Kick Mom Guilt to the Curb

COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on moms all around the world. School and daycare closures led many working moms to stay at home and cover childcare. And many other moms are re-entering a transformed workforce.

On average, working moms devote 50% more time every day to childcare than working fathers. The burden of remote schooling has only added to moms’ busy schedules. 

Before the pandemic, household duties took up 35 hours per week for working women. That number has doubled in the past year. The situation isn’t any easier for stay-at-home moms. Stay-at-home moms provide critical, unpaid support to every member of their family. 

There are simply not enough hours in the day for the modern mom. Because of this, many women report constant (and sometimes overwhelming) feelings of guilt. 

Are you struggling with mom guilt? Well, you’re certainly not alone. It’s normal to feel frustrated and disappointed when you can’t make everything go according to plan. 

In this post, we’ll talk about ways you can address these normal and valid feelings. Keep reading to find out how you can kick mom guilt to the curb! 

kick mom guilt

Did You Actually Do Something Wrong?

Before you get lost in a guilt spiral, take stock of what really happened. We all make small mistakes on a daily basis. That doesn’t make us bad moms, it just means we’re human! 

Maybe you missed part of your daughter’s virtual piano recital for an important work call. Or you were so exhausted by a long week that you broke down and got the kids McDonald’s for dinner. 

One Happy Meal will not destroy your child’s health. One distracted evening won’t ruin your daughter’s happiness forever. 

Make it a point to stop yourself mid guilt trip. Have you actually made a serious mistake? Or are you simply doing your best in a difficult situation? 

Try to focus on using gentle and loving words to yourself during this process. You have a lot on your plate already. Making a simple mistake does not make you a bad mom. 

Don’t Forget to Take Breaks

Right now, working moms are spending an average of 65 hours per week on household chores and childcare. That comes to about 9.3 hours per day. If you add 8 hours per day of work, this means the average working mom is busy for 17.3 hours a day during the work-week.  

For stay-at-home moms, it never really ends. The average mom is spending at least 14 hours a day on her work. And this number can vary widely depending on children’s ages. 

All moms are working the hours of more than two jobs. Every day. 

If you feel like it’s impossible to do everything perfectly, you’re right. Moms face an insane workload and get very little (if any) downtime. 

You need to dedicate some time to yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s just five minutes a day. A small break gives you a chance to breathe and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. 

If you have a spouse or a partner, consider asking them to watch the kids a few times a week so you can have coffee with a friend or take an invigorating yoga class. 

If you’re a single mom, consider reaching out to another mom in your area. You could each agree to take the kids for a few hours a week. This would give both of you a chance to take some time to yourself. 

Accept Being Good Enough

Some of your guilt might be caused by your own unrealistic expectations. We all have this image of a “Supermom.” Supermom takes motherhood to a whole new level. 

She is always perfectly dressed and perky. Her kids are all prodigies who only eat organic food. Supermom waltzes into PTA meetings in her vegan leggings and sips on celery juice while she sets up for the bake sale. 

Here’s the thing: Supermom is a fantasy. Trying to be Supermom is like trying to fly off a roof. Just because a superhero can do it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. 

If you’re struggling with feelings of guilt, then you need to adjust your expectations. Instead of torturing yourself over every tiny flaw, why not just focus on being good enough? 

The “good enough” mom takes care of all her children’s needs. She is always there to comfort them and support them. She makes mistakes, but she is always working on herself. 

When you accept your imperfections with love, you’re actually modeling this behavior for your kids. You’re teaching them to accept and love themselves just as they are. This is a much more valuable lesson than anything Supermom could teach. 

Put Your Phone Down

When we spend so much of our time on social media, it’s easy to feel discouraged. Moms are always smiling and well-coifed on social media. Scrolling through these pictures for hours can make you feel inadequate. 

But social media isn’t reality. You don’t see what’s really going on behind the scenes. You don’t see moms hiding in the bathroom for dear life. You don’t see their kid throwing a full-blown tantrum at CVS. 

If you’ve been feeling crushed by guilt, take a look at your screen time. How many hours have you spent scrolling through Instagram or Facebook? 

Taking some time off the apps can help you get your guilt under control. When you’re fully in the present moment, you can show up for yourself and for your kids. 

This simple step can also improve the quality of the time that you spend with your family. A few minutes of quality time really go a long way with kids. 

You don’t need to give up social media completely. But taking conscious breaks will help you build confidence and realize that you really are doing just fine. 

The four simple steps we’ve covered in this post will take you well on your way to conquering your mom guilt! 

Remember, it’s OK to feel overwhelmed by guilt at times. Moms have an enormous number of responsibilities, now more than ever. Anyone in your situation would likely feel the same way. 

But you can’t let guilt keep you down forever. This negative feeling won’t make you happier and it won’t make you a better mom. 

Here at Counseling for Busy People, we are delighted to share tips and tricks for all the busy moms out there! We are currently planning a series of mini-courses designed to support moms through life’s many challenges. 

If you’d like access to these exciting programs, join our waitlist today! We look forward to having you in our growing community.  

Lisa Ryan

Relationship Expert – Infidelity Specialist – Personal Development Coach

Loves the big blue sea, homely dogs, the unvarnished truth, and making people feel better.

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