Mom guilt is one of those things that every mother deals with at some point. It's that little voice in the back of your head that tells you you're not doing enough, that you're screwing up, or that you're not cut out for this whole motherhood gig. It's the shoulds and the supposed to's that are clanking around in your head as you try to make it through the day.
Guilt is a normal part of motherhood, but it can also be destructive. When mom guilt is allowed to take over, it can lead to some pretty harsh consequences, like substance use, thoughts of harm to self or others, anxiety, and depression.
Part of the problem is that we live in a society that idealizes motherhood. There are images of perfect moms everywhere we look, and it's easy to compare ourselves to them and come up short. But the truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect mom. We're all just doing the best we can with the resources we have.
If you're struggling with mom guilt, the first step is to identify the source of the guilt. What thoughts and beliefs are causing you to feel this way? What did you learn about motherhood in childhood? What messages are you getting from the culture around you? Once you've identified the source, you can start to work on challenging irrational thought patterns.
It's also important to put your blinders on and stop the compare game. Every mom is different, and what works for one mom might not work for another. So stop comparing yourself to other moms and focus on what's best for you and your family.
Finally, strengthen your support system. Spend time with people who understand what you're going through and who will support you. Remove toxic people from your life. The more support you have, the easier it will be to deal with mom guilt.