Mom guilt is absolutely real. Being mamas, we have experienced mom guilt in one way or the other.
Despite how common this feeling of mom guilt is, it is not nearly talked about enough!
In this article, we will give it to you straight – you will experience mom guilt through different instances in your life. But it doesn’t have to take a toll on you! These strategies will help you manage it so you can continue being the amazing mom you are.
What is Mom Guilt?
Are you talking about the lingering, soul crushing feeling that makes you doubt about your competency as a mom?
Ah yes, mom guilt.
Mom guilt is the voice in your head that tells you you are not good enough to be a mom, and that you could do more. It can take a huge toll on your self-esteem, and make you doubt your role as a parent.
We also like to call it the by-product of motherhood.
Society has drilled an enormous amount of expectations in mothers, that it becomes very difficult to live up to all of those expectations. Whether it is family, friends or the media – everyone has a say on what a mother should do or not do.
When mamas are unable to fulfil these unrealistic expectations, it can trigger the feeling of mom guilt which causes them to worry, feel shameful or regretful about certain things.
What is the Psychology Behind Mom Guilt?
According to Doctor Katy Harrison, mamas go through mom guilt because we have been conditioned to believe that we should be naturals at being mothers.
This leaves very little room for error, doesn’t it?
But the reality is that raising children is difficult, and there is no manual on how to do it perfectly.
To go deeper into the psychology of mom guilt, psychologist Molly Millwood helps mamas overcome mom guilt by highlight two types of guilt:
- There is valid guilt, which is more of a constructive and healthy type of guilt that helps you understand that your actions or intentions are not in line with your values and what you believe in as a mother.
- Then, there is unfounded guilt. This arises from failure to meet perceived expectations or standards that are pushed on mothers by society which they have, ultimately, internalized.
Mom guilt generally stems from the latter.
Examples of unfounded mom guilt include:
- Letting your child watch too much TV because you had to attend a meeting or finish up a chore.
- Leaving your child at the daycare so you can go back to work.
- Not exclusively breastfeeding your baby.
- Not spending enough time with your child because you are working.
They are unfounded because you didn’t care for your child without also caring for yourself. Because you didn’t fully live up to your identity as a mother.
In order to figure out why you are feeling mom guilt, you should pinpoint the root cause of this trigger and then understand that it is not a justified reason for feeling inadequate.
Common Examples of Mom Guilt and How to Address Them
While mom guilt can strike any time without giving you a heads up, there are some common examples that might make you feel guilty, but definitely should not.
Here are some of those examples, but as a disclaimer this list is far from exhaustive:
You feel mom guilt because you are not breastfeeding or not enjoying it.
This is a very common reason that triggers mom guilt. Society has drilled the belief that “breast is best” into mothers and that you would be depriving your child of adequate nourishment if you choose otherwise.
That is a lot of pressure on a mom! It is only natural for mom guilt to be triggered when you feel like you have so much at stake.
But the truth is that only you know what is best for you and your baby, and whatever feeding decisions you make should not make you feel guilty in any way because #fedisbest.
You feel mom guilt because you are going back to work.
Another common trigger of mom guilt. Mothers going back to work is heavily frowned upon for a myriad of reasons that we won’t address because that is not the focus of this article.
You are not a bad mother if you decide to go back to work, and your child will not grow up to be resentful about this.
It is important to think rationally about this decision, and not let the guilt be overwhelming. Your going back to work will bring opportunities and be rewarding for your child as well.
If you are worried about not having enough time with your child, just make sure you make the most of the time you do have. Make it about you and them, and those are the moments that will matter. Quality over quantity applies here as well!
You feel mom guilt because your kids had too much screen time.
It is okay if you let your children have an extra hour or two on their iPads or with the TV some days.
Sure, having limited screen time is important but some days it is just as important to have a moment to yourself and letting your child be occupied with the screen.
You feel mom guilt because you snapped on your child or partner.
