Mom Guilt: How to Find Relief in Emotion Regulation

mom holding children by tree mom guilt

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Mom guilt is more than just a buzzword. It’s a real thing that can drive your decision making as a parent.

Furthermore, mom guilt can influence career choices, who you let around your child, where you send them to daycare, and more. 

Most parents worry they aren’t doing enough for their child. But when those feelings impact everything you do, it can create an overwhelming feeling of guilt. 

So, how can emotion regulation help you to deal with mom guilt? 

To begin, it can help you to better understand your emotions and how to handle them. As adults, we’re often taught to keep things inside and deal with events in specific ways. 

With emotion regulation, you can take charge of your negative emotions and reclaim your peace of mind. And that’s just for starters.

Culprits of Mom Guilt

mother holding daughter laughing mom guiltMom guilt looks different for every mother who experiences it. Also, a variety of different elements can cause this guilt. 

For example, you might feel guilty that you work too much. Or, you wish there were more hours in a day to spend with your child. Some mothers even feel guilty when it comes to asking others for help. 

Many different culprits of mom guilt exist, but the signs and symptoms of someone going through it are often very similar.

Of course, guilt is the most obvious sign, but it can also come with overwhelming feelings of fear, shame, embarrassment, and anxiety. As a result, you might feel easily fatigued or even develop signs of depression. 

While mom guilt may not have a dictionary definition as of yet, many struggling mothers experience symptoms that can seem frightening. The worst part? It doesn’t necessarily go away as your child gets older. The worries and guilt might shift but remain influential. 

How Emotion Regulation Can Help

Plenty of actions and behaviors to change your emotions. If you’re sad, a funny movie might cheer you up. If you’re scared, a comforting voice can make you feel better. 

The difference between these situations and emotion regulation? Emotion regulation allows you to willfully reduce the intensity of the negative emotions you’re feeling. In short, it’s not a situational matter—it has to do with how you handle emotions. 


So, if you feel guilty about not feeding your child a healthy breakfast this morning, you can regulate your feelings by thinking about the broccoli they ate for dinner last night, or the fact that your child has something to eat when many children don’t. 

If your guilt stems from working too much, focus on the weekend you spent with your child and all the fun you had. 

Healthy Distraction

Sometimes, simply distracting yourself from the feelings of guilt is the best way to regulate your emotions. If guilt starts to creep in, change your thought direction and keep busy until it passes. 

Emotion regulation doesn’t force you to deny or ignore your feelings. Rather, it gives you a way to feel more in control of them, so they don’t control you. 

Steps to Overcome Mom Guilt

If you think you’re dealing with mom guilt, there are two important steps to take. First, you need to identify the sources of your guilt. A therapist can help to bring those underlying issues to light so you have a better understanding of why you feel the way you do. 

Second, emotion regulation can help you to deal with that guilt and other negative feelings that can often come with it. 

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If you’re struggling with these feelings, feel free to contact me for more information, or to set up an appointment.