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One of the most common challenges among mothers is MOM GUILT. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that feeling of self-doubt and inadequacy that so many of us mothers feel and experience as we navigate the joys and challenges of raising our children.
Motherhood is an amazingly beautiful and rewarding journey. However, it is not a perfect journey. It doesn’t matter if you work full-time or part-time, from home or outside of the home. You can be a stay-at-home mom. Mom guilt can pop up in our lives in many ways. We can feel like we aren’t spending enough time with our kids or feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. At some point, most moms have experienced this, and it can be overwhelming and lead us to depression and burnout if we don’t recognize and take care of it.
Today, I am exploring practical ways for Christian moms to face and overcome mom guilt so we can enjoy our journey of motherhood with peace and confidence. I’ll begin with some root causes of mom guilt, how to identify when it shows up, and ways to manage it.
By the time you finish reading today, you will have a stronger understanding of mom guilt and how to effectively and practically deal with it in your life.
Root Causes of Mom Guilt
As with just about anything else, the root causes of mom guilt differ from mom to mom. There are some commonalities that we can see, like pressure from society to be the “perfect” mom, our own high expectations, comparison to other moms, and the feeling that we aren’t doing enough for our children.
Of course, personal experiences like childhood trauma and postpartum depression can intensify the feelings of mom guilt.
It’s important to find the root cause of our mom guilt so we can address it correctly and overcome it.
Recognizing Mom Guilt
Being able to recognize the feelings of mom guilt is an important step in our ability to overcome it. Sometimes there are common signs that include feeling like we aren’t doing enough for our children, worrying about our child’s well-being, feeling as though we are failing as a mom, and comparing ourselves to others.
We may feel guilty for taking time for ourselves or going after our own dreams and interests. On the other hand, it is possible that we feel like we are neglecting other parts of our lives, like careers and relationships, because we are moms.
If you experience these feelings on a regular basis, it is important to acknowledge them and begin the steps to address them.
Ways to Overcome Mom Guilt
Reframe Your Thinking
As moms, we often focus on what we are doing wrong or what we aren’t doing at all. We should try to reframe our thinking so that we look more at what we are doing well. We can remind ourselves of these things that we are doing correctly and celebrate them, no matter how small we may think they are.
When we are facing mom guilt and think that we aren’t doing enough for our children, it’s hard to focus on taking care of ourselves. However, it’s not selfish to take care of ourselves; it’s essential. If we aren’t healthy enough–mentally, physically, and spiritually–it will be hard to care for our children in the ways they need.
Take the time to do activities that bring you joy and help to recharge you. It can be exercise, reading, taking a long bath, or spending time with friends. When we make self-care a priority, we will be more equipped to handle the challenges that motherhood throws our way.
When you are feeling mom guilt, reach out to other moms. Many times they will understand what you are feeling. Join a mom’s group at church or in your community. If you can’t join a group outside of your home, find one online. There are many Facebook communities for Christian moms.
Having a network of people, especially other moms, can help you to feel more confident and less alone while you are on your motherhood journey.
You don’t have to do everything on your own. Actually, you don’t have to do anything on your own. Trust in God’s perfect plan for your life and the lives of your family. Lean on God for guidance, mercy, and strength. Every day, set aside some time to read your Bible, pray, worship, and allow God to fill you up with His love and grace.
So I say that like it’s easy. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be on the list. There are no perfect moms. Trying to achieve perfection will only cause us to land in burnout and frustration.
Instead of trying to be perfect, we should focus on being good enough and doing our best with what we have. We can turn loose of the unrealistic expectations that we have put on ourselves and embrace the imperfection and messiness of motherhood.
Mom guilt is often challenging and overwhelming, but as Christian moms, we can overcome it through our faith in God and a few practical strategies. If we reframe our thinking, prioritize self-care, seek support, trust God, and turn loose of perfection, we can enjoy motherhood a little more. I think, if we try these things, especially turning to God for help when we feel like we aren’t good enough, we can go through our motherhood journey with joy, confidence, and peace.
Just remember this. You are not alone in this. If you need help, ask for it; that’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.
I encourage you to begin trying some of these strategies today. You can add them into your daily life. Let me know how they work and if you have any other suggestions that you have tried for mom guilt.
With the help and grace of God, we can overcome mom guilt and embrace the joys (and challenges) that motherhood brings.