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How to Deal With Working Mom Guilt: 9 Tips to Overcome It and Feel More Balanced



working mom


Being a parent is a beautiful journey filled with love, joy, and fulfillment. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges, one of which is the notorious parenting or "mom guilt." Many mothers experience this overwhelming sense of guilt for various reasons, often feeling like they are falling short in some way.


In this blog post, we will explore the concept of mom guilt, its underlying causes, the importance of core values in guiding mothers, and practical strategies to help them overcome this emotional burden.


What is mom or parenting guilt?


Being aware of what mom guilt refers to is crucial for addressing it effectively. Mom guilt is the feeling of self-doubt or inadequacy experienced by mothers, often accompanied by a sense of guilt or shame. Common triggers include work-life balance, self-care, parenting decisions, comparing oneself to others, and societal expectations.


In today's society there is so much pressure to be a "good mom" but we often don't stop to reflect on how this expectation and feelings of guilt, can actually be detrimental to women and cause negative emotions.


Mom guilt can have a significant impact on a mother's mental health, well-being, leading to stress, anxiety, and even burnout. Recognizing mom guilt is the first step toward finding healthier ways to manage it.


mother with son, mom guilt

"I feel like a bad mom" - Why do we feel parenting guilt?


Research has noted the connection between social media and feelings of inadequacy in mothers due to the constant comparison is creates. Working moms often are subjected to societal pressures due to gender differences in the workforce and home life. Working mom have to juggle multiple demands like a full time job, the family's needs, and carving out quality time for both self care and the family.


This idea of being the "perfect mom" and the tendency to compare oneself to other mothers can cause negative self talk and fuel our inner critic which is quick to remind us of all our shortcomings.


However the study by DeJeong (2010) found that 70% of working mothers found that their employment had a positive impact on their child. By being aware these factors, women can begin to recognize how these societal expectations are impacting their daily life and well-being so they can start to redefine their personal beliefs and shift their focus towards self-compassion.


9 tips for managing working mom guilt


1. Practice self-compassion:

Being kind and understanding to oneself is crucial in challenging mom guilt. As a mother myself, it is important to recognize that we are often doing the best that we can with the tools that we have. Feelings of guilt for being a working mom, losing your cool sometimes, or letting your kid have too much screen time are completely normal. When you experience mom guilt, it can be very helpful to practice self-compassion and embrace imperfections as a part of the journey.


2. Define your own success:

Shift the focus from external validation to personal fulfillment and growth. Recognize that being a good mother does not equate to perfection. It's important to recognize irrational thoughts and expectations placed on mothers and thus if it is important to understand what being a good mom means to you. When we can align your actions and parenting style with what's most important to you, you can achieve you own success and better manage feeling guilty.


3. Set realistic expectations:

Understand and accept personal limitations, focusing on what can reasonably be accomplished within one's unique circumstances. Every individual and parent has their own personal challenges and obligations. As a result it's important to sent realistic expectations about what you can and can not do.


4. Recognize the value of modeling to your children


The juggling act between nurturing a career and raising a family can sometimes give rise to working mom guilt. However, it's essential to reframe this narrative and recognize that pursuing a career can serve as a powerful model for our children, illustrating the significance of goals, passions, and ambition. Many times our careers as working moms can also be reflections of our core values and help us align our lives with what matters most to us.


As mothers, we play a pivotal role in shaping our children's perspectives on life. By demonstrating our commitment to our careers, we not only showcase the value of hard work, but we also give our kids the understanding that dreams are worth pursuing. Through our actions, we can instill the notion that it's possible to balance responsibilities while nurturing personal aspirations. In essence, our journey as working moms becomes an invaluable life lesson, teaching our children to create their own paths unapologetically, armed with determination and an unyielding spirit.

self care for moms

5. Prioritize self-care:

Taking care of oneself is not selfish but essential for being a present and nurturing mother. Prioritizing self-care activities can help replenish energy and promote well-being especially with the demands of modern life.