We are all human beings, and it is very human to lose your temper sometimes. Being a mother can be very stressful at times, and it is normal to lose a nerve and become snappy.
You can address the mom guilt you experience by talking to your partner or child, and explain to them that you were stressed or frustrated which is why you lost your temper.
Chances are they will understand!
Remind yourself that you are a human being, and be forgiving to yourself.
You feel mom guilt because you want a day to yourself.
Being a mom can be very overwhelming at times, and you find yourself missing your old life which is something all mothers go through.
It is perfectly acceptable to take some time for yourself so you can care for your needs too. In fact, mamas should practice self care because that will help them take care of their babies better too!
A happy mama = happy family.
How to Overcome Mom Guilt?
Mom guilt can quickly become the bane of your existence if you don’t take measures to overcome it.
The first and the most important thing to realize is that no mother is perfect. No matter how it may seem on the outside, on social media, or anywhere else; every mama has her own challenges that she is dealing with.
Here are some things that you can do to overcome mom guilt:
Understand that you cannot control everything as a mom
Sometimes things happen that you can’t quite control, and it is okay! It doesn’t mean in any way that you don’t care about your child or family enough, or that you have failed as a mom.
Beating yourself up over every other mistake, or unrealistic expectation is not going to do you, or your family any good.
Know that you are trying your best as a mom, and that you would move mountains for your child. Once you accept and internalize this, you will find yourself experiencing less mom guilt.
Challenge irrational thoughts about your parenting
Realize when your thoughts are irrational, take a deep breath and address them. Try to understand if the mom guilt you are experiencing falls under “valid guilt” or “unfounded guilt”.
If you feel like there isn’t any truth to how you are feeling, and it is simply an irrational thought, then learn to put a stop to them right away.
Irrational or negative thoughts are usually “what if” thoughts. For instance, “What if I was more like..”, or “what if I had spent more time doing…”.
Mothers have an overpowering instinct of protecting their children and family, which explains why the mind tends to exaggerate and fuel any negative thoughts.
Talk back to your mom guilt
This may sound strange, but it does help in overcoming mom guilt. It is even better to give a name to that voice in your head that makes you feel inadequate.
This way, you can address the mom guilt and talk back to it, telling it to basically shut up.
It will show you how insignificant the mom guilt really is, and help you put an end to these negative thoughts.
Learn from valid mom guilt
Valid guilt, as mentioned earlier, helps you understand that your actions or intentions are not in line with your values. This is a constructive and healthy type of guilt that allows you to correct your actions or mistakes.
For instance, we are all guilty of losing our temper in front of children, or yelling at them, or simply saying/doing something we didn’t mean to.
The guilt stemming from this type of act is for you to learn from. It allows you to understand that such behaviour is not okay and you shouldn’t repeat it.
This also involves forgiving yourself because it was a mistake, and you need to make amends in order to move. You can also let your child know that you are sorry and you will make sure that you don’t make the same mistake again.
Children are more forgiving and understanding than we give them credit for!
Practice self-care as a Mom
This cannot be said enough: Prioritize. Self-Care.
Prioritizing self care can have a negative connotation at times, because it is perceived as putting yourself before your children or your family.
This is a total misconception!
Self-care simply means to make healthy choices for yourself and your lifestyle as a mother. It means to eat healthy, to have some type of movement, and of course, having a good amount of sleep everyday.
It also means to have a balance between being a mother and being your own self. If this entails taking a couple of hours to yourself in a day, or a whole day in a week – do it!
Once you start practicing self-care, you will find yourself feeling less of the mom guilt and negative energy in general.
Key Takeaway: Let go of the mom guilt!
Mom guilt has a way of creeping in, and it might always continue to do so. But the point of these strategies to let go of the mom guilt is essentially to make yourself stronger mentally and emotionally.
These strategies to overcome mom guilt will help you become more resilient. We all have our days when we don’t feel the best about ourselves, and that is completely human.
