Mom carries young son on the beach

Why Being a Good Mother Starts with Taking Care of Yourself

Bad mother syndrome is a term used to define a mother who feels that she is a bad mother because of the choices she makes for her kids, which leads to feelings of selfishness and results in guilt.

Whether it’s not knowing how to answer tough questions from your kid, or feeling the grip of parent burnout, there are many instances when moms feel inadequate.

But as a mom, you have to give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself that no one is perfect, and it is impossible to be flawless, let alone as a parent.

So if you’re feeling like a bad mom, read on to learn about ways to overcome your self-doubt, take care of yourself, and ultimately, be kinder to yourself so you can be a good parent.

Challenges of Motherhood

Unfortunately, in our society, there are unrealistic expectations set out for moms. Moms are expected to be on all the time, balancing work, parenting, household chores, school activities, and extracurricular activities, all while working through parental burnout.

Many single moms wonder how to be a good mother when there is not enough time in a day to get everything done. And even if they aren’t single mothers, many moms feel the same way sometimes because they just have too many responsibilities to juggle.

When schedules get too hectic, it’s common for some things to fall between the cracks. Maybe the kids didn’t get a home-cooked meal and instead had take-out because you didn’t have time to stop at the grocery store. Or, may you had to stop sending your kids to piano lessons because there isn’t enough room in your budget right now.

Whatever hiccups, ruts, or setbacks you’re experiencing as a parent, don’t beat yourself up. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and follow these tips to avoid feeling guilty.

How to Avoid The Pressures & Stigma Of “Bad Mommy” Syndrome

Be Confident: Give Yourself Some Credit!

Practice being a confident person, not just a confident mom. Focus on your strengths, and accept your likes, dislikes, and weaknesses.

Even if you aren’t 100% confident in your abilities, start acting like you are. Your child will feel safer as a result, and they’ll be calmer and happier.

Here are more tips for being a confident parent.

Avoid Stress

While you will likely always experience some stress as a parent, there are ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Here’s how:

  • Avoid negative people who don’t support you
  • Find your support system
  • Put your partner to work—share responsibilities around the house and with the kids
  • Put yourself first
  • Spend time with your significant other
  • Just say no—you can’t do everything!
  • Don’t overschedule your family
  • Let your kids do things for themselves

Be Positive!

Instead of dreading things to come, try to be optimistic each day. If you start your day with positive thinking, your day is more likely go well. And even if there are some hiccups, you will be more resilient and get through them with optimism.

Don’t Overwork Yourself

Taking on too many responsibilities will inevitably lead to burnout and not being able to do your best at work, home, and as a mom. So set limitations and ask for help to ease the burden of all the day-to-day tasks. And learn to say no when you already have enough things to do.

Get Enough Rest

Even if your evenings are spent getting caught up on work and chores, be sure to go to bed at a reasonable time. Getting enough sleep is essential for your overall mental and physical health. And you can’t function at your best if you are always sleep-deprived.

Take Time for Yourself

Whether it’s a day, an afternoon, an hour, or 15 minutes, you need time for yourself in order to be your best self and avoid parent burnout. Much like needing a healthy work-life balance to be healthy and happy, you also need time alone to nurture your needs and recharge.

Without time for yourself, you can end up feeling frustrated and impatient with your child.

Don’t Be Shy to Ask for Advice

All moms go through feelings of self-doubt. So don’t hesitate to ask other moms for advice if you’re feeling down about your parenting abilities. If you bring up your concerns, you might also give other moms the courage to speak up about their insecurities. And you can gain reassurance that you all experience similar thoughts.

Trust Your Intuition & Follow Your Instincts

Let your motherly instinct guide you to make decisions quickly and confidently. Listen to your child’s cues and practice going with your gut. Once you get the hang of trusting your intuition, you’ll realize that you are the expert when it comes to raising your kids.

Be Realistic

Don’t set your expectations for your parenting skills too high and don’t compare yourself to other moms. Just remember that no one is perfect, parenting is hard, and all moms have bad days, even if they appear to have it together at all times.

As long as you are caring for your children, giving them the love, nurturing, and guidance they need to feel loved, wanted, and lovable, don’t strive to be perfect. By setting the bar too high, you are setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. So strive to be good enough instead.

Do Not Open Yourself Up to Opinions

When we feel lost or unsure, we often ask others for their opinions. But often, others’ opinions can make us feel worse than we did before.

People who have experience as parents may try to tell you how to care for your child. And as a result, it may lower your confidence and cause self-doubt.

But chances are, the opinions of others may not be very helpful. Everyone has their own parenting style. So the only opinion that truly matters when raising your children is your own.

If you’re wondering how to be a good mother, just remember to always follow your motherly instinct.

All moms feel guilty at times. But one of the best ways to be a good mother is to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. Like all humans, moms make mistakes. And kids will fall down and get hurt sometimes.

But as long as you have the confidence to dust yourself off and move on, instead of feeling guilty, you can be the strong role model your child needs to get through the ups and downs of life.