Self care can help you reconnect to your authentic self so you can show up as the parent you want to be and ultimately be a better mom for your kids. Activities that support your mental well-being such as taking a deep breath when you're feeling overwhelmed, spending time with friends or other moms, and carving out alone time can help reenergize and reconnect you to your authentic self so you can show up as the parent you want to be. It can be helpful to think of self care as an investment not just yourself, but also the well-being of your family.


6. Seek support:


Reach out to loved ones, family members, other parents, or professional therapists for guidance, understanding, and empathy. Most women know, but we forget to remind ourselves that being a mom is hard! When you feel guilt and you're struggling, it's important to connect with those in your support network to help you navigate those difficult moments.


7. Challenge those negative thoughts

Many parents have days that may trigger feelings of doubt and when their self confidence and self esteem is tested. That inner voice or critic at times can start to make judgmental comments about parenting choices that weren't our finest, questioning if we're a good mother, and even adding fuel to the fire about the competing demands of being working mothers.


When the doom-and-gloom radio that's playing in our minds becomes too much, it can be helpful to connect with a licensed therapist to help you develop cognitive-behavioral techniques to identify and challenge negative thoughts associated with mom guilt. Working with a mental health professional can help you reframe perspectives and replace self-blame with self-compassion.


8. Embrace mindful parenting:

Cultivate mindfulness by being present, non-judgmental, and accepting of both the joys and challenges of motherhood. Mindful parenting isn't just remember when you need to take a deep breath, but it's about aligning our actions and parenting choices with what's most important to you and your values.



parenting, mom guilt

9. Connect with you core values to help you overcome working mom guilt

Core values serve as a compass, guiding individuals in their decision-making and providing a sense of direction. When it comes to mom guilt, aligning actions with core values can help mothers find peace and clarity amidst the emotional turmoil.

By identifying and clarifying their core values, mothers can prioritize what truly matters to them in their parenting journey. Core values like love, compassion, resilience, and balance can be used as guiding principles to make decisions, set boundaries, and let go of unnecessary guilt. Embracing one's core values allows mothers to align their actions with their authentic selves and to let go of societal pressures and expectations.


I feel like a bad mom - Does mom guilt ever go away?


Mom guilt can definitely improve, however let's be honest - being a parent is just a lifelong journey of supporting the little humans who love most in the world to be live rich and fulfilling live. Piece of cake, right?! Ha!! Therefore it's important to understand that you may feel guilty at times, but it is often because you care deeply about your role as a parent.


Navigating mom guilt requires a holistic approach that involves understanding its roots, embracing self-compassion, and aligning your actions with core values. By identifying and living according to core values, mothers can find clarity, make decisions aligned with their authentic selves, and let go of unnecessary guilt.


Remember, motherhood is a journey, and it's normal to experience doubts and guilt along the way. Embracing balance, self-compassion, and core values will empower mothers to navigate mom guilt, embrace their unique strengths, and create a fulfilling and authentic parenting experience.


Reach out to get support for struggling moms


Parenting guilt will pop up as you go along this parenting journey, while some guilt is to be expected, too much that interferes with your well-being may need to be addressed. If you're noticing overwhelming guilt, working with a licensed mental health professional can help you reconnect to your sense of self to be able to develop coping skills related to guilty feelings or other mental health challenges.


Working with a professional can help you gain self awareness while also leading evidence-based strategies to help you navigate challenges and difficult feelings that all parents experience. Learn more about Therapy in San Jose or Puerto Rico and book a free consultation with Living Openhearted Therapy if you're interested in getting support.


***The ideas, concepts, and opinions expressed in all Living Openhearted Therapy and Wellness posts are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author and publisher are not rendering medical advice of any kind, nor are intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. Authors and publisher claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material.







***The ideas, concepts, and opinions expressed in all Living Openhearted Therapy and Wellness posts are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author and publisher are not rendering medical advice of any kind, nor are intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. Authors and publisher claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material.



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