How mom guilt steals the joy of motherhood and how to restore it

5 motherhood myths I have had to unlearn, how to restore the joy of motherhood

“Should I breastfeed or bottle-feed my baby? What will they say about me if I do not? I mean breast is best so I should do it even though it is not ideal for our circumstances. I am a bad mother for not being able to breastfeed my child”. Mom guilt has stolen the joy of motherhood, how do I restore it?

The feeling of guilt and the belief that you are not a good enough mother. I remember the feeling very well, it comes at you right when you are feeling down and often keeps you down. What is mom guilt anyway? According to betterup.com, mom guilt is a feeling that moms feel in relation to their children. Mom guilt is perpetuated by the perfect mother myth, but the truth is that there is no perfect mother. There is no one right way to be a mother, just your way; and mine and the other mother’s way! Here’s how mom guilt steals the joy of motherhood and how to restore it.

Why mom guilt happens

There are so many unrealistic expectations that society has put on mothers, the breast is best, natural birth vs c-section, etc. (I believe that all birth is natural birth). Then there are the unrealistic standards that we set for ourselves, that leave us feeling less than when we fail to meet them. Moreover, we live in the digital age, where we see the lives of other moms online and sadly compare ourselves to them. All these increases the feeling of guilt.

 

how to restore the joy of motherhood

How mom guilt steals your joy as a mom

When mom guilt creeps in, is likely that your focus has shifted from the positive to the negative. How can you be filled with joy when you focus on your failures and not your wins? Even if your day hasn’t gone as planned, there are wins somewhere there, they just get buried under the disappointment. Even on your worst parenting days, if you look closely enough you will find success there somewhere. You can never find joy in motherhood if you are constantly focusing on your shortcomings (We all have them), and your should have’s and failures!

How to restore the joy of motherhood

  • Redefine motherhood for yourself

Nowadays, there is no one prescribed way to be a mother as it was centuries ago. Mothers are breaking barriers, they are homeschooling and working from home, they are working outside of the home and sending their children to school; they are hiring help so that they can reignite and pursue their passions! So what is motherhood for you? Define that clearly so that you won’t succumb to someone else’s definition of motherhood. That way you are less likely to wide up guilty because you fell short of the “perfect mother” standard!

5 motherhood myths that I have had to unlearn, how to restore the joy of motherhood

  • Practice gratitude

We have so much to be grateful for and to practice gratitude we have to focus on the positive, the good, and the wins. It is very unlikely that you can focus on being thankful and dwell in guilt at the very same time. Please note that by this I am not perpetuating ignoring our shortcomings, no! I am saying, apologize to your child when needed, take the lesson and aim to improve but do not dwell on the guilt and the feelings of inadequacy.

  • Understand your current season of motherhood

“For everything, there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1).

I cannot emphasize this enough mama! I believe that there are many seasons within motherhood. The newborn season, the toddler season, the season of school and homework; pick-ups, and sports.  I had the lonely season, the season of not liking motherhood at all (I wanted OUT!) All these seasons come with different struggles and responsibilities for us. Do not brush off something that you might not be able to do in one season because it might totally work in your next. Embracing and understanding your current season offers a change in perspective. Basetsana Kumalo said “you can have it all, but not at the same time”

5 motherhood myths I have had to unlearn, how to restore the joy of motherhood

  • Stop comparing yourself

”Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

When you compare yourself you make their life a standard of success for your life.  After that, feelings of dissatisfaction with your own life and your own motherhood follow. This then leads to feelings of guilt, it truly becomes a vicious cycle. You are worthy and you are enough. Yes, there is always room for growth but it is better to seek growth from a place of self-love.

 

This is my version of how mom guilt steals the joy of motherhood and how you can restore it. How has mom guilt affected how you show as a mom and what steps have you taken to overcome it? Let me know in the comments.

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How mom guilt steals the joy of motherhood and how to restore it

5 motherhood myths I have had to unlearn, how to restore the joy of motherhood

“Should I breastfeed or bottle-feed my baby? What will they say about me if I do not? I mean breast is best so I should do it even though it is not ideal for our circumstances. I am a bad mother for not being able to breastfeed my child”. Mom guilt has stolen the joy of motherhood, how do I restore it?

The feeling of guilt and the belief that you are not a good enough mother. I remember the feeling very well, it comes at you right when you are feeling down and often keeps you down. What is mom guilt anyway? According to betterup.com, mom guilt is a feeling that moms feel in relation to their children. Mom guilt is perpetuated by the perfect mother myth, but the truth is that there is no perfect mother. There is no one right way to be a mother, just your way; and mine and the other mother’s way! Here’s how mom guilt steals the joy of motherhood and how to restore it.

Why mom guilt happens

There are so many unrealistic expectations that society has put on mothers, the breast is best, natural birth vs c-section, etc. (I believe that all birth is natural birth). Then there are the unrealistic standards that we set for ourselves, that leave us feeling less than when we fail to meet them. Moreover, we live in the digital age, where we see the lives of other moms online and sadly compare ourselves to them. All these increases the feeling of guilt.

 

how to restore the joy of motherhood

How mom guilt steals your joy as a mom

When mom guilt creeps in, is likely that your focus has shifted from the positive to the negative. How can you be filled with joy when you focus on your failures and not your wins? Even if your day hasn’t gone as planned, there are wins somewhere there, they just get buried under the disappointment. Even on your worst parenting days, if you look closely enough you will find success there somewhere. You can never find joy in motherhood if you are constantly focusing on your shortcomings (We all have them), and your should have’s and failures!

How to restore the joy of motherhood

  • Redefine motherhood for yourself

Nowadays, there is no one prescribed way to be a mother as it was centuries ago. Mothers are breaking barriers, they are homeschooling and working from home, they are working outside of the home and sending their children to school; they are hiring help so that they can reignite and pursue their passions! So what is motherhood for you? Define that clearly so that you won’t succumb to someone else’s definition of motherhood. That way you are less likely to wide up guilty because you fell short of the “perfect mother” standard!

5 motherhood myths that I have had to unlearn, how to restore the joy of motherhood

  • Practice gratitude

We have so much to be grateful for and to practice gratitude we have to focus on the positive, the good, and the wins. It is very unlikely that you can focus on being thankful and dwell in guilt at the very same time. Please note that by this I am not perpetuating ignoring our shortcomings, no! I am saying, apologize to your child when needed, take the lesson and aim to improve but do not dwell on the guilt and the feelings of inadequacy.

  • Understand your current season of motherhood

“For everything, there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1).

I cannot emphasize this enough mama! I believe that there are many seasons within motherhood. The newborn season, the toddler season, the season of school and homework; pick-ups, and sports.  I had the lonely season, the season of not liking motherhood at all (I wanted OUT!) All these seasons come with different struggles and responsibilities for us. Do not brush off something that you might not be able to do in one season because it might totally work in your next. Embracing and understanding your current season offers a change in perspective. Basetsana Kumalo said “you can have it all, but not at the same time”

5 motherhood myths I have had to unlearn, how to restore the joy of motherhood

  • Stop comparing yourself

”Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

When you compare yourself you make their life a standard of success for your life.  After that, feelings of dissatisfaction with your own life and your own motherhood follow. This then leads to feelings of guilt, it truly becomes a vicious cycle. You are worthy and you are enough. Yes, there is always room for growth but it is better to seek growth from a place of self-love.

 

This is my version of how mom guilt steals the joy of motherhood and how you can restore it. How has mom guilt affected how you show as a mom and what steps have you taken to overcome it? Let me know in the comments.