For many, being a mother is the best thing in the world. But sometimes, you feel you’re not doing enough for your children. There are just some things you cannot fulfill no matter what you do. If you choose to go to work, you’re abandoning your children. When you want to be a stay-at-home mom, you’re not teaching self-reliance and independence to them. And this is what you call mom guilt.
Every mother in the world has experienced mom guilt. It is indeed perfectly normal. However, not all mothers understand this. For instance, they feel the need to attend an anger management program for being a bad mom after snapping at their kid for not finishing lunch. Others compensate for their guilt by buying the latest gadgets or giving their kids unnecessary luxuries. They think that doing this would lessen the guilt they feel for treating their children that way.
What is mom guilt?
Whether or not it is real, mom guilt reflects the emotion that you have done something improper and harmed your child. It could also result from being unable to live up to the idea of a perfect mother. A mother who would always put her child first no matter what happens. A mother who can provide everything her kid wants.
When mom guilt happens, it is usually followed by shame. Sometimes, you also experience anxiety, inferiority, exhaustion, or rage. You start to feel that you are a terrible mom and that what you are doing now can affect your children negatively when they grow up.
Some moms experience anger against people who make them feel guilty about themselves. They slowly believe that being a mother is something they must not do. It is the time when they have to consider anger management therapy.
Mom guilt is normal, but when you obsess over little things and refuse to see the bigger picture, you start to have problems. When your mom’s guilt keeps happening, and it is causing you to make a poor judgment, it is not healthy for you anymore. It is possible that with mom guilt, you can develop depression, anxiety, and stress.
How do you manage mom guilt?
As a mom, you do not only look after your children. You must also prioritize yourself. Even if you cannot help but feel guilty occasionally with your decisions, you do not need to punish yourself. No mom is perfect, so take it easy and enjoy every moment of your child’s life.
Here are some healthy and practical strategies to help you manage mom guilt.
Learn to share your responsibilities.
If you have a partner, divide your responsibilities with them. You don’t have to do everything for your children, from feeding them to driving them to school. Ask your partner to help you out in taking care of the kids. If you’re raising your kid alone, try asking people within your circle to babysit your children when something important comes up. Things become so much easier when all moms have the courage and will to admit that they need help.
No mother is perfect. It is unhealthy if you constantly belittle yourself and feel angry and guilty for not being the best mom. No matter what you do, there will always be times when you think you are not doing everything for your children. There will be moments when you are tired and angry because of everything you must do as a mom. It is hard to juggle everything between your job and chores. If this constantly happens, you may have to consider seeking help from an anger therapist. Always be kind and forgive yourself if you make mistakes.
Many mothers love to brag about their kids. Of course, they have the right to be, but sometimes, it is not healthy and good for some mothers. They feel inadequate and lost, thinking they are not doing their best for their children. When you hear parents bragging about their kids, it is best that you do not hop into the conversation. You know as a parent that every child is different. Comparing children and their achievements is pointless and unnecessary. You just have to love your child unconditionally, whether they can read big words or not.
Set aside a “me” time.
As a mother, you forget you need a break from your work, chores, and kids to recharge. It does not mean that you are abandoning them. Having a “me” time means doing the things that will help you be a better mom. You can ask your partner or a trusted family member to babysit your kids while you go to a spa, visit a salon, or just have an hour of bubble bath at home. You can also do “me” time when everyone is asleep and just lay on the couch while watching your favourite series or movies.
Recognize negative thoughts.
When it comes to mom guilt, thinking you are not a good parent is wrong. Going back to work does not mean that you will not be raising them anymore. Moms are great at multitasking. You can be a successful career woman and a loving mom at the same time. In addition, you can always talk to other working moms. This way, you will feel less alone and guilty. You will also learn from them how they juggle work and family.
Listen to your children.
If your children say they seldom see you, it may be time to slow down and spend time with them. You may have to make changes to address your children’s concerns. For example, you do not do any office work at home on weekends. You can also schedule every Sunday as a family day where you picnic or watch movies. Children may be young, but it does not mean their opinion does not matter.
Seek professional help.
It is important to emphasize that mom guilt is not a mental health condition. However, it can lead to depression, anxiety, or stress when it becomes too much to handle. When it happens, it is best to seek therapy or counseling. In addition, some mothers are unable to control their aggression and guilt. They easily get angry because they have to do so many tasks. Seeing an anger therapist can help remedy this problem.
If you are considering therapy, you can visit Mindshift Psychological Services. They offer therapy for depression and trauma and anger management programs. You can contact them at (714) 584-9700 to schedule an appointment.