Being a mother is not an easy task, it involves learning from experience and knowing how to adapt it to our other roles.
Guilt appears as a common feeling among women, especially when they are mothers, because this role is a great responsibility, wanting to accomplish it as best as possible, being normal that the desired expectations are not always satisfied or reached.
Therefore, in order for this guilt to affect the mother and her child as little as possible, it is important that she learns to accept, knowing that this feeling does not make her mother worse and that there is no right way. do it. Allow yourself to have the experience of being the mother you want because that is the only way to be happy and form a healthy and secure bond with your baby.
In this article we explain better why guilt appears in mothers and what effects it has, also showing some recommendations so that you can better cope with it and reduce its intensity.
The feeling of guilt in mothers
Being a mother is a role that society has taken on as usual and it promotes the idea that all women should and can do it. As is a common fact, motherhood can be seen as an easy activity, but far from being a mother, it involves a series of difficulties, contradictions, pleasant but also unpleasant thoughts and emotions that can affect our state, like fear. , frustration, uncertainty or guilt.
The role of motherhood is understood as intrinsic, as something every woman should know how to just be a woman and the difficulty, responsibility and complications of having and caring for a child are often overlooked and taken into account. In addition to this absence of visual disturbances, there is also evidence that a woman will always know how to act more correctly and that she should always do so, always looking at the baby first.
This thought is in the woman before having her child and intensifies with her birth, being also reinforced by the general belief of the society. The thought that your behavior should always be the best, that you should always know how to act, and that you should always put your child before other needs these are beliefs that are always difficult to realize and often in contradiction with others, thus generating the feeling of guilt already mentioned.
Guilt will come to mothers when they realize that it is truly impossible to be a role model and meet all the beliefs and expectations that had been set, when thoughts come to mind that contradict the thought that she should have and think she does. something is wrong and he should correct and act better for his own benefit and for the people around him.
It’s common to think that in order to do something right, we need to focus only on that and forget about everything else., but in this case to achieve better long-term performance and better condition of the woman, it is better not to leave out other functions and remember that she also has other roles as a woman, girl and especially as an individual.
Since it is difficult (if not impossible) to meet all of our expectations of what a good mother should look like, thoughts will arise in a woman like, “I am not good enough as a mother,” ” I don’t know how to do well. “”, “I feel tired”, “I could do better” … We can therefore see that these are very general thoughts and that they are linked and depend on many behaviors and actions.
Why does this feeling of guilt arise?
Guilt arises when we think that we are not doing something right and that we think we could do better. Same sometimes it’s not just a belief stemming from individual self-esteem; maybe we feel judged by others and this fact also leads to a feeling of guilt.
In relation to motherhood, guilt is a fairly common feeling, because there will always be a way to act or to proceed better, we can always be more patient, more understanding, more affectionate, more responsible … by always focusing on them. negative aspects. The level of self-demand is very high, always wanting to do the best so that our child has the best.
One of the biggest contradictions comes when the mother realizes that she also needs to rest, to disconnect … In short, devote time to it. This feeling causes guilt, as she will believe that she is not a mother and that she is selfish in preferring to spend time with the baby.
In this way, we see how, for the guilt to appear, it is not necessary for the mother to act really badly or do something bad, but it emerges from the expectations and the desire to make everything perfect. Therefore, it is not an indicator of maternal misconduct. That is, it is common for the mother to be doing well, doing well, but feeling guilty.
So there is a social imagination, a belief in what it means to be a mother and how to act, which is really what ends up generating guilt. Often times, one way to act is not better than another, but it will depend on which is best for the way each mother or family does it.
How Does Guilt Affect Motherhood?
This feeling of guilt will have a negative effect on the mother, as she will not let him act the way she really would or if she chooses to do what she wants to do, her discomfort will increase with feeling more guilty and a worse mother. In the same way, it will also affect the relationship between the baby and the mother, as the mother’s constant self-accusation will create a barrier between the two that will make it difficult for a secure bond to be established.
That is to say that, perhaps because he feels bad for not having acted as he is theoretically best, the relationship with the child is more affected, having a greater impact on him than if the mother was simply acting as she felt it. So let’s see how guilt is crippling, affecting our behavior and relationships with others, the mother can be undone, passing this feeling on to the child and leaving out what is really important, thereby impairing the ability to connect with him.
How to deal with guilt?
One point that is very important to remember is that there are many ways to act as a mother and they are all equally valid. There is no way that there is just one way to get it right, because every person is different and therefore we will all need different things to be right. Children are different, mothers are different, families are different, so the way we act can be different too.
So let’s see how to alleviate this guilt that harms our role as a mother, ourselves and our relationship with the baby.
1. Be aware of how I am feeling
Many times we feel bad, upset, however we do not stop to understand what causes us this evil it is what does not let us be right. It is essential to identify the thoughts that generate the feeling of guilt in order to be able to face them and reduce them.
2. Normalize guilt
Because guilt is another feeling that appears in different facets of our life, sometimes be functional and tell ourselves we need to change and improve and other times hurt ourselves and not let ourselves be ourselves. Therefore, as a mother, we must assume that this feeling is very likely to appear, but we must not give it more importance, if we see that we are really not doing anything wrong, we will try to do it. to accept, to learn to live with it and that will be how we will decrease it.
3. Being a mother is a constant learning process
Being a mother is something we learn from experience, making mistakes and correcting ourselves by adapting to different circumstances and our baby. So at the end of the day, we’re really looking forward to it. There is no manual on how to be a good mother, it is something we will learn and model throughout motherhood.
4. There is time for everything
Each person has different roles, all of which are compatible with each other, being able to adapt to each other so that they can all play them. Also, being a mother does not mean losing other functions, you can keep working, go out with your friends, go out with your partner or spend time with yourself, doing what you love, because it is a good way to recharge your batteries and recover your energy. energy.
We can’t properly meet our baby’s needs if we don’t have our own blankets, rest, take care of ourselves, and have time for ourselves.
5. Choose how you want to act as a mother
It’s normal that people around us want to give us advice, because they have probably lived the experience of being a mother and want to help us, but as we have seen, sometimes the way they offer us is not. is not what we would do. So in the end, we really can’t wait to hear from you today who has the final decision on how to act is you.
Don’t feel guilty for acting the way you feel about it, because that is the only way to feel good about yourself and take better care of your child.
6. Express what you are feeling
Often times we understand that if we feel guilty it is because we have done something wrong or because it feels weird to feel that way, we are not good mothers. But if we share these thoughts and feelings with other people, especially with other women who are mothers, we will realize that this feeling of guilt is common, reassure us and help us understand that we are no worse than having it.