’s important to understand that you don’t need to feel guilty for doing your best. So, how can you curb that guilt?
Ask Yourself Why You’re Feeling Guilty
If there really is a problem with your parenting style, it’s okay to want to make a change. But, if you’re constantly feeling guilty over the things you’re doing or not doing, take a step back. Ask yourself why you’re honestly feeling that way.
Did you truly do something wrong? Was the situation out of your control? Did you do what you thought was best for your child?
The way you answer those questions can help you to overcome the guilt you might be feeling. If you don’t step back and get to the root of your guilt, it can start to overtake you and how you raise your kids.
To sum up, if something is beyond your control and you aren’t happy with it, you have to let it go and recognize it’s not your fault.
Stop Judging Yourself
As a mother, you’ve probably gotten bits and pieces of advice from just about everyone. If a friend or family member raises kids differently than you, you’re bound to hear about it. That can lead to a lot of guilt when someone makes you feel as though you’re not doing something the right way.
You’re doing a great job. Remember that everyone’s parenting style is different. What’s important is finding what works best for you and your child.
If you’re truly putting your child’s best interest first and doing your best to be a good parent, you don’t need to worry about how other people raise their kids. Your best effort should never be measured against that of another parent.
Make Time to De-Stress
Sometimes, guilt can manifest itself when you feel overly-stressed or anxious. Self-care is extremely important when you’re a parent. It will improve your mental and emotional well-being. It will also help you to be a better caregiver for your children.
Even if you can only find five or ten minutes a day to be alone, take it. Practice deep breathing exercises or meditation to promote relaxation. Be mindful of the present, and choose not to think about the things that are making you feel guilty or things you feel you’ve “messed up.”
When you’re less stressed, you’re less likely to let those feelings of guilt take over your entire thought process.
Again, mom guilt is a very real thing. You’re not the only one dealing with it. So, why not connect with other mothers who also might be struggling?
There are support groups for mothers all over the country that meet regularly. A quick search in your neighborhood should allow you to find one nearby. Knowing you’re not alone can actually help to ease some of your guilt. Plus, talking to other moms who are also dealing with this problem will allow you all to support and reassure each other.
You don’t have to struggle with mom guilt forever. If you’re still having a hard time dealing with it, please feel free to contact me.
To learn more about how counseling can help with your parenting journey, please click here.
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Jennifer Perera is a mom, spouse and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over a decade’s worth of experience in mental health. She has a private practice in New Jersey, with locations in Cranford and Princeton. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual, group and couples counseling. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with a pregnancy loss or infertility. Her other passion is travelling to different parts of the world and her goal is to vacation in a different locale every time. She also has a great fondness for cats!