Mom Guilt and Strategies to Overcome It

Mom Guilt and Strategies to Overcome It


Which is the best style of parenting? Do you have an answer? There is no such thing as the best method of parenting. Every child is unique and every parent is different, what works for you might not work for someone else. Every parent wants to be the best parent for their children and anything below this can make them guilty. Mom guilt refers to the guilt experienced by caretakers who feel they are inadequate and not doing enough as caretakers. This feeling is very normal to an extent but when this guilt starts affecting you the whole day, it cannot be considered normal. Though it is called mom guilt this can be experienced by any caretaker irrespective of gender. The name is related to societal gender expectations where mothers are considered nurturers while fathers are expected to be breadwinners.

According to Consulting Counsellor and Psychotherapist, Vanita Malhotra from Pune, “Your mental health is affected when you have guilt feelings. If you’re overworking or not giving your child the attention they need, unlike other mothers who are homemakers, it affects your happiness and satisfaction. What you gain from working, socializing with colleagues, or being in the office isn’t at its optimum level. The presence of guilt diminishes satisfaction. The happiness and contentment you should feel after completing tasks beautifully are impacted. When this guilt affects joy, mentally, instead of feeling joyful, you feel disturbed. It’s not a disorder but a disturbance that affects well-being. This lack of fulfilling joy reflects even when receiving praise. Even when commended for a job well done, there’s a lingering feeling of not meeting family obligations. Whether it’s about your child’s education or your presence at home or work, satisfaction remains incomplete. This is how it impacts mothers.”

Read More: Supermoms – Are They Real? Unraveling The Perceptions of Indian Employed Mothers

Mom guilt can develop due to several reasons
  1. Working Parents: Working parents often find it difficult to hold a balance between work and professional life and they often get the feeling that they are not able to give enough time for the family.
  2. Not working: Many times housewives get the feeling that they are setting a bad example for the children by not working. This feeling is observed more in uneducated parents than in educated parents.
  3. Comparison: Many Parents have the habit of comparing their children with that of others. Some parents also have the habit of comparing their parenting style and family dynamics with other families which can develop moms guilt.
  4. Negative Comments from Family: Some people are very nosy and will be extremely interested in peeping into other’s windows. A new parent will be very worried about how to take care of and nurture their children. They feel they are not experienced and this lack of experience might affect the child’s development. On top of this when you get unsolicited opinions from these judgy relatives this can build feelings of guilt.
  5. High Screen time: Excessive screen time in children can develop moms guilt in parents. They feel that they have failed as a parent as they are unable to control the children and they also feel that they have made some mistakes as a result of which children are not able to find satisfaction by involving in other kinds of activities.
  6. Breastfeeding; Breastfeeding is one of the first reasons that can make moms feel mom guilt. Some mothers might not have enough milk, others find it overwhelming or may suffer from Dysphoric milk ejection reflex (D-MER) which is a disorder where the mothers develop negative emotions during breastfeeding. 
  7. Postpartum Depression (PPD): PPD is an affective mood disorder that is experienced by mothers after giving birth. They will have feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, irritation, anxiety, etc as part of this. This can worsen mom guilt and the best way is to get help from a professional.

Read More: Effects of Postpartum Depression on Children

How to Overcome Mom’s Guilt

  • Surround yourself with supportive people: People who stay with you through your thick and thin are the greatest form of life support. When you have someone to patiently listen to your woes without any judgment then this can be a good relief. Stay away from people who are pinching you.
  • Hunt down the source: Sometimes this guilt feeling might hit you randomly so the first action from your end should be finding the source and the trigger and then you will find the next step.
  • Share your duties: If the inability to maintain work-life balance is your source of mom’s guilt then it’s time to talk with your partner and share the house chores between both. If this is not working for you then go for a housemaid.
  • Stop Comparing: It is good to get help from loved ones and professionals but please don’t get over-influenced by them. Your child is not a machine that will give an output for the input that you give. Stop comparing yourself to others we all are different.
  • Find me time: Once you are a parent, you will have very little time for yourself, you will be always running behind the child to make their life better. Sacrificing is a part of parenting but if you love yourself you should take a little time to spend with your hobbies and interests.
  • Challenge irrational thoughts: Many a time you will realize that the source of your mom’s guilt is just irrational thoughts that are unrealistic. Sit down and think about it and find ways to challenge these negative thoughts.
  • Talk with Your Children: Sometimes you can deal with your children by understanding them and their needs. Talk to them and you as a parent should give them space in the family rather than putting a lot of pressure on yourself and them.
  • Leave behind society’s expectations: Society’s unrealistic expectations can induce feelings of guilt and anxiety in anybody so the best way is to stay away from it.
  •  Seek Professional Help: Understand that this is very natural but when these feelings are hunting your mental and emotional well-being and when it’s not staying in your hands seek professional help without hesitation.


Parenting is one of the most divine and challenging tasks at the same time. Nobody wants their children to fail in life. Every parent dreams of becoming a proud parent. Try to give your best as a parent but keep yourself on the journey.

According to Clinical Psychologist & Hypnotherapist, Kavita Jain, “When a woman is working, she often feels guilty about not being able to give her family, especially her kids, her full attention. This guilt persists whether she’s at work or home. At work, she struggles to focus entirely on her tasks due to family obligations. Conversely, when she’s at home, her professional responsibilities can distract her.”

Read More Articles at Psychologs


Struggling with mom guilt? Here’s what to do to overcome it. (n.d.).

Lcsw, L. S. (2024, March 8). Mom Guilt: Causes & 13 tips for overcoming. Choosing Therapy.

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