Releasing Mommy Guilt

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LaTeisha Clément
LaTeisha Clément
I am a woman who loves fashion, beauty, love, connection, and romance. At different points in my life, these values may change. I'm also inspired by dope conversations, good food, and things that are aesthetically pleasing. Being a mom helped me to get in touch with my womanhood, so my son is very much a special part of me. I am navigating life while learning how to trust God, which you'll find out more about through my writings. I have experience in fashion, style, parenting, womanhood, and mental wellness.
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I’ve been dealing with a lot of Mommy Guilt lately because I want to do all of the things for my son, but I am only one person.

As I write this, Lil’ Man sits off to my left with his tutor. One day during the school year, I broke down and realized, “I need help!” I could no longer be the one who fought this parenting battle alone! Homework time was the worst, and we would get into fits because I did not have the patience to do assignments with him. Plus, he needs special attention, which I am not trained to give. I didn’t go to school for Early Childhood Education, nor do I enjoy reteaching my son math formulas that are no longer in style! Like, “Can we please bring back long division because Common Core Math is irritating?!”

So, after many nights of conflict during homework time and days of exhaustion, I surrendered to my humanity. Would I keep going in a direction that led to frequent burnout, or would we hire a tutor? Thankfully, I chose the latter because she is a Godsend. His tutor is qualified and has the patience to help Lil’ Man enhance his academic skills.

Tutor and child studying together indoors flooded in sunlight

Know Your Capacity

I had to come to a point where I acknowledged my limits. Simply ask yourself, “What can I handle?”

Are you the parent that can cook once or twice a week, or do you always order food? Do you like playing games with your kids, or would you rather them entertain themselves? I’d rather have my son play alone. Thus, the compromise is for me to devote 5-10 minutes for playtime even before he gingerly asks me, “Mommy, can you play with me?” And then afterward, I can return to whatever I am doing. 

Mom exercising with toddler

What is Mommy Guilt, Anyway?

Let’s start by defining guilt, which is “a feeling of having done [something] wrong or failed in an obligation.” If you’re a mom, you may have resonated with the “failed-in-an-obligation” part because motherhood is filled with “Things to Do” that never seem to get done!

Mom working from home holding baby.

Therefore, Mommy Guilt is the self-condemnation associated with your kids:

  • Did I do enough for them today?
  • I forgot to sign that permission slip! Ugh, I can’t get anything right!
  • Am I a good mother?

How can you deal with mom guilt? First, have grace with yourself. All of these concerns mentioned above question your self-worth. You are good enough. You’re enough, period. Do your best, and God will do the rest. Stop overexerting yourself! Our children are a loan to us from God (1 Samuel 1:27, 28), so cast your care upon Him (1 Peter 5:7). You don’t have to figure everything out (James 1:5).


mommy guilt

As women, we were conditioned to prioritize everyone’s needs above our own. But, we weren’t taught to speak up for ourselves and to listen to our internal guides.

Our job is to unlearn societal norms that suppress us and rise above the noise.

This may look like clocking out of Mommy Mode and letting those dishes stay in the sink overnight. The grocery shopping can wait and Baby Girl’s hair may have to get braided another day! These easy steps can tremendously improve your mental health.

Meditation is another tool that works wonders. Stealing as little as five minutes a day can easily shift your mood. Insight Timer has guided meditations and the breathing exercises help calm my nervous system. “A calm mind is a powerful mind.” (Insight Timer, Lalah Delia)

I implore you to dream of a life where you matter. Prioritize what’s important to you.

What are your goals (that don’t involve your children)? I remember posing this question to mothers I previously coached at a nonprofit, and a few of them struggled to provide an answer beyond their children. They were so intertwined in their kids’ lives that having an individual goal caused brain fog.

Are you that mother who’s lost yourself by living vicariously through your children? If so, it is ok to let go a little and individuate. Release the urge to put you on the back burner when your soul cries out for attention. Mommy Guilt will come knocking on your door over and over again. But you have the power to walk away.

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