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Why Do I Feel Like a Bad Mom? Well, It’s Science

Do you sometimes ask yourself “why do I feel like a bad mom”, despite trying your hardest? This is a common feeling that a lot of parents struggle with. In reality the fact that you even are asking yourself that shows how much you care. Hit the reset button with these parenting tips.

We all have bad days and moments when we can’t help but think, “Geez, I am a bad mother today”.

When, in the midst of parental chaos, you notice that you are so busy simply trying to swim through life that you forget to slow down and do a few cannonballs with your kids.

Your sight becomes so clouded by the piles of laundry and over-scheduled weekly calendar, that you start to forget the true vision of family.

You can try to reason with yourself and remind that nagging voice in your head of the positive things:

  • Your house only looks like a mild storm blew through it; not a full blown tornado (pat yourself on the back!)
  • Your kids have taken baths at least once in the past 3 days (nice job!)
  • Dinner may be chicken nuggets with a side of mac and cheese, but you can guarantee it will be served on-time on that sticky kitchen table (congratulations!)

You are a good mom; however, you can’t shake that nagging feeling that you are missing something. No matter how many times you tell yourself that you are doing what is best for your family, if you are not spending quality time with your kids you feel like you are the crappiest mom out there.

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Why do I Feel Like a Bad Mom?

Guilt is part of our scientific make-up as human beings.

According to Daniel Sznycer, a social psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Montreal, explains that while guilt and shame feel terrible, they are acutally not “bad emotions”.

Think back to cavemen times. People had to rely on each other to survive – forage for food, hunt, and protect each other.

Without guilt, what would stop someone from ditching their ‘cave family’ and going off on their own?

That oh-so-annoying feeling of mom-guilt has a purpose, but it is clearly overreacting for most of us.

Related: How Social Media Created the False Idea of a Perfect Mom

How to Stop Feeling Like a Bad Mom

Being a great mom is all about the little things. The best thing you can do is for a young child is be present.

When you feel the crappy-mom-wave wash over you, take a deep breath and do one of these 5 small things to connect with your family member and tell that annoying cave-mom voice in your head to beat it.

Whether you are a first time mom, a family going through hard times, or a family stuck in survival mode who needs a slow down, these are great ways to get rid of that guilty feeling and be a happy family.

Each activity can take as little as 15 minutes, but focusing on your kids even for a short time will eliminate your mom guilt and remind you what the best part of being a mom is: enjoying your kids!

Learn the difference between calm parenting and reactive parenting here.

1) Start Some Good Conversation

You’ll never believe the cute and interesting things that come out of your kids mouth’s when you actually talk and listen to them.

Shut out distractions and chat it up with your kids, for a true bonding experience. Depending on their age, you can develop a different set of questions but I sit down and ask the following five questions to my kids:

  1. Who did you play with at school?
  2. Did anything make you sad today?
  3. What did you dream about last night?
  4. What was your favorite part of the day?
  5. Is there anything special you want to do this weekend?

These questions flow into other conversations where your child feels comfortable sharing details with you and open their heart.

They will start to learn that when you sit down for a chat session, it is their time to tell you anything they are feeling and that you are there to really listen.

As an alternative, we often play “Would you Rather…?”. In this game, you take turns asking silly questions like “Would you rather have 10 monkeys as pets or one elephant?” or “Would you rather eat ice cream on pizza, or broccoli dipped in chocolate?” Each question gets sillier and we have a great time playing.

Improve Your Kids Mental Health With These Tips: 5 Questions that Make Your Kid Feel Respected and Valued

2) Distraction-free Interaction

While I can’t say that the game of “dinosaurs attacking Barbies” is my all-time favorite game, it is a great time for us to reconnect. I let my child pick their favorite activity and I give them at least 15 minutes of distraction-free attention.

We turn off the TV, and I hide my phone in another room, and sit on the floor to interact. These activities range from throwing baseball, to baking cookies, to playing super hero’s, depending on their age.

It doesn’t matter what the activity is. What matters is that you are focused on them and showing them you are interested in the things they love.

Looking for Ways to Raise Kids that Come to You with Problems, Not Hide from You? Try communicating with kids and teens in these 5 ways.

3) Read Together

Pick out 2 to 3 books, and cuddle up on the couch for some good old-fashioned book reading.

Your child will feel important when you stop all of your other duties to sit and enjoy each other’s company while you read a book.

For older children, chapter books are great because reading a chapter a day can become a regular routine.

Related: How to Stay Close with Your Son as He Grows Older

4) Go out for a treat

In our house, we started a little tradition of going on kid-parent ‘mini-dates’. We will go out for a short trip to get a treat of their choice. It is always something simple, like french fries or a donut; however, my kids feel extremely special to have this individual attention and conversation.

If we aren’t able to go anywhere, we will have a little snack in the kitchen. We will both sit together and enjoy a little treat together while we talk about our day.

Even though my kids seem to snack 8,000 times a day, when we make a point to sit and share the moment together, it becomes a special moment.

Related: You are not an angry mom, you just need one of these 6 things

5) Go on an “adventure”

The definition of “adventure” is in your hands. Often, for us an adventure is a walk in the woods. Sometimes, an “adventure” occurs in our own home or yard while we are digging for worms, picking flowers, or building a fort.

Regardless of what your adventure is, it should be free of screen time and full of imagination.

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Final Thoughts on “Why do I Feel Like a Bad Mom”

Let’s be realistic. The best mom is a happy mom.

An important thing to remember is that at the end of the day, you are doing a good job. You are a good mother, and that is a big deal.

You won’t always have a lot of time to play or have extensive one-on-one discussions with your children; however, if you connect with your kids with these 5 quick activities you will, without a doubt, enjoy the time you spend together.

Your ” to do” list will NEVER be complete. It is just not possible.

When you start to feel like you are drowning in that crappy-mom-wave, shut it down by grabbing the hand of your kid and doing a cannonball!

For more tips on how to raise kids who are healthy at home and strong in the world, follow Simply Rooted Family on Facebook.

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Wednesday 31st of January 2024

The days are long, but the years are short! I try to remind myself of this often. It can be so hard to remember, but it is so important to stay present with our kids. The time we have with them is so short! Thank you for these reminders and tips.

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