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How to Shake the Mum Guilt

By Carolina Andersson

Why is shame and guilt around motherhood one of the hardest things to shake?

Because the responsibility and love that we feel for our kids is so huge, that when we mess up, everything becomes our fault.

That is a HUGE weight to carry.

Before we have kids, we have this idyllic idea in our heads of how we want to show up as a mum. We can be quick to judge those mums in the supermarket with children who are having ‘spoilt’ tantrums. We’re not going to be like THEM, because we know better.

Then WHAM! We have kids, and something happens.

We get tired. We get emotional. We get triggered.

Guilt is that inner critic telling us what we SHOULD or what we SHOULDN’T have done.

We can get stuck in a vicious cycle of guilt and shame. I’m a terrible mum; My kids are going to think I hate them; I’m so soft! I know better than that!

Imagine speaking to your child like this when they make mistakes. Will they grow up feeling valued and loved? Probably not.

So, what can you do to shake this guilt?


It’s ok to have self-compassion for not being perfect. Show yourself some love. Forgive yourself for reacting in a way you “shouldn’t have”. There is an inner child in you that needs to be loved just as you are.

Practice forgiveness & compassion. Feel into your feelings. Meditate. If you feel that guilt comes up for you repeatedly, get the necessary support.


All behaviour is a communication of an unmet need. When you snap at your child, start to tune into your behaviour and ask yourself the following:

1. What was I feeling when I did xyz?

2. What was I needing?

3. What resourceful way can I ensure these needs are met next time?

Begin a practice where you learn to build a relationship with your inner child based on trust and compassion.


No matter how hard we try to be that happy mum or that perfect parent, our kids see right through us. So, we might as well just show up as we are. We may try to hide our real feelings for want of protecting our kids. And if we snap, we are too ashamed to admit our faults.

Showing our vulnerability in front to our children is imperative in showing them its importance. The more open we can be with our kids the more they will learn to do it for themselves.


It is NEVER too late to repair.

As soon as you know you have reacted to your child inappropriately, own your mistake. Talk to your child about what was happening for you in the moment, how you were feeling, and how you intend to do differently next time. Repairing is the key to showing vulnerability. Vulnerability builds strength within your relationships with your children.


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