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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Therapy tips for handling mommy guilt trips
Expert advice for times when you don't feel like a good mommy
Published Wednesday, May 8, 2013
by Michaela L. Duckett

Pyschologist Cheryl Masters says guilt can be a motivating emotion for mothers when they recognize it for what it is and deal with it properly. Just because you feel guilty about something doesn’t automatically mean you did wrong. It could just mean that your expectations and goals need to be adjusted. Masters weighed in on some of the common “guilt trips” mommies deal with and her advice for coping:

Taking some “me-time”
“You really do have to carve out some time for yourself to rejuvenate. Being a mom is a demanding role,” she said. “Usually women feel a little guilty about [taking a time out] initially, but the benefits of it when they come back rejuvenated and rejoin the family, far outweigh trying to trudge through that 24/7 every day.”

Worrying a child’s poor decisions are the result of bad parenting
 “Think more broadly about the problem. Don’t take it all on and try to fix it entirely. Some of the work might be with the child or with other factors in the environment. And some of the issue might be with us as well. Maybe we need to shift how we parent that particular child, but I would try to avoid the trap of trying to make it all better and trying to fix it all.”

Missing milestones and other special moments
“You can’t be there for every moment, especially if you are working and trying to take care of a family, but you can be creative and be there in some other way. We have so much technology. You can use video and watch a recording later with your child or celebrate afterwards so you can still be a part of those moments, even if indirectly.”

Not wanting to be a mom
“Every parent goes through stages where they think, ‘Am I really the one cut out for the job?’ But I think that’s a normal part of parenting to kind of question your own skills and ability because each phase brings new challenges. It’s hard sometimes.”

Disappointing your child
“At some point we will have some disappointment in our children, and at some point, our children will have disappointment in us. But if there is unconditional love in the family, I think everyone will be fine.”

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