At one point or another, all mothers feel like they could be doing better. But when you’re constantly struggling with an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy, it can really take a toll on your mental health. These feelings of guilt are common, especially among good moms who want to be the best for their kids.
Mom guilt is just one of the many struggles mothers face. It can be caused by several factors like carrying the mental load for the whole family, not getting enough rest, and pressure from peers and social media.
Getting enough support from your husband is one of the best ways to deal with mom guilt. Unfortunately, not all men can really understand what mom guilt is and therefore have a hard time empathizing with moms who are struggling. In their eyes, you’re doing a wonderful job providing for and supporting your kids’ needs, so what reason is there to feel guilty?
If you’re ready to talk to your husband about your struggles but you’re unsure about how to approach the conversation, you’re not alone. Today, I’m sharing practical and effective tips on how to explain mom guilt to your husband effectively.
How to Explain Mom Guilt to Husband
Say It Out Loud
One of the biggest mistakes a wife can make is assuming that her husband knows how she’s feeling. Of course, there are exceptions, but men are typically pretty oblivious to a woman’s emotional highs and lows. Throw a rowdy kid or two into the mix and it can feel like you have to shout your feelings from a rooftop before your husband will take notice.
Although that would definitely get his attention, you don’t have to climb onto a roof to clue your husband in. But you do have to voice it loud and clear. It’s not enough to simply say it in passing. Find the time to sit down with your husband and tell him exactly how you feel.
Review Your Routine
To better grasp your guilt, take a closer look at your typical day. Being a mom is hard, but are there parts of your routine that are making it harder? Are there specific parts of your daily routine that are overwhelming? Does your daily routine include bad habits that contribute to your feelings of guilt?
For example, maybe you dread running errands with your kids in tow because of the extra time and energy it requires. Or perhaps dinner time is overwhelming, between cooking, feeding the kids, and doing the dishes. Maybe you’re severely lacking sleep.
Once you identify the sources of guilt or triggers in your daily or evening routine, you can talk to your husband about potential solutions. Whether giving you a few hours each weekend to run errands by yourself or taking over “baby duty” 1-2 nights a week, your husband won’t know how he can help you the most if you don’t tell him.
Validate Your Worth
Your worth is determined by who you are, not the things you do. It’s based on how much you love your family and how much comfort and security you provide your kids.
As you talk to your husband about your feelings of guilt, ask him to validate your worth. Encourage him to remind you of your strengths and to share the qualities in you that he cherishes the most. Most importantly, tell him that you need to hear it more often.
Feeling validated can make it easier to silence the guilt-ridden thoughts that come from feeling like you aren’t doing enough.
Discussing your expectations moving forward is a crucial part of the conversation with your husband about mom guilt. Otherwise, you’ll continue to face an uphill battle.
Remember that this is supposed to be a discussion. Try to avoid demanding things from your husband. He could shut down or get defensive and that would only leave you feeling more guilty.
Instead, have an open discussion about how the two of you can work together to create an environment that is less triggering for you. Come up with ways you can work together to lighten your physical and emotional load, without overburdening him.
Find Common Ground
There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether men experience dad guilt. If you were to ask your husband if he ever feels like he isn’t doing enough as a father, his answer might surprise you.
Finding common ground with your husband will not only make you feel more validated, it will strengthen your relationship as husband and wife and as parents.
With these tips, you can help your husband understand your struggles with mom guilt.
Women everywhere are having open discussions about their mom guilt in hopes of feeling better. But for many women, the best solution is to have an open and honest discussion with their partner. Your husband is in the best position to ease the burden weighing you down, but only if he fully understands what’s going on.
For more tips on motherhood and a glimpse into my life as a mom of four, head over to the blog.