• Kacee Tannenbaum, LCSW

A Guide to Overcoming Mom Guilt

Can you imagine being a 35-year-old mom of two, ages 2 and 7 weeks? Congratulations on our new baby by the way! Your two-year-old is currently on her 10th episode of Peppa the Pig and you finally are able to sit down after feeding your colicky baby.

Luckily, you are able to finally put the baby down for a nap in his crib! Sitting on the couch exhausted, you decide to scroll through Instagram just to see the neighbor posting homeschool lessons that include puffy paint, sidewalk chalk, and sight words. You continue to scroll and see other moms posting about educational activities, healthy breakfast options, and other #momgoals.

Overwhelming feelings of guilt surface, you begin to cry and you feel sorry for yourself and your kids. You start questioning yourself, your abilities, and your parenting. “Mom guilt” is coming on strong, but it doesn't have to be that way. Read on to discover a few tips you can use to overcome mom guilt.

What is mom guilt (or dad guilt, yes - it happens to dads too)?

We all know we aren’t supposed to compare ourselves to others but, let’s face it, that is human nature. Whether you have heard of this term before or maybe too often you feel paralyzed by its relentless grip, it simply means having pervasive emotions and thoughts that you are not doing enough as a parent, doing the “right” things, or making good choices that could “mess up” or hurt your children in the long run.

Mom guilt can be temporary or it can be long-term. Some moms feel that they are carrying around a big weight on their chest, shoulders, and heart. Others feel anxious and panicky like “I need to fix this problem right now”.

Mom guilt is all the “should haves,” “supposed to” and “ the other moms are” banging around in your feelings and thoughts that are all playing out in your head. Mom guilt means you feel you just aren’t good enough.

The Origins of Mom Guilt

Mom guilt has many origins. The long history of mom-shaming, the impact of social media, advertising from companies profiting on parental fears, formal recommendations from doctors and other organizations, and outside family pressures turn into personal insecurities (mom guilt) associated with raising our children.