3 Things that Make You Feel Guilty as a Mother and How to Act

There are things in your daily life that make you feel guilty as a mother. Seek to reduce stress and, if necessary, seek professional help.
3 Things that Make You Feel Guilty as a Mother and How to Act
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 13 February, 2023

Since becoming a mother, you can’t help but feel guilty about many aspects of your life. However, guilt doesn’t do you any good. That’s why we’re going to talk to you about how to act in these situations.

If one thing is clear, it’s that we mothers feel guilty about similar issues throughout the day. For this reason, it’s essential that we’re all aware that this guilt only blocks us emotionally and doesn’t help us at all in our daily lives.

Some things that make you feel guilty as a mother

Guilt is a feeling that we consider as negative because it makes us feel bad. It’s like a dark monster that whispers with its stinky breath in our ear, and, worst of all, we allow it! But, we shouldn’t, because that monster kills our happiness and emotional well-being. So, don’t let that guilt trap you ever again.

Here are some moments that may make you feel guilty as a mother, as well as some tricks to help silence that little inner voice that tries to make you feel bad all the time.

A child sitting on the couch watching TV.
It’s likely that, when you let your child watch TV for longer than usual, you feel tremendously guilty as a mother to see them hypnotized in front of the screen.

1. When you use the TV as a babysitter

Most may not want to admit it in public, but it’s something that a large percentage of mothers have done at some time. When we want to cook, clean, talk on the phone, exercise at home, or read, among other activities, we usually resort to this resource.

One trick to avoid feeling frustrated when you let your children watch TV is to choose the content they watch and be attentive to what they see and do during that time. The key is moderation, and the younger they are, the less screen time they should have. For example, if you have to cook and you have a 2-year-old, you can space out the TV time by 15 minutes.

2. You don’t always cook healthy

Everyone tells you that you should feed your kids healthy food. Of course, you have to forget about carbohydrates and all the foods your little ones love. Maybe that’s why, on nights when you make them nuggets with ketchup for dinner, you feel like you’re poisoning them.

However, you shouldn’t feel bad about this. In fact, it’s not uncommon on the most stressful and chaotic days to feel like we can’t get everything done and, therefore, cook easy recipes. We know the kids will like them and won’t complain. Of course, there are also days when we just don’t feel like arguing about food. The key is moderation. For example, a good option is to make a meal schedule every weekend.

3. When you yell at your children

A mother yelling at her daughter.
If you’ve yelled at your child, don’t feel guilty. When you’re calmer, apologize, explain the situation, and promise that next time, you’ll try to manage your behavior better.

As a parent, yelling at your children in times of stress or emotional vulnerability and feeling guilty can happen. Don’t obsess over this issue because no one likes to raise their voice to their little ones. And, of course, you’ll feel guilty every time you do it. So, when you feel you’re about to yell, it’s best to back away and take a deep breath before you provoke a stressful situation.

Treat these moments as learning opportunities. If you’ve already yelled, apologize to your children and tell them it’s okay so they don’t freak out. Explain what has happened and explain to them that sometimes people yell when they’re angry and that it can make others feel bad.

If you’ve noticed that you yell too much at home and that it has become a habit, it’s essential that you reduce your stress levels. If necessary, you can seek help from a professional therapist to understand your stress base and act on it. To work on the things that make you feel guilty, you can work less, exercise more, and not worry so much about everything. If you succeed, it’ll be worth it.

Take mistakes as learning experiences

As a mother, you’ll always want the best for your children, and nothing will ever seem like enough. However, you can’t have all the answers, sometimes you’ll raise your voice and you won’t always handle conflict situations in the best way. But this isn’t a problem, as you’ll realize that mistakes will always be your best teachers.

Finally, try to control your impulses, try to reduce stress levels, and, if necessary, seek the help of a professional so you don’t feel so guilty as a mother and can act in the best possible way.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.