Coping with the ‘Bad Mother’ Thoughts
You want to be a good mother, and sometimes it’s not possible to do things perfectly or how you’d like to- which can cause you to feel like a bad parent.
That time you yelled at your child.
That time you dismissed them because you were distracted, stressed, fed up, or at your wits’ end at the end of a long day.
That day you were counting down the hours until bedtime.
That time you didn’t realise how sick your baby or child was until later on.
That time you took time for you, and your child was upset about it, or got hurt whilst they were with someone else.
And I’m sure there’s many more situations like this that can cause you to feel bad about yourself as a mum from time to time.
Here’s the thing: We are all human. No one can parent perfectly, so you do the best you can, make repairs as needed, and keep going. The problem is when you continue to be plagued by thoughts like:
‘I’m a bad mother’
‘I’m not good enough’
‘Cos they keep you stuck in feeling guilty, awful, worried, or even ashamed. (You also have these thoughts because you care about being a good parent!).
What if… you could hold these thoughts a little more lightly, so they were less painful for you? So you didn’t feel quite so guilty and inadequate, and you could enjoy your life and parenting role more.
Here is a free audio track which takes you through a brief visualisation exercise designed specifically for mothers who have thoughts like those listed above. You’ll learn how to separate from painful thoughts like ‘I’m a bad mother’, so you don’t spiral away with them. You’ll see how to hold these thoughts lightly so these don’t cause the same distress and guilt- a key skill for mums who are just trying their best.
Best wishes, mama.
Adjusting to Motherhood: Coping Statements
You have your baby.
You get home.
And in amongst the sleepless nights and new responsibility caring for your little person, a small voice in the back of your head questions your ability to look after baby. And when the going gets tough, the voice can get LOUD.
Those times when you can’t settle your baby.
Those times when breastfeeding is tough.
Those times you’re not feeling the love.
Those times you feel completely alone.
Those times when you feel overwhelmed or aren’t coping.
Those times when you have no idea what to do.
What does that voice tell you? I bet it’s things like:
‘You can’t do this’
‘You should be doing better’
‘You should be coping better’
‘You’re a bad mother’
And in these moments, new mums often need practical help and support. Someone to take the baby for a minute so you can breathe. Someone to tell you that you’re doing ok.
But sometimes, that’s not available: Like when it’s 3pm and everyone’s working. Or 3am and everyone’s sleeping. And that negative voice can seem so loud, on top of what’s happening with baby.
This resource has coping statements for those tough times. When that voice tells you that you’re not doing good enough as a mother. Download and print off this document. Stick it in your bathroom, the fridge, or baby’s room- wherever you need. Or leave it in saved in your phone.
I hope you can look at this document and find something helpful there to tell yourself. See if it can help you get by another minute.
Take another breath.
Cope a little longer.
You can do this, mama.
You are doing the best you can.
(This is just one of the many resources available from Dr Emma Black’s course, Transitioning to Motherhood: 6 Steps for New Mums to Thrive.)
After many years supporting mothers, I’ve heard a number of myths or unhelpful beliefs about what mums ‘should’ be feeling, doing, or experiencing. These myths can set you up to feel like you’re failing. Because you love your baby dearly, and try your best, but it seems like it’s not enough because you’re not achieving some lofty motherhood ideal. Like that you should be:
̴ Loving every minute
̴ A natural at mothering (that you should just know what to do in every moment…)
̴ Feeling rewarded and fulfilled by being at home with baby
̴ Feeling instantly bonded and connected with baby immediately after birth
̴ Finding breastfeeding easy (because it’s natural…)
̴ Doing all the things around the home (because you’re home, it’s your job now…)
̴ Coping with doing everything- caring for baby, doing the housework, being a spouse, getting dressed each day…. (because everyone else does, right?)
̴ And many, many more.
In this free download, I’ve included two of the most common myths I’ve heard from women over the years, and reflected on why they are not helpful or accurate. (It’s a sneak peek from the online course ‘Transitioning to Motherhood: 6 Steps for New Mums to Thrive’, where one of the first things I address in this course are the common motherhood myths causing problems for women, and why these are so unhelpful).
See if you can relate… I hope you find it helpful!
Best wishes, Mama.