top of page
  • Heather Hardeman, LPC, RPT

Mommy Guilt

For the Moms Who Think They are Terrible at Mommying

Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. Moms put so much pressure on themselves to do the everything "perfect" for their children, when there is no “perfect” thing. Wouldn’t it be amazing if every child reacted the same way to our specific style of parenting? It would be like baking a cake, you add the right amount of eggs and oil and bake on 350 for 23 minutes and poof! You have a cake! But it’s not that simple with kids. You can try the same thing that worked with their sibling or your friends’ kid and get a completely different response. Many times theses responses lead to us feeling frustrated, hopeless, and helpless and experiencing a lot of what I like to call “mom guilt”.

At least once a day I sit down with a mom who is having this guilt and feels like the worst, most ineffective parent in the world. They struggle because they have tried all of these different approaches with their kid but they can’t find anything that will work. Then they begin to believe thoughts like, “I’m a bad mom”, “something is wrong with me or my child”, “I’m going to or have already damaged my child”, or “I’m a failure”. These thoughts fuel the “mom guilt cycle”. I always tell the parents that I work with that the simple fact that they are in my office, have tried different approaches, read articles, or just that they care means that they are not a bad parent!

There is no one approach that is going to work for every kid. It would be amazing if there were! I could just hand the parents that I work with the super secret parenting manual. Then they would know the “perfect” thing to do in every situation, but that’s not how it works. Instead we always begin with looking at the foundation, which is connection, relationship, and the parent’s self-care. Most importantly mom's self-compassion. Moms, be aware that there are times when you’re going to screw up. However, parenting is trial and error. Learn from the errors and don’t forget all the good you are doing.

bottom of page