But how we choose to fight off and bounce back from that negative energy is definitely something that can be managed with a little practice and awareness.
Understand the difference between valid mom guilt, and unfounded mom guilt so you can improve on your parenting when needed, but also accept that unfounded guilt is not based on reality.
Be gentle with yourself, and remember that a perfect mom does not exist which is why it is futile to try to be one.
How to Get Rid of Mom Guilt?
Mom guilt is an annoying and pestering feeling that has the power to make us feel horrible about ourselves as mothers.
If you are a mama who is experiencing mom guilt, here are some ways to get rid of it. This is advice from other veteran mamas that has helped them move on from the mom guilt they face:
- Accidents happen, and kids are more durable than you think! What your child will remember is how you made things better. The fact that you feel this overwhelming mom guilt shows how much you care for and love your baby. The guilt is also a reminder that you will learn from your mistake, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- For mom guilt that stems from irrational thoughts, you can do two things: Overthink about it till you are miserable, or accept it as another insignificant thought.
- Assess your mom guilt and the situation honestly. If you genuinely, and rationally, believe that some changes are in order, then make the changes.
- Know that your mom guilt is actually a product of you being a loving mother who wants to go above and beyond for their child.
- Express your mom guilt to your partner, or someone you trust. This will allow you to gain more perspective.
- If mom guilt is something you struggle with a lot, then you might benefit from some counselling. Sometimes we need professional intervention to fight or get rid of negative thoughts like mom guilt.
- Understand that you are trying your best. Your best might be different from your neighbour or friend who is also a mom, and that is perfectly fine!
- If your child is healthy, happy and well taken care of, whatever your mom guilt is tricking you into believing does not matter.
- Feel the guilt. Make the change. And then let it go.
- You feel like you are on your phone too often? Put the phone down! Your phone only adds to the stress more than it relieves it. Next time you find yourself reaching for your phone, try to reach out for anything else.
Working Mom Guilt and How to Fight it
Working mom guilt is the type of guilt that is experienced by mamas who are trying to balance motherhood, as well as a career. Working mom guilt drives these mothers into thinking that they are not fulfilling their duties as a mom because they have also decided to become aspiring career women.
These mamas spend their days trying to find a balance between a paying job and also making sure that they are spending enough time with their child, all the while carrying this crushing mom guilt on their shoulders.
If you are a mama who is getting their daily dose of working mom guilt, this section is for you.
The Cause of Working Mom Guilt
Author and journalist, Amy Westervelt, mentions in her book Forget Having it All “we expect women to work like they don’t have children, and raise children as if they don’t work.”
This goes back to working mothers trying to live up to unrealistic expectations, and then feeling guilty because they can’t. Because no one can meet these outrageous standards that are pushed down on us.
According to Steps to Self, working mothers experience working mom guilt because they start to believe that the amount of time you spend with your child is equal to the amount of love you have for them.
This causes working mothers to feel like they will always come up short of being a good mother.
3 Ways to Fight off Working Mom Guilt
Instead of letting the working mom guilt consume you, it will be better for you if you practiced some ways that would help fight it off:
1. Don’t beat yourself up about the trade offs as a working mom
Trade-offs are inevitable. You can’t expect to be there for everything because you are only one person after all.
It is important to accept that there will be some sacrifices and trade-offs involved in your life as a working mother. In order to be more accepting towards these compromises, it is important to remind yourself why you have decided to follow this path.
Regardless of the reasons – whether it is about the money, your mental well-being, etc – it is important for you to work a paying job while also being a mother, which is why you are doing it in the first place.
It can be easy to forget when you find yourself making a trade-off, but make sure to remind yourself that it is in the best interest of both you and your family that you are a working mother.
2. Practice “good enough” parenting
The concept of “good enough parenting” highlights the fact that it is completely ineffective to try to live up to unrealistic expectations of being a parent.
