Feeling Guilty as a Mother

On Saturday we hosted an Instagram live with Psychologist, Dima Najjar and discussed the topic, “Feeling Guilty As a Mother”. We have summarized the live session into a few important points. 


Why do mothers feel guilty? Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Mothers set high and sometimes unrealistic standards for themselves and their children. Social media has had a huge impact on the way we view our parenting skills. The constant comparison between ourselves and social media moms affects us and not in the best of ways. Dima says, “We see so many moms on social media constantly reading for their kids, playing with them, taking them out, cooking them healthy meals and we start to set high standards for ourselves. This is definitely not a healthy habit”. 


Here are some key points to why mothers feel guilty as explained by Dima Najjar. 


  1. Being overprotective. Mothers tend to want to control everything their children are doing, not in a purposeful unloving way but in a way meant to protect them.
  2. Setting high standards in terms of parenting skills. It starts with raising yourself and being content with yourself and your children. For example, if you teach yourself to be patient, then you won’t have as much of a hard time working with your children. It starts from within yourself.
  3. Social media. Comparing other children you see on the internet to your own can be very unhealthy. Children grow at their own pace and there’s no need to compare milestones.
  4. Saying no to your child. Saying “no'' doesn't mean you don’t love your child. Rules need to be put in place for the sake of both mother and child. Moms tend to feel guilty when having to say no but you can be stern and loving at the same time. 
  5. Allowing guilt to control your life. Mistakes can either cause a few minutes of guilt or a lifetime of guilt. Don’t allow a few seconds to determine the way you feel for a long time. 


What does Allah (swt) want us to do when we make mistakes with our children and feel guilty? Allah (swt) doesn't want you to sit around feeling sad about what you could have done better. The past is exactly where it should be, in the past. Think to yourself, “okay I made a mistake so what can I do to be better in the future?”. Strive to be better but don’t overwhelm yourself to be a perfect mother. Even the best of moms aren’t perfect. 


Written By Anan Helwih


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