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Overcoming Mom Guilt: A Guide to Positive Parenting

By May 17, 2024The You Series Articles11 min read

Hey there! I’m Truly Thomas, and if there’s one thing I’m 100% sure of, it’s that mom guilt has a firm grip on me. My mom guilt is strong. It can make me take on the most daunting tasks on my list, all while I’m on my period, dealing with pink eye, and running on only 2 hours of sleep. Even today, as I plan to finish this blog at a little local café, the mom guilt is spilling in.

The ongoing mom guilt “To do list”:

  • “Take the dog out for a walk.” 
  • “Ask your 20-year-old son if he wants to go.”
  • “You don’t have the time; you have to pick up your daughter.”
  • “Well, you have to shower first.”*  
  • “You have nothing to wear.”

Mom guilt can come in many forms. Just this morning, my daughter didn’t want to go to school, but I made her go. And now I’m here texting her, thinking, “Do you want me to pick you up? Cause I feel bad that I made you go to school.”

Mom guilt can take your mind down a dark and twisted road, and you are not alone. Countless moms are right there driving next to you daily. It will leak into every task you do daily if you let it. And sadly, we have been conditioned by society to feel this way—constantly comparing ourselves to each other and “the way we SHOULD be.”

4 Common Types of Mom Guilt:

1. Balancing Work and Family:

Juggling career and family responsibilities often triggers guilt.

2. Balancing Self-care with Giving the Family Attention:

When giving ourselves much-needed self-care instead of spending times with kids. Can cause limiting beliefs to jump into our minds coursing us to        over think resulting in mom guilt.

3. Comparisons and Unrealistic Expectations:

The pervasive culture of comparison in today’s world can leave moms feeling inadequate.

4. Overwhelmed by Motherhood:

Feeling like you are being pulled in a million different directions which causes nothing to ever really get done and keeping your to-do list overflowing    with endless life tasks  Completely overwhelming you and driving mom guilt up the roof.

Overcoming Mom Guilt Mindset Shifts

What you can do for yourself

Be Self-Aware:

The first step is to recognize when you’re feeling guilty. Acknowledge these feelings without judgment. Understanding that guilt is a natural emotion that many moms experience can help you address it more effectively.

Shift Your Thought’s:

Challenge and reframe negative thoughts that contribute to guilt

Embracing Self-Compassion:

  Learn how to be kind to yourself and understand that you are doing your best in a demanding role. Remind yourself that perfection is not attainable, and it’s okay to have off days. Self-compassion is a powerful antidote to mom guilt.

Setting Realistic Expectations:

Discover the importance of setting achievable goals and acknowledging that parenting is a continuous learning experience.

Celebrate Your Strengths:

Celebrate your strengths as a mother. Focus on what you are doing well and the positive aspects of your parenting

Momma, You Need A Support System

Importance of a Support Network: Building a support system is essential for mothers to navigate the challenges of parenting and maintain their well-being. Here are some sources where mothers can find support:

Here at the you series we focus on 3 core foundations to build your most confident – fulfilled life. I’m going to categorize this section that way!

Our Core Foundations:

  • You – Your Foundation – The core of who you are and how you act, react, reply, and take action in your life.
  • Pursuit – Your Pursuits – Your passions, dreams and goals. For both your family and yourself.
  • Community – Your Community – The people inside of your community, that make you feel welcomes, loved and supported.

You can learn more about this core focus here. In this section I will mostly be talking about You – Your Foundation and Community – Your Community

You – Your Foundation: 

  • Parenting Classes or Workshops: Attend parenting classes, workshops, or support groups offered by community centers, libraries, or parenting organizations. These sessions provide valuable information, skills, and opportunities to connect with other parents. 
  • Self-Help Books and Recourses: Explore self-help books, podcasts, or online resources that offer insights, tips, and strategies for managing motherhood challenges. These resources can provide inspiration, validation, and practical advice to support you on your parenting journey. By tapping into these diverse sources of support, mothers can build a strong network of allies, resources, and encouragement to navigate the joys and struggles of motherhood with greater confidence and resilience.
  • Parenting Coaches or Counselors: Consider seeking support from parenting coaches or counselors who specialize in helping parents navigate challenges, manage stress, and build effective parenting strategies. They can offer personalized guidance and support tailored to your needs.

Pursuit – Your Pursuits:

  • Volunteer or Community Organizations: Get involved in volunteer or community organizations focused on family support, such as parent-teacher associations, breastfeeding support groups, or organizations serving families in need. These activities provide opportunities to connect with like-minded parents and contribute to your community.
  • Professional Networks: If you’re a working mom, seek support from colleagues or professional networks that understand the demands of balancing career and family. Connect with other working moms for advice on managing work-life balance and childcare arrangements.