Good enough parenting is all about making sure that there is healthy parent-child attachment, and that the child’s emotional and physical needs are taken care of without giving up your own personal needs and mental well-being.
In simpler words, you do not need to be a super mom or a perfect mom who “can do it all” to be connected to your child.
You will still be an amazing parent if you lower the bar down to just “good enough”.
3. Have quality time scheduled with family
Time that is spent with your children and your family is all about quality and not quantity. Plan your days off from work in advance, and think of some activities that will be fun to do with your child.
It can be as simple as going to the park, getting some ice cream, or watching a movie together. By making sure you are fully present and there in that moment is what you and your child will remember.
Even stay at home moms who are with their children all the time can struggle to spend quality time with their kids.
At the end of the day, it is really all about what works for you and your family. If you find yourself feeling the working mom guilt, just make sure to revisit your values and understand that the type of mom you are now is exactly what your family needs.
Stay-at-Home Mom Guilt
You might do all the house chores, make healthy and delicious meals everyday, make sure your child is bathed, dressed and fed, take care of your partner.. And the list can go on and on!
Yet… you still feel like you are not doing enough.
Yet, you still feel inadequate because you feel like you are not contributing to society in a way that matters. In a way that a working mom might.
If you have been reading this article since the beginning, you can understand that mothers will always be plagued with feelings of mom guilt.
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, or a working mom, you will experience mom guilt by design!
Stay-at-home mom guilt is another beast that we will deal with in this section of the mom guilt article.
Things Stay-at-Home Moms Feel Guilty About
If you are a stay-at-home mama, and you feel guilt for any of these things mentioned below, say “Aye!”:
You don’t feel productive because you are not “working”
Amongst other things, society can often shame stay-at-home mamas for not being productive, or not contributing in a meaningful way.
This can’t be further from the truth.
Being a mama is a full time job, and it can be one of the most difficult things to do out there. You have a tiny human who is dependent on you, who you need to take care of and have a bond with.
You might feel envious of working mamas who look like they have everything together, but you have to remember that the grass is always greener on the other side. The same working mama is probably envious of you being a stay-at-home mom!
As far as productivity and contributing to society is concerned, according to Salary.com being a mom accounts for a salary more than $160k per year! Just because you are not getting a pay check for all the work that you do does not mean that your job is any less important.
You feel mom guilt about letting your child have too much screen time
We are all for children having minimal screen time, and more exercise.
But! There simply are days when you want them to stay occupied a little longer, so you can get some work done and or have time to yourself.
There is nothing wrong with letting your child stay distracted with the iPad or some TV so you can take a breather, and there is no reason to feel mom guilt over it. Some days are just like that!
You’re bored being a stay-at-home mom
Sometimes life does get monotonous and you find yourself feeling bored because of the repetition.
But then you feel the mom guilt because it is a privilege to be in a position like yours and being with your child all the time.
Sure, you are in a lucky position, but it is still okay to feel bored if you are stuck in a rut.
Instead of feeling guilty about being bored, you can try to do something about it and plan some activities for yourself.
You are your own person after all, and it is okay to do things that don’t involve changing a diaper or cleaning the house.
You feel mom guilt for not “doing it all”
When you are scrolling through social media, it really feels like there is a better way to do everything!
The shoes your baby is wearing? There’s a vegan option out there for those.
The diapers you are using? Are they reusable?
Is the baby food organic and locally sourced?
The Supermoms on social media make it seem like they really have this mom thing all figured out which might make you doubt your own parenting decisions.
While these mamas may sound like the perfect mothers, and domestic goddesses, sometimes you just have to accept that you have a different set of goals and values that are important to you when it comes to your child and parenting.
So what if you are not making cookies out of your breast milk? (Yes, that is a thing.) We bet your cookies are just as good!
The point is to go easy on yourself, and know that the way you are as a mama is exactly what your child needs.
