6 Common Types of ‘Mom Guilt’ and Ways to Deal With It

common types of mom guilt and ways to deal with it

No child is alike – neither is a mother! Each mom works differently; just because some bring up and take care of their children a certain way, it doesn’t mean others have to do the exact same thing. However, sometimes mothers can be too harsh on themselves because every mom wishes nothing but the best for her child. This constant effort to do her best can take a toll on a mother’s emotional health and may cause feelings of ‘mom guilt’. How do we get rid of this feeling? Read the following post!

What Exactly Is Mom Guilt?

When a mom undergoes feelings of doubt, uncertainty, or anxiety that she may not be performing her mom duties to her full potential, or when she feels that she is falling short of her child’s expectations, it gives rise to a feeling of guilt – known as mom guilt.

How Does Guilt Affect Mothers?

Mom guilt affects mothers in many ways. Here are some of them:

1. May Develop Negative Feelings

Some mothers might feel that they are not doing a good job raising their child, and that can lead to them being harsh on themselves. Feelings of low self-esteem may crop up and they may develop a negative state of mind.

2. May Develop Anxiety or Depression

The negative feelings that arise from mom guilt may increase anger, fatigue, and worry, and cause anxiety or depression.

3. May Display Affection on Social Media

Because mothers sometimes feel that they are not doing a good job with their kids, they may resort to social media where posting pictures or updates of their relationship with their child can help them prove they are good mothers. Seeking admiration from people can provide them with temporary relief from thinking of themselves as ‘bad’ mothers.

may display affection on social media

4. May Over-exert

In order to overcome their guilt, some mothers may overexert themselves to show that they take great efforts and pain for their kids. This may take a toll on their physical health and lead to exhaustion and fatigue.

5. May Exhibit Addictive Behaviours

Mothers with mom guilt can end up finding solace in addictive behaviours such as smoking, drinking, use of drugs, over-eating or over-spending money.

6. May Exhibit Perfectionism

Sometimes mothers may opt for a perfectionist attitude and show that they have everything in control. In reality, the constant feeling of doing the ‘right’ things may lead to feelings of stress, failure, and pain.

What Are Some Common Guilt Trips a Mom Goes Through?

Here are some common guilt trips that mothers go through, and also some effective ways of putting aside such feelings:

1. Feeding Your Child Junk Food

You may not be in the state of mind to cook because of a long day at work, so you order junk food – you may feel like you are compromising on your child’s nutrition. If this is the guilt that is eating at you, we have a solution.

How to deal with it 

Try not to dwell on this guilt because this is not something you are doing on a regular basis. If you fear that your child is not eating a nutritious meal owing to the junk food, you can always compensate for the lost nutrition in the subsequent meals.

2. Leaving the Child at Daycare

One of the biggest guilts that a working mom has is leaving her child with a caregiver or at a daycare centre.

How to deal with it 

The best way of dealing with working mom guilt is to understand that a child can develop cognitive, language, motor and social skills when surrounded with kids his own age. Also, you can do away the guilt by opting for the best daycare centre for your kid – that way, you know he’s getting the best care.

leaving child at daycare

3. Shouting at Your Child

Most moms may do so occasionally and they may feel extremely guilty about it.

How to deal with it 

Firstly, it is important to establish the root cause of your outburst. If you are able to establish it, you should make efforts not to repeat it. Also, talking calmly to your child about his mistake and explaining what is expected of him may help you overcome the guilt.

4. Not Being Able to Provide Everything

Your kid’s friends may have some things your child does not – it may be because you don’t feel the need to give it to your child, or because you simply can’t afford it. That may also cause mom guilt.

How to deal with it 

It is important to understand that no amount of materialistic things can replace love and care. Therefore, if you cannot afford a few things for your kid, you can focus on the ones that you can. Being reasonable and realistic with your child every now and then can not only help you but it may also develop a sense of character in your child.

not being able to give your child everything

5. Using Screen-time to Get Alone Time for Yourself

Have you ever made your child sit in front of the television while you rushed to cook dinner or to get some time to relax? This may make you feel guilty.

How to deal with it

Kids can watch television in moderation and there is no harm in that. To overcome your ill-feelings, make sure you choose programs that your child can benefit from.

6. Feeding Formula Milk

One of the most common forms of guilt in new moms is feeding formula milk to the baby.

How to deal with it 

Every mother has different and valid reasons for opting for formula milk – feeding issues, difficulty in your baby latching, work constraints, etc. It is important to remember that it is completely ok to feed your baby formula milk. There is no doubt that breast milk is best for the baby, but formula-fed babies are just as healthy. You should let the feeling pass and feel convinced that it was in the best interest of your baby.

Being a mother is one of the most beautiful experiences for a woman. Enjoy motherhood and don’t be too harsh on yourself!

Also Read:

Tips to Beat Depression as a Stay At Home Mom
How to Become a Good Mother