Guilt in Parenting

Parenthood is supposed to be a wonderful time. Many people have had to work so hard to become a parent. But a side effect of parenting for many, especially mothers, is GUILT. I often joke with my parents that after the placenta comes a big bag of guilt.

Guilt is an emotion that is telling you that you are doing something wrong. If you are truly doing something wrong, then change it and stop doing the wrong thing or behaviour. If you determine that you are not doing something wrong, decide to stop feeling guilty. It’s not helpful to anyone. Guilt is a choice.

People often deal with conflict of priorities by offering up their guilt. If I want to work but I also want to stay home with my child to be a parent, I choose to feel guilty to show others I’m torn and feel bad for choosing one option. But the gift of your suffering is not helpful to you or anyone else. Own your choices and your priorities. If they are out of line, then change them instead of just feeling guilty.

For many parents, especially mothers, guilt comes about because they are trying to match an unrealistic idea of a parenting model that has nothing to do with their situation or who they are. People do mental, often unconscious evaluations against an ideal image of how they believe they should parent. If the model they are evaluating against has nothing to do with that person or their life, they’ll feel bad and possibly guilty.

Many people are not comfortable trying to think about and create a model of parenting that would fit them. So instead, they look to the past, how their mother’s parented or maybe a neighbour or a friend. If you are a working mom and comparing yourself to a stay at home-mom and think that is the right model, you’ll feel guilty.

In today world, we live in an adult-centric work-centric world. It is not easy to parent. It is not easy to navigate all the challenges a person faces as a parent. For many parents, both must work to support the family. Often you have to parent with domestic helpers and/or extended family members from another generation of parenting.  The access to internet, laptops, phones, computer games and porn, complicates how to parent. You cannot use your parent’s model for parenting

If you have an unrealistic model for parenting, then change that model. If you don’t know how to do that get therapy to help you sort out what is right for you and your family.

IF you feel you are too angry or lack patience, then get professional counselling help for that.

If you don’t know how to do discipline, then get education or seek therapy for guidance on age appropriate issues for your child.

Guilt is a feedback mechanism telling you that you are doing something wrong. If you are doing something wrong, seek help to correct it. I often help people figure out an appropriate model of parenting that reflects their reality.

If are you not doing anything wrong, then decide to not feel guilty. If this isn’t easy, therapy can you with that as well.

Schedule an initial consultation to find out how therapy might help you. Can WhatsApp us at +6590307239 or email tammy AT ALLINTHEFAMILYCOUNSELLING DOT COM

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