Next time you are feeling mom guilt because you are comparing yourself to another mom, know that you shouldn’t compare your whole movie to someone else’s highlight reel.
You feel mom guilt for wanting to do something on your own
Wanting to do things on your own, as a mother, has a stigma attached to it. When you become a full time mama, you find yourself abandoning your hobbies or not having enough time to do things that you used to before.
With that being said, it is really important to have a balance between your own life and your life as a mama. And having an hour to yourself when your baby is napping does not count!
Sometimes you might want more than that, and that is perfectly okay.
It is important to talk about this with your partner and let them know that you would like some time off from being a mama to do things on your own.
You are not being selfish, so there is absolutely no reason to feel excruciating mom guilt.
Divorced Mom Guilt – What it is and How to Cope With it
When you become a mom, you also get a complimentary dose of life-time mom guilt with it. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, or a working mom, or even both – you will have mom guilt in some shape or form.
It becomes a lot worse if you add divorce into the mix.
You feel guilt from the divorce, and then let’s not forget the overwhelming guilt you feel as a divorced mom.
There’s a lot of changes that a family goes through during a divorce, and when your child is young, it is difficult to explain to them why it is all happening.
Divorced mom guilt is when you feel a crushing sense of remorse that your kid is not getting the attention they need and the fear of having impacted them for life. Amongst other things, your journey will also involve you trying to cope with the guilt you are facing.
Coping Strategies for Divorced Mom Guilt
While the guilt is an inevitable part of the process, it has to be dealt with in a healthy way.
Here are some ways that will help you cope with the divorced mom guilt you are facing:
Begin Making Peace with the Divorce
The divorce is going to be rough on both you and your child. But like other things, you will learn to adapt to it and so will your kid.
Know that your child is not doomed for the rest of their lives because you and your partner are not together anymore. In fact, they will eventually thrive once they have learned to adjust to it.
Your kid will understand that this had to happen for the well being of both their parents, and they will make peace with it in their own time.
Sure, it is not the life you envisioned for you or your child but you can still have a happy and satisfying life. But before that happens, it is important for you to also make peace with the divorced and know that you did not fail as a mom.
Get Counselling to Deal with the Mom Guilt
If the divorced mom guilt is affecting your ability to parent as well as your mental well-being, it might be important for you to seek therapy or counselling.
Sometimes the guilt you feel can be consuming which can do a lot of damage if you don’t deal with it in a healthy way. This is exactly the type of stuff therapy can be incredibly helpful with.
You might not feel the motivation for working out, but releasing endorphins is what you need right now. Moving your body is important for your mental well-being, and it will help you cope with the mom guilt you are going through.
It would be even better if you get your child to exercise with you. Exercising doesn’t always have to mean intense physical activity, like going to the gym.
Playing some frisbee, going for bike rides, or even walking to the park can be enough if you do it consistently.
Get Support from People Around You
Getting support from moms who are going through or have been in the same position as you can be extremely helpful.
Even confiding in people you trust, like a friend or family member, can help you cope with what you are going through.
Remind yourself that you are not completely alone in this, and that you do have the support of people around you. Make sure that your kid also has a support system in place, and know that they can always talk to you when they need to.
Second Baby Mom Guilt
Second baby or second child guilt is something lots of mamas go through when they are pregnant for the second time, and are having a second baby.
There are many reasons as to why moms feel second baby guilt, but some of the most common ones are because:
- They are bringing in a huge change for the first born,
- They are not doing the same things as they did the first time around,
- They cannot give undivided attention to both kids
- They fear they will have less love for the first born.
If you are a mama who is experiencing second baby mom guilt for any of these reasons, continue reading as we try to rationalize things for you.
A Second Baby is Huge Change for the First Born
Yes, it is. But it is certainly not anything they cannot handle!
Children are a lot more adaptable than we give them credit for. Sure, it will take a little getting used to not being the only child in the house but once your first born is adjusted, it will open new doors to so many beautiful things.