Community – Your Community:

  • Family and Friends: Lean on trusted family members and friends for emotional support, practical help with childcare, or simply a listening ear. Reach out to those who understand and respect your parenting choices.
  • Parenting Groups: Join local parenting groups or playgroups in your community where you can connect with other moms facing similar challenges. These groups provide opportunities for sharing experiences, advice, and resources.
  • Online Communities: Explore online forums, social media groups, or parenting websites where moms gather to discuss various topics related to motherhood. Platforms like Facebook groups, Reddit, or specialized parenting forums offer a virtual space for support and camaraderie.
  • Mommy-and-Me Groups: Participate in mommy-and-me classes or groups where you can bond with your child while connecting with other moms. These activities often include structured playtime, parent discussions, and support networks.
  • Supportive Professionals: Engage with healthcare providers, such as pediatricians, therapists, or lactation consultants, who can offer guidance and support for various aspects of parenting, from newborn care to mental health.

Self-Sabotaging Motherhood Thoughts:

I can share with you that has been a great help in preventing my mom guilt is catching your mom guilt thoughts dead in their tracks. They say if you hold onto a thought for more than 17 seconds, you are stuck with it. This means you have 16 seconds to quickly change your mom guilt thought into a positive one. It is hard enough being a mom; why are we self-sabotaging ourselves with mom guilt?

Here are some common mom guilt self-sabotage thoughts along with alternative, more empowering perspectives:

Balancing Work and Family Self-Doubt Examples:

Self-Sabotage Thought: “I’m not spending enough time with my children because of work.”

Better Feeling Thought: “I prioritize quality over quantity, and the time I spend with my children is meaningful and enriching.”

or

Self-Sabotage Thought: “I’m not a good enough mom because I don’t make homemade meals every day.”

Better Feeling Thought: “I provide nourishing meals for my family, whether they’re homemade or store-bought, and that’s what matters.”

 

Balancing Self-care with Giving the Family Attention:

Self-Sabotage Thought: “I shouldn’t take time for myself; I should always prioritize my children’s needs.”

Better Feeling Thought: “Taking care of myself allows me to be a better parent. It’s important to prioritize self-care to recharge and be fully present for my children.”

 

Comparisons and Unrealistic Expectations Example:

Self-Sabotage Thought: “I should be more like [other moms]; they seem to have it all together.”

Better Feeling Thought: “Every family is unique, and I’m doing the best I can with the resources and support available to me. I celebrate my own journey and strengths as a parent.”

 

Overwhelmed by Motherhood Examples:

Self-Sabotage Thought: “I’m not doing enough to stimulate my child’s development.”

Better Feeling Thought: “I provide a nurturing environment where my child can explore, learn, and grow at their own pace. I trust in their natural curiosity and development.”

or

Self-Sabotage Thought: “I lost my temper; I’m a terrible parent.”

Better Feeling Thought: “Everyone has moments of frustration. I can apologize, learn from the experience, and model resilience for my children.”

or

Self-Sabotage Thought: “I’m failing because I can’t meet all of my child’s needs perfectly.”

Better Feeling Thought: “Parenting is a journey of learning and adaptation. I’m doing my best to support my child’s growth and well-being, and that’s enough.”

In Conclusion:

By recognizing and reframing these self-sabotaging thoughts, moms can cultivate a more positive and compassionate mindset, leading to greater peace and fulfillment in their parenting journey.

In the journey of motherhood, overcoming mom guilt is not about perfection but progress. By understanding its triggers and adopting positive parenting strategies, mothers can create a nurturing environment for both themselves and their children.  Join us on this exploration of breaking free from mom guilt and embracing the joy of positive parenting. Building a confident parenting style that your children and model after.

Explore more tips with me:

If you found this guide helpful, you’ll love exploring more insights and tips on my blog. Head over to My Blog page for additional articles on parenting, self-care, and personal growth. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @confidentmothering for daily inspiration, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and community engagement.

With love Truly

Are you lacking self-confidence and need support in this area?

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How we think and see the world determines all of our results. Those of us that do the work and audit our thoughts breeze through life’s challenges. These are all confidence building perspectives that you can obtain. If you want to breeze through your life’s challenges and be less reactive.  I can help!

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Truly N Thomas

Self-Love Life Coach

Truly is a mother of 4 children. As she has overcome her hurdles in life she found her passion in focusing on working with parents to build a better relationship and environment with their children. Her focus is to serving others with powerful tools through coaching. One of her focuses are Self-Love as it was the most transformative turning point in her journey.

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