What is maternal guilt?

Maternal guilt is the feelings of guilt women experience in relation to their kids. It comes from an unrealistic ideal of a perfect mother and feeling guilty for not living up to this ideal. It can originate from personal insecurities or outside pressures from family, friends, social media and other sources. Feeling mother’s guilt can have consequences on the emotional health of mothers and children’s general wellbeing.

Working women’s primary reason for guilt could be being unable to give her children time and being away from them. It could make them unable to give their best at work. Another reason for feeling guilty is when their children misbehave, especially in public, or throw tantrums; or when they receive complaints about their children. It could make them feel like they are not raising their children right or not being a good parent. Mother’s may feel guilty when they yell at their children or strictly discipline. This could especially be the case with working mothers. Being unable to juggle all the roles could also be a contributing factor to mother’s guilt.

Guilt may lead parents to develop unhealthy discipline habits, like giving in to children when it’s not in the child’s best interest, or overcompensating for the choices they make. While those things may temporarily relieve a parent’s guilt, those responses could be unhealthy for children. However, children could also sometimes use maternal or paternal guilt to get what they want or to their advantage.

The impact of maternal guilt can vary depending on how it is managed. Often, mothers will compensate for their guilt and lack of presence with their children by giving them more material or financial reparation to assuage their guilt and provide tangible proof of their love. Some mothers might suffer from significantly lower self-worth as they view themselves as failures in the jobs they once were able to complete with ease as well as in their new roles as mothers. It is essential in such times to remember that it is okay to take some time to yourself as a mother. At the same time, asking for help is not wrong. Asking help in parenting as well as for your well-being is necessary.

Faculty Minds is here to help you work through your maternal guilt and feel fulfilled in your parenting styles.

Add Your Comment

Schedule a Callback

    Fill out the form below to receive a confidential initial consultation with a callback.