The period of adjustment will be a very small price to pay for the dynamic that both your children will have with each other.
In order to lessen the shock of the second baby, you can begin to mentally prepare your child during the pregnancy in a gentle and positive way.
It is really important how your first child perceives their sibling. The positive their mindset, the more welcoming they will be to this new change in their life.
You Feel Guilty for Doing The Same Things with the Second Baby
Parents tend to go a little overboard with their first baby. There are a lot of justified splurges involved, a lot of trying new things, and a lot of celebrating the “firsts”.
This is completely normal because you are excited for so many things. Its your first time being a parent and you want to give them everything!
But with the second baby, the excitement is not quite there and you tend to be more logical when it comes to the expenses and that is okay!
Their babyhoods might not be the same, but this is in no way a reflection of your love for both your children. Whenever you find yourself feeling guilty for this, try to think more rationally: Is your second baby really going to hate you for the hand-me-downs?
It really won’t matter to them how much or how little you did in their babyhood, we promise you that.
You Feel Guilty for Dividing your Attention Between Both Babies
One of the most common reasons why mamas experience mom guilt is because they equate the time they give to their children to the love they have for them.
This is not the right way to look at things, and the same goes for equating love with undivided attention.
Yes, the shared attention will be a challenge to get through but once you figure out a sweet spot, things will be better. Having a new baby in the house requires adjustment for everyone, not just the first born.
It is only natural that you won’t be able to spend the same amount of time as you used to with your first child, and it is important that you accept it.
You Fear that You Won’t Have as Much Love to Give to Both your Children
Lots of mamas fear that they will suddenly love their first born less because of the second baby. It is important to understand that love for your children is not a finite thing, and it doesn’t lessen.
It only grows!
Amongst other things, your second baby will give you a new perspective on so many different things, that will only add to the love you have as a mother. For instance, watching your first born be an elder sibling.
How to Overcome Second Baby Mom Guilt
Here are some things you can do to get over the second child or second baby mom guilt:
- Understand that this is a common feeling a lot of moms experience, and you are not the only one.
- Instead of suppressing your feelings and feeling shameful about it, it is better to acknowledge how you are feeling and then deal with it in a rational way.
- Know that your first born will have an amazing life with you as a parent, even if your attention has to be shared.
- Both your children are secure and will thrive with the love and attention that you have for them.
- Talk about your feelings to second time mamas, and hear what they have to say. You’ll realize that what you are feeling is more common than you expected.
- Understand that you will find a new normal with the second baby, and it will all work out.
- If your anxiety and mom guilt is becoming a lot to handle, talk to a professional and get counselling.
Single Mom Guilt
As a single mom, whether it is by choice, divorce or widowhood, it is ironic how you are never entirely alone. Mom guilt is a constant companion by your side.
Single mom guilt can stem from a lot of different reasons. But perhaps the most significant cause is the guilt you feel for not being able to give the life you imagined to your children.
The guilt you feel as a single mom is usually because you are trying to live up to these unrealistic expectations that are often created by society, but also yourself.
Here are some reasons why single mamas feel mom guilt, and how you can overcome it:
Mom guilt for being single
You can feel an awful lot of mom guilt for being in the situation you are, regardless of how you got there.
There are a lot of “what ifs” or “if onlys” involved that don’t help your situation and prevent you from moving on.
Instead of wallowing in this guilt, it is important that you accept how things are and know that things can go just as wrong in a two parent household, especially when partners are not compatible with each other.
Understand that there is nothing stopping you from providing your kid a healthy and fulfilling life as a single mom, but wallowing in the guilt might prevent you from doing that.
Mom Guilt for adapting a new lifestyle
As a single mom, you might experience a drop in your disposable income which means you have to be extra cautious about your spending, and make changes to your lifestyle.
