As a mom, we spend our days (and nights) trying to do the best for our family—taking care of the kids, managing our household and career, spending time with our significant other, and everything in between. It’s a difficult balancing act.
Unfortunately, no matter how much we do or how hard we try, it never feels like quite enough. Our own unrealistic standards of what a “good” mom is, coupled with a culture that historically undervalues women and their contributions, make it nearly impossible to avoid the feelings of mom guilt.
What is Mom Guilt?
Mom guilt is the feeling that you aren’t doing enough or that you don’t compare to other moms. Unfortunately, there isn’t usually a single cause of mom guilt—there are often many. Some of the common causes include choosing to stop breastfeeding, returning to work, “too much” screen time, letting your child eat “too much” junk food, receiving criticism from another parent or family member, and the list goes on.
While we may not be able to get rid of the mom guilt altogether, here are 5 tips that may help you reduce these feelings.
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5 Tips for Managing Mom Guilt
1. Don’t compare yourself to others
The saying holds true—”comparison is the thief of joy”. Unfortunately, it’s hard to avoid it in a time when social media is full of seemingly spotless homes and perfect lives. It can lead anyone to feel bad as they look around their sink full of dishes and floors scattered with toys.
Sometimes the best way to change this is to unfollow anyone on social media that you tend to envy or compare yourself to, as soon as you start to feel affected by their content. On some social media platforms, you have the option to unfollow or mute someone without unfriending them (and they never even have to know).
2. Focus on the good
Maybe it was a rough day and you were short-tempered or impatient with your kids (it happens to us all sometimes). Instead of focusing on all the ways you could have done better, end your day by picking out a few things you did well that day.
One great way to do this is by taking just a few minutes before bed to write down the best parts of your day in a daily journal. It can be as simple as your child loving what you made them for breakfast or loving how you did their hair. Over time, it will be easier to identify how much you do for your family and how great you really are—say goodbye to mommy guilt.
3. Simplify your days
It’s normal to feel like you have too much on your plate and you just can’t seem to do it all. Taking steps to simplify your day may be just what you need to free up some of your time to focus on more important things.
Simplifying dinnertime is a great way to make your evenings run a little smoother. Our pureed pouches, like the Meat & Veggies Variety Pack, are an easy, but incredibly nutritious meal option for little ones. They’re also a great way to add nutrients to an older child’s diet. For more on how to include them in recipes as your child gets older, check out our article on Alternate ways of eating baby food.
Our Grain-Free Puffs Variety Pack is another great option when you want an easy snack for your little ones, but don’t want to sacrifice nutrition for convenience. They are made with whole food ingredients, such as bone broth, olive oil, and dehydrated vegetables.
4. Ask for help
As the saying goes, “it takes a village”. And while your village may look different than someone else’s, there is likely someone that would step in and help out if you ask—even if this just means being a little more open with your partner about what you need from them. If you are breastfeeding, visit our article on How dads can help nursing moms.
Sometimes asking for help may not be an option. In this case, hiring someone may be the best way to reduce your workload. This may mean hiring someone once per week to do your laundry (many dry cleaners offer this service) or hiring someone to come clean your house.
Asking for help also may come in the form of talking to a mental health professional, who can help you understand and deal with these feelings of guilt and shame. In situations where there may be more going on than just feelings of mom guilt, they can evaluate you for postpartum depression, which also may be contributing to some of these feelings of being a bad mom.
5. Schedule time to focus on yourself
This can be especially hard for working moms who already spend time away from their little ones—how will taking time for yourself make moms feel less guilty? Taking a scheduled break to refuel your battery means that your family will get a healthier, happier mom.
It can be as simple as having your partner or a grandparent watch your kids for a couple of hours one day a week, so you can work out, watch your favorite tv show, or take a relaxing bath. For more ideas about ways to focus on yourself, visit our article about Self Care for Moms.
Written by Jennifer Wirth. Jennifer is a professional health writer, leveraging her scientific background as a Chemical Engineer to uncover the most interesting aspects of infant nutrition, pregnancy, and parenting. As a wife and mother of three young children, Jennifer is passionate about providing the best possible nutrition for her family. She believes that developing healthy eating habits early helps build the foundation for a long, fulfilling life.