If you’re a woman with kids, I’m sure you know all about mom guilt—the belief that in some way (or ways), you’re not a good enough mother. Maybe you have a career you love and can’t spend as much time with your child as you want to. Perhaps you often get bored while taking care of your kids, and long for more adult interactions. Or some days your children might annoy you so much you can barely stand it. Then you feel guilty, even a little ashamed, about not loving every single second of motherhood.
Believe it or not, it’s totally normal—you aren’t alone. Moms everywhere are having similar thoughts; that they aren’t being the best mother they think they should be.
You can read all the parenting books on the planet in preparation for raising children, but when it actually happens, a whole new world of unfamiliar territory opens up, and you have to figure out how to navigate it as well as possible. All of us make mistakes along the way—lots of them—and we question our own parenting skills as we look around at other mothers and compare ourselves, seeing them in a more favorable light.Mothers everywhere struggle with mom guilt—the painful belief that in one way or another, they fall short as a parent. Click To Tweet
No Mother is Perfect All of the Time
I know I doubted myself numerous times as I was raising my daughter. Even to this day, there are moments from the past that I regret, like having been short with her on days when I was overly stressed, having inadvertently hurt her feelings, or not able to meet her needs in a particular moment. However, I look at her now, and she’s a successful young woman in college. Despite my missteps, she turned out just fine anyway.
A long time ago, I learned that beating myself up for what I thought were my parental shortcomings only made me feel worse about myself and my abilities as a mom. As hard as it was, I had to find a way to accept that I wasn’t a perfect parent 100% of the time, and that the world wasn’t going to come to an end because of it. I also learned that at times, all moms:
- need the help of others—a spouse, family member, friend, or babysitter—so we can attend to other things that have to get done.
- absolutely need a break and time alone, even if it’s a quick 10-minute workout in the garage or a few minutes reading a book behind closed doors.
- can become so exasperated we snap at our kids when they don’t deserve it.
The hardest yet most important job we have is to raise healthy, kind, and responsible children. And even though all of us make mistakes along the way, it’s still possible for them to turn out the way we hoped they would.
So, it’s time to look in the mirror, and rather than chastising yourself for not being flawless in your child-rearing capacity, cut yourself a little slack and accept that in any moment you’re probably doing the best you can with what you have at the time. And as you know better, you’ll do better too.
PS: If your mom guilt is really overwhelming you and affecting your self-esteem, I encourage you to reach out to a professional and get the support you need.
If you’re struggling and need professional help, Amen Clinics is here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.