Our 6 Foolproof Tips To Help You Manage “Mom Guilt”

If you’re a parent, you’ve certainly felt the tug of guilt on your heartstrings at some point by your kids. Whether you’re going out with your friends or going out on a date with your spouse, it seems that our little angels know exactly what to say and how to make us feel guilty — guilty for thinking of our own personal happiness for a minute, without consideration for theirs.

It’s a hard lesson, and we often forget to stand our ground to create boundaries. The consequences of dismissing our own happiness to spare them the pain can often outweigh the benefits. 

Mom guilt can show up in many ways and lead to a number of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or even dissociation as a response to your own past trauma and experiences of stress. We don’t notice these in the moment because we think we’re only being “good parents” by thinking of their needs. What we don’t realize is that we’re causing bigger issues for ourselves.

We deserve time away to show ourselves love. So, how do you navigate through guilt trips with ease? It’ll take a few steps but is completely possible.

1. Practice Self-Compassion 

When you practice self-compassion, it allows room for you to forgive yourself for mistakes, love deeper, and open opportunities for growth. As parents, we’re already sending ourselves into a guilt spiral we can’t control. How do you practice self-compassion? Allow room in your heart for forgiveness. Cut yourself some slack and try not to be so hard on yourself.

2. Ask For Help 

The most common problem when it comes to coping with mom guilt is not being able to communicate or share how you are feeling with others. Remember, no one is a mind reader, so try not to assume that your needs are obvious to those around you.

What do you actually need? Is it a night alone, maybe even a night at a hotel? A hot, uninterrupted meal? Maybe it’s a long, warm shower. These things are within your reach, but you have to work on asking your partner or other supporters for help in a way that is clear to each of you.

3. Identify Your Support System 

Make a list of everyone you identify in your support network. Be creative with your support system and do your research. It may be worth your time connecting with an online or local support group — most support groups are free or relatively low cost.

4. If Possible, Hire An Extra Hand

You may be in a situation where help is nowhere to be found. You may have moved away from loved ones and simply don’t know anyone well enough to feel comfortable asking for help. There is nothing more stressful than caring for your newborn while also managing to remember to feed yourself, your partner and your kids — not to mention the constant stream of laundry.

In my own experience, I never felt like I could truly relax knowing that the dishes needed washing, laundry needed folding, toilets needed scrubbing, etc. There is so much value in hiring an extra hand rather than trying to split the responsibilities between two people who work full-time to get everything done week after week (while also trying to carve out precious time to enjoy with my growing family).

This hired help can be something that happens once a month or as needed; the frequency depends on your budget and needs.

5. Remember Who You Are

Motherhood does not define you. As much as it feels like it does, it shouldn’t. Remember the passions you had before kids? What about the things on your bucket list you’ve been wanting to do? Now is the time to do it! It is incredibly easy to lose yourself in the mix of caring for your children.

Try to take time regularly to do things that you truly enjoy. Think of old hobbies or something that you’ve always been curious about. You’ll thank yourself in a few years as your children start to rely on you less. This may mean signing up for an online class or two, attending a group event, or asking a friend to join you at a yoga class. This will not only help with getting your feet wet in exploring your interests, but it’s a great way to socialize with other adults.

6. Identify The Sources Of Your Guilt

Understanding the root of the guilt can help open your eyes to areas of your life that need more attention. Sometimes that source is internal with the expectations you’ve put on yourself to perform at a certain standard. Sometimes that source is outside of us, such as social media or family, who expect certain behaviors from mothers. Decide what source matters most and work to uncover what your true values are as a parent.


Have you experienced mom guilt? What are your best tips for coping? Share with us in the comments!

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