Guilt towards mom: 5 ways to avoid it

FEvery role in life has as much pressure on them as the role of a mother. Mothers are expected to do it all — meet all of their children’s needs, be a great cook and get involved in all extracurricular activities, while keeping everything to themselves (and maybe even) put a fulfilling career above everything else). That’s a lot, and it’s no surprise that more and more people on social media are opening up about the sometimes difficult realities of being a modern mom.

But even if the community were a little more conscious of what it means to be a mother, maternal guilt persists. Missing out on the actual day at school due to work, not being able to prepare healthy meals every night, and losing composure when things get overwhelming, all have ways of making women feel like a bad parent. . This is especially common in the United States, where there is a lack of public policy to support working families compared to many other Western countries.

Mothers often feel like they have to do it all, while somehow preserving their mental health, says Sarah Oreck, MD, reproductive psychiatrist and consultant for vitamin brand Perelel. — and that has to stop.

“The idealization of motherhood is complex and multifactorial,” she says. “A major driver is our culture and the way we portray motherhood. Until recently, pregnancy and motherhood in the media was portrayed as one-sided—all beautiful, fun, and rewarding without the messy, factual stuff.”

Fortunately, Dr Oreck says there has been a tremendous shift in the past decade in how the media and culture refer to the transition to motherhood and the expectations that come with it. It. But fundamental pressures persist. “This idealization of motherhood, often internalized by many mothers, can lead to feelings of inferiority and comparison with others, aka guilt or guilt,” says Dr. Oreck. mother’s shame,” said Dr. Oreck.

Okay, but what exactly is mother’s guilt?

This term has been thrown around a lot. “Mother guilt is the feeling of inferiority and shame that mothers experience when they feel they are not doing a good enough job raising their children,” says Dr. Oreck. “It stems from unrealistic expectations of what motherhood ‘should’ be.”

you have seen other things Instagram moms: Their hair is always perfectly curled, their kids wear adorable matching outfits and they love to brag about how they’re always having fun, taking in the outdoor activities later while enjoying nutritious meals. Viewing such content can make even the most confident mom feel inadequate.

“Many moms focus on everything they think they are doing wrong instead of focusing on winning, and the fact that we are all learning on the job when we become parents,” says Dr. Oreck. “Mother’s guilt can make you feel overwhelmed and lead to feelings of inadequacy, isolation, burnout and ultimately perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like postpartum depression. .”

5 key ways to avoid the cycle of mother guilt

1. Know when it’s happening

Oreck says it’s important to be aware of when you feel sorry for your mom. She said: “Recognizing and naming your mother’s guilt towards you is a good start. This can help you move away from your emotions and is the first step in planning to deal with them.

2. Focus on what’s important to you

It is important to find out what Friend what it looks like to want to be a mother—from a practical standpoint, achievable.

“Focus on your own parenting path and what works for you and your family, not necessarily what other people are doing,” says Dr. Oreck. “Focus on the wins and what works for you when it comes to parenting.” Maybe delivering ready-to-eat food to the kids will give you more time to play with your kids, or leaving the house cluttered will give you a better chance at work. Your mother-in-law may disagree, but if that’s the right thing for you, accept it.

Oreck says it’s important for you to admit to yourself that you don’t have to do everything perfectly for your child to be a good, well-adjusted person. The key is to adopt “good enough” parenting—meaning you know you’re doing the best you can.

You don’t have to do everything perfectly for your child to be a good, well-adjusted person.

3. Avoid the comparison trap

You are very easily influenced by influencers, or even your neighbors and colleagues. “Don’t compare yourself to other moms,” says Dr. Oreck. If that means staying away from social media or blocking certain accounts that don’t make you feel good about yourself, then so be it.

4. Take a break when you can

If you’re having a tough day or week, Dr. Oreck recommends reminding yourself of this truth: Parenting is hard. “Take a break if you need to, relax and recharge,” she says. “Ask for support and talking to your friends and family can be extremely helpful.”

Of course, many mothers don’t feel that they Maybe rest for a while. If you’re one of them and you need a minute, Dr. Oreck recommends “engaging your kids in something that keeps them entertained for a bit.” That could include reading a book, a toy they really enjoy, or, yes, device time. “Spending those five minutes, even if it’s just on the opposite side of the room with your child, can be amazingly rejuvenating,” she says.

While it can be difficult to focus on your own needs when you have young children, Dr. Oreck says it’s very important. “Take care of yourself,” she said. “Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy, and be physically active. Taking care of yourself will make you a better mother.”

5. If it’s too much, get professional help

Mom’s guilt can be a difficult thing to shake. If guilt is getting in the way of your ability to parent or enjoy life, you feel overwhelmed or hopeless, or you have thoughts of harming yourself, Dr. Oreck says it’s time to do so. Consult a mental health professional.

“A therapist can help you understand the roots of guilt and develop healthy coping mechanisms,” she says. “They can also give you support and guidance as you work through your guilt.”

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