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5 Nurturing Tips for Managing Mom Guilt

Being a mother can be an amazing journey filled with love and growth, but it also comes with its slate of challenges. "Mom guilt" tends to the one that outshines most of them. It's the feeling of not doing enough, not being present enough, and not being the "perfect" mother. This guilt can be triggered by work-life balance, parenting choices, or personal self-care. It’s like having a little voice in your head telling you that you're not measuring up as a mom, even when you're doing your best. If you're a mom feeling the weight of guilt and looking for ways to maintain your inner peace, you are not alone. As a therapist and a mom myself, I've heard this voice many times and know how difficult it can be to keep it silent and enjoy my motherhood. That's why I want to take this journey to inner peace with you. Here are 5 nurturing tips to help you navigate this journey.

1. Acknowledge and Accept:

The first step to finding inner peace is acknowledging that mom guilt is a common and normal part of motherhood. It's okay to feel your emotions without judgment. By acknowledging and accepting feelings that come with mom guilt, you can navigate these emotions constructively and cultivate a healthier mindset.

2. Embrace Self-Compassion:

It's important to offer yourself kindness and understanding. Recognize that you are doing the best you can, and it's perfectly fine to

prioritize your well-being. Self-compassion is a powerful tool that you can use to be kind to yourself! One of the most important things I've learned on my journey is that we cannot thrive when we’re solely focused on giving to others. To thrive, we must also receive compassion and care. It's like the saying goes, "we cannot pour from an empty cup." Practice self-compassion by acknowledging that you're doing your best and that it's okay not to be perfect.

3. Set Realistic Expectations

Figure out where your mom guilt is coming from. Is it related to societal expectations, comparing yourself to other mothers, or your own standards? Identifying the source of your guilt can help you address the specific issue rather than letting it manifest into a much bigger issue. Mom guilt often comes from unrealistic expectations. It's helpful to challenge these expectations and recognize that perfection is unattainable. Perfect moms do not exist and that's perfectly fine! I recommend adding "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Professor and writer Brene' Brown to your reading list as it focuses on letting go of who you think you're supposed to be and embracing who you are. Release the pressure of being a "perfect" mom by setting realistic expectations for yourself and your family based on your values and circumstances.

4. Practice Self-Care

As a mom, it's common to feel guilty about taking care of yourself, but self-care is crucial. It helps you recharge and promotes a healthier mindset. Scheduling "me time" by blocking out specific times in your schedule just for yourself is a great way to prioritize self-care. You can use this time to do activities that replenish your energy and bring you joy, such as meditation, going for a walk, or reading a book. Remember, it's okay to delegate tasks and ask for help when you need it. Sharing the load can relieve some of the pressures contributing to mom guilt. Building a support system of other moms who understand and empathize with your experiences is also a great way to practice self-care. Knowing that you're not alone can be incredibly comforting.

5. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness is a helpful tool to kickstart your ability to appreciate the present without being consumed by guilt about the past or anxiety about the future. You can incorporate mindfulness or relaxation practices into your daily routine, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga.

Using mindfulness apps such as Headspace or Insighttime will help you stay present and manage stress effectively.

It's important to remember that "mom guilt" is a common and normal feeling that many of us mothers experience and it doesn't necessarily reflect the reality of your parenting abilities. Attempting to be everything to everyone is impossible. By working on gaining your inner peace through these steps, you'll learn to manage mom guilt and develop a sense of balance in your life. You deserve to have a balanced and peaceful life, so take the time to practice these techniques every day.

*Jennifer Nicole Brown and Perfectly Imperfectly Counseling, LLC have no direct affiliation with the links included in this blog.

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