Here are some common feelings of guilt I've heard from mothers over the years.
I can't stop thinking about how I had my first baby via c-section
...and I still feel like there's this dark cloud of failure hanging over my head. Like, everyone tells you that you're not a 'real' mom unless you've had a vaginal birth.
One of the more severe forms of mom guilt comes after an unplanned or planned c-section. Even though many women expect some level of discomfort or even pain after delivering, they often don’t envision having a c-section.
Having a C-section is sometimes the safest (or only) way to bring your child into this world. It doesn't mean you've done anything wrong and it certainly doesn't mean you had it easy.
Recovering from a C-section is incredibly difficult and you should feel proud no matter how you delivered your baby. All that matters is that you and your baby are healthy.
I feel like I am not doing any of this right.
My baby was born with a tongue-tie and it's so hard to get him to nurse, especially since he fusses all the time. I feel like if I did something differently during my pregnancy or labor, he wouldn't have had to get that surgery.
Most of what happens during pregnancy or labor is out of your control. Some women feel guilt over not doing everything exactly as they planned to during pregnancy or labor. There's no perfect birth story you can tell your child someday, because every woman experiences it differently. It is common to have both negative and positive feelings towards the pregnancy and/or birth. Remember that you are a human that is doing the best you can and so much of what happens during this time is not your fault.
I feel so guilty that I let my kids watch TV.
But I am struggling to get everything done and I feel so overwhelmed.
I hear this all the time from new moms regarding screen time. It is important in motherhood to be flexible and do whatever will help you get through the day. Remember, your needs matter too!
Believe me, it's okay to let your kid watch some shows on your phone while you're at that restaurant and they start crying! In fact, no one can tell you that it's not okay unless they have been there. We all need moments where we can breathe or enjoy a warm meal.
How to Overcome Feelings of Guilt
No mom is perfect. Each day, we do our best to raise happy and healthy kids by doing the things that work for us.
But it’s okay if you don’t always feel like you are making the right decisions or living up to your own expectations.
All parents experience this at some point in their parenting journey - even those who have done everything “right."
If these feelings of guilt start creeping into your daily tasks as a parent, talk to someone about them! A therapist can help you process what has been bothering you and give insights on how you might want to change courses moving forward with less guilt weighing on your mind.