Most moms experience some form of guilt – whether it’s about working outside the home, not spending enough time with their kids, or simply not being able to do it all.
While a certain amount of guilt can be helpful in allowing us to see what is truly important, and take a step back to view the bigger picture, too much guilt can be damaging.
We may start to doubt our parenting choices and feel like we’re never doing enough. I swear most of the time I am my own worst critic and pick apart my parenting decisions and reactions while I eagerly encourage other moms to be kind to themselves.
The good news is that we’re not alone. As much as I don’t want any mom to ever feel this way, it brings a sense of comfort to know that other moms have felt this way too – as these mom guilt quotes show.
By sharing our experiences and hearing from others, we can learn to let go of the unnecessary guilt and focus on what really matters: being the best mom we can be.
What Is Mom Guilt?
We’ve all been there… that feeling of guilt that washes over us when we think about how we’re mothering our children.
It’s that little voice in the back of our head that tells us we’re not doing enough, we’re not good enough, or we’re screwing up our kids.
Mom guilt is feeling like you’re falling short – no matter what you do. It’s a constant state of worry and self-doubt that can be all-consuming.
For some of us, mom guilt is something we deal with on a daily basis. We beat ourselves up for every little thing, and it’s hard to let go of the negative thoughts and focus on the positive.
But it doesn’t have to rule our lives.
By learning to recognize and manage our mom guilt, we can ensure that we’re making the best decisions for ourselves and our families.
After all, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to motherhood, and what works for one family may not work for another.
So if you’re struggling with mom guilt, know that you’re not alone – and that it’s okay to let go of the guilt and do what’s best for you and your family.
Why Do We Feel Mom Guilt?
There are a lot of factors that contribute to mom guilt – from our upbringing and childhood experiences to the unrealistic expectations we see in the media.
For some of us, mom guilt is ingrained in us from a young age. We may have grown up hearing our own mothers say things like, “I’m not a good enough mother,” or “I should be doing more.”
These messages can stay with us our whole lives, and we may find ourselves thinking and saying the same things about our own parenting.
Other times, mom guilt is triggered by something specific – like going back to work after having a baby, or not being able to breastfeed.
It’s easy to compare ourselves to other moms and think we’re falling short. We see posts on social media of perfect-looking families and assume that everyone else has it all together – while we’re over here struggling to keep our heads above water.
The truth is, no one has it all together. Everyone struggles with motherhood in their own way, and we all have our own unique challenges to face.
When we can step back and see the bigger picture, it’s easier to let go of the mom guilt and focus on what’s truly important.
Encouraging Mom Guilt Quotes
Keep these quotes close by, save them to your phone, or add them to your daily journal to remind you how amazing you are and what a great mom you are.
While they aren’t all specifically about guilt, I find they are helpful in overcoming those guilty thoughts that often seem to take over, and to just remind you that you really are doing an amazing job.
1 – “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” -Jill Churchill
Being a mother is one of the most challenging and rewarding roles a woman can take on. From the moment our children are born, we are fiercely protective of them and want to give them everything they need to thrive.
However, the reality is that there is no such thing as a perfect mother. We all make mistakes, and our children will inevitably suffer setbacks and disappointments in life. But that doesn’t mean we’re not