Have you ever felt guilty for “ruining your kids?” Maybe you’ve blamed yourself for things that weren’t really in your control or completely doubted your parenting methods. You’ve got mom guilt. And if you’re struggling to fight it when it takes over, you need to learn how to stop that mom guilt from stealing your self-confidence.
Being responsible for another life is extremely overwhelming. Mom guilt is real, you are not alone. And yes, you can do this!
Mom Guilt Is Normal And Can Be A Good Thing
Mom guilt pops out at any time. You’ll feel it lingering in the first newborn stages. Slowly, it’ll fade a little and pop up again here and there throughout toddlerhood. It’ll likely creep up on you from time to time throughout your child’s entire life.
Let’s call it your conscience, coming to check in on you. Would you make the right decisions if you didn’t doubt yourself once in a while? Would you ever learn from your failures if that mom guilt didn’t check in? Probably not.
I know, it’s overwhelming. But it’s there for a reason. Unless it’s popping up unnecessarily or taking over your mental health. Knowing tactics on how to stop mom guilt is essential.
How to Stop Mom Guilt
There are only two main steps to building your mom confidence and battling mom guilt:
- Stop torturing yourself
- Embrace it
You’re over there thinking, “easier said than done.” And you’re right. But hear me out. It sounds too simple when broken into two steps, but it’s not that straightforward. There’s a lot more to each of these steps that are dependant on you and finding the best solutions that work for you.
STEP 1: Stop Torturing Yourself
If you’re struggling with mom guilt you’re probably expecting too much of yourself. You’re probably not giving yourself enough credit when it’s deserved.
The first step to battling that mom guilt is to stop torturing yourself. There is absolutely no such thing as a perfect parent, and definitely no perfect mom. Sorry!
You're Not The Only One To Ever Struggle With Mom Guilt
Think about your own childhood. Were your parents ‘perfect’? I bet there were days and moments, that you may not even remember, where your parents struggled too. And it probably didn’t affect you in the long run.
Ask experienced parents, you’ll be surprised by the stories they have to tell. You’ll feel so much better knowing that you’re not the only one having these thoughts.
Have you ever wondered how people get so much done around the house, work part or full-time jobs, take care of a child, and manage self-care every single day? Here’s the secret: they don’t do it all by themselves!
People prioritize, that’s the real secret. What’s more important: spending time with your child or washing your hair? Or maybe you manage to do both by letting your child play in the bathroom while you shower.
Get help! Asking for help is never a weakness, it’s actually a strength.
Ask the grandparents or aunts and uncles to watch the kids for a few hours. Hire a nanny. Make a cleaning checklist if you need to get more organized. Involve your child in your daily chores. You can always order groceries (Instacart and Shipt are both great) or have meals delivered, hire a cleaning service, or purchase tools that make your life easier (like a robot vacuum.)
You don’t have to get everything done. Just prioritize and the rest can wait, like the clean load of laundry waiting to be folded and put away.
Get Rid of The Toxic
Are people actually complaining or judging you for the way you’re doing things? If they are, set them straight. You do not have magical capabilities. You simply can’t do everything and still fill your cup!
Cut out the toxicity in your life. You don’t need people judging you and putting you down. And surround yourself with people who won’t judge you if your house isn’t clean or if you didn’t wash your hair.
I’d rather be without friends than be tortured by toxic people. Trust me, it makes a big difference!
Identify When Mom Guilt Affects You Most
Do you notice your mom guilt popping in at the same time? For example, when your child cries, when on playdates, when scrolling the internet, or at bedtime.
Mom guilt is notorious for making an appearance just as a mom is starting to fall asleep. It is a major, and maybe even clinical, cause of insomnia in mothers.
If you have routine mom guilt you can plan around it and apply a technique that gives you more positivity in your life.
Techniques to Diminish Mom Guilt
How can you battle mom guilt? Find better habits and routines that can “flip it around and find something good.” A fantastic lesson from Daniel Tiger (let’s face it, we’re all watching the kids’ shows these days.)
More than likely, your phone contains a large percentage of photos of your kids. That right there is a gold mine of positivity. When mom guilt gets to me, I love going through pictures of my kids, remembering the great moments, finding the positive, and building up my confidence. In moments when I feel like I wasn’t a ‘good mom,’ going through their pictures and seeing the memories created are my constant reminders of how great a mom I am overall. You probably take many photos of your kids daily, use it to your advantage.
Positive affirmations are another fantastic method of building self-confidence. PositivePsychology.com defines them as “positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts.” They’re extremely easy to find through a simple google search, in office and classroom supplies, and even in daily journals and cards. Positive affirmations are also a really great tool for children.
Having a physical outlet is one of the best ways to work on your mental health. Personally, I love doing dance fitness classes as well as yoga. But sometimes just going outside and enjoying some sunshine helps with my endorphins. It can be so difficult to find the right program for you and even the right scheduling as a parent. But it’s totally fine to encourage your kids to participate too. Working out in front of my kids teaches them about self-care, caring less about what others think, and the importance of staying fit. Sometimes we’ll even do a kids yoga class together (our favorites are from Smile & Learn and Cosmic Kids Yoga).
Hobbies are another really great way of distracting, or stopping mom guilt. Maybe you take up DIY’ing and crafting, doing adult coloring books, gardening, photography, baking, dancing, blogging, learning a new language, or even reading. Working out can also be a hobby if that’s what you’re interested in. We often lose ourselves when we become parents, especially those of us who stay at home, and we simply need an outlet to ground us back to our previous selves while embracing and intertwining into our new journey. I love to do crafts and activities with my kids.
What works for you? Leave your answers in the comment section!
STEP 2: Embrace It
Sure, mom guilt really sucks, but it’s also a sign of having a good conscience. Even if you may not feel like it, I bet you’re a fantastic mom! Embrace the doubts and worries and turn them into methods of problem-solving.
Become a Problem Solver
There’s nothing wrong with questioning your decisions or trying to be a better mom. But worrying doesn’t actually solve any problems. Let your decisions today help you grow into a better person tomorrow. And if you have a bad day, don’t let it get you. Kids have bad days too, we all do!
I’m an overthinker myself, I find problems out of thin air and I doubt every little tiny thing I do. But I’ve also learned that feeling guilty about myself actually affects my kids more than anything. I need to be strong and confident for them to do the same for themselves.
Without my doubts and worries, I would never have grown to be the person I am today, I would never have found fantastic solutions for my kids like DIY’ing non-slip socks or a temporary bed bumper. I have learned to filter some of the noise, remove what is unnecessary and take what I can work on to actually be a better person and a better mom.
Accept the Good & the Bad as a Balance
I’ve never truly had a completely horrible day where absolutely everything was awful. I have had a few really great days, where I was so positive that I ignored the bad moments completely. But most of my days have been a fair mix of good, great, and not-so-great. And that’s okay.
Just like you can’t be perfect, neither can your entire day or your child for that matter.
How do your kids look back on all those moments? On the whole day overall? I bet they thought it was amazing and I bet that all they truly cared about was getting to spend time with you. All the little stuff doesn’t really matter.
So there you have it. Mom guilt, in small doses, is not so bad. And now you know how to stop mom guilt when it takes too much control. Just find your balance and remind yourself of what really matters.
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My name is Paula and I’m a mom of two scrumptious cuties. Thanks Mommy Blog became a project for me to help guide other new moms and current moms through any of my own personal experiences and struggles. My hobbies include singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, baking, designing and trying to stay creative.