How to Deal When the Mommy Guilt Comes For You

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profile picture of Paula Miranda
May 4, 2017
mom holding and kissing toddler who is looking in the distance
Image: Layland Masuda / Getty Images

Mommy and daddy guilt… we’ve all experienced it. Did you ever ask yourself, “Am I making a big mistake?” or, “Am I forgetting anything important?” How about: “Am I being too hard on my child?”, “Will I regret my decisions later?” Yup, we’ve all been there.

Although they might just be toddlers, they will soon be preschoolers, tween, and eventually the dreaded teenager —yikes! How and what is the best recipe for raising the best reflection of all the amazing brilliant characteristics and values you dream your child will one day reflect? And to make it more complicated (and more fun!), just how do you deal with the guilt when you treat one child different from another child? I have read numerous books and spoken with professionals and experts in this capacity. Everything points to the same path: Regardless of what kind of parenting style you choose to approach this great challenge with, parenting starts on day one and so does the guilt!

You were chosen to be the guide and guardian of your children for many reasons. As parents we will not teach our children nearly as much as we will learn from them. Parenting is humbling. Parenting means realizing when to move out of the way and let your child live their purpose, not yours. I looked up the definition of parenting and I found that it is a process. A parent promotes and supports physical, emotional, social and intellectual development. We are supposed to nurture them, show them unconditional love and discipline them in the right way without breaking their spirit.

Yes, you will make mistakes as a parent. Yes, you will forget important messages and experiences you learned the “hard way” to relay to your children along the way. Yes, you will more than likely regret something you have done or said to your child as well. And if you are lucky and nearly perfect , you will only have a couple hundred regrets.

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My advice? Surrender to the experience of parenting. No child is alike, so no task of parenting will be either. Make the most out of the experiences and predicaments you find yourself in. Stay open in the most complex situation because soon after you will identify the most brilliant and perfect resolution. And if all else fails and your kids have you hemmed up against the walls like on “Supernanny”, just remember to laugh. Rules don’t apply to parenting as much as love does and that is where parents win every time.

No one can ever love more or harder than a parent does.

When the mommy (or daddy) guilt comes for you, how do you handle?

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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