This often means that you can’t provide the extra things to your child and you end up feeling a lot of guilt over that.
The luxuries you want to provide to your child do not equate to the love you have for them. Children really don’t need a bunch of stuff.
As long as their physical and mental needs are taken care of, all they really need is a loving parent who they know will always be there for them.
Mom guilt for not keeping up with other families
Social media makes it seem like every parent has everything figured out, and are living their best lives.
People put out what they want you to see, and that is only a very small chunk of their life. It is definitely not all what it seems, and everyone has their own struggles.
You really don’t need to be a super mom to be a great parent and there is no point in trying to keep up with what other families are doing. Do whatever works for you, and that will be more than enough for your child.
Mom guilt for being in survival mode
As a single mama, you are doing what is meant to be done by two people. It is okay to be in survival mode till you figure out a pace that works for you.
It is okay to have frozen meals for dinner, and to let the tv be the babysitter for some time.
Be gracious to yourself and give yourself time to sort things out, and eventually you and your family will begin to thrive as well.
This is a temporary phase in your life where you feel like the odds are stacked against you but things do get easier with time.
Mom guilt for how your kids are feeling
You being a single parent will have a significant impact on the lives of your children, and you can feel an overwhelming amount of guilt because you hold yourself accountable.
Depending on how old your child is, they will go through a range of emotions that you sometimes will not know how to handle.
It can be very difficult to deal with this type of guilt but the most important thing you can do is to let your child experience these feelings and not take them personally.
Let them know that you will always be there for them, and not make them feel bad about how they are feeling.
Mom Guilt When Child Gets Hurt
Mom guilt isn’t the most talked about topic. But what is even less popular of a subject is mom guilt over child getting hurt.
Understandably so, because you feel such a staggering amount of regret and shame from the hurt that you caused to your child…you would rather keep that to yourself.
However, if we know anything about parenting we know that you have been in a situation where you accidentally hurt your child, or they got hurt and you weren’t able to prevent it.
Rather than being hushed about the topic, it is important that we lay it on table and talk about the consuming mom guilt we feel when our children get hurt and also some ways you can cope with it.
Baby getting hurt – Accidents happen!
As mothers, we are blessed with very dominant protective instincts that make us turn into warriors whenever the safety of our children is concerned.
However, that blessing can quickly turn into a curse when you are the reason why your baby got hurt, and you feel like you have failed to perform your duties of being a protective mother.
As much as we would like to believe that we are superhuman when it comes to our children, we are not. And sometimes accidents happen.
Your child might fall over, eat the wrong thing, bump into stuff and it is only natural that you feel horribly for not being able to prevent it.
But you are only human and you can’t possibly expect to avoid every type of accident.
Sometimes they are just beyond our control and you can’t do much about that.
How you choose to deal with the consequences, however, is something that is in your control.
How to Deal with Mom Guilt When Child Gets Hurt
- Don’t beat yourself over it. Yes, accidents are scary but it is important to understand that it is not a reflection of your parenting. You are an amazing parent who is constantly trying their best, but sometimes things are just beyond your control and that is a part of life! There is no point in thinking about ways how the accident could have been avoided. But what you can do is learn from what happened and then do your best to make sure it never happens again.
- Be forgiving to yourself. In order to do this, you will also need to be unbiased. Treat yourself like how you would treat a friend who is going through the same situation. Would you tell them to feel badly about themselves?
- Face the guilt and work through it. You are experiencing this very uncomfortable feeling, and it’s okay to accept it. Acknowledge the situation as it is; a mistake that happened. And we all make mistakes!
- Apologize to your child. We have to start normalizing apologizing to our children when it is due. Children are more forgiving than we realize, but an apology will also help you heal and move past the guilt.
In the end, it is also important to understand that it can happen again. No matter how hard you try to prevent it, your children will get hurt every now and then.
But it is in your best interest and also your child’s to accept that and move past the mom guilt so both you and your child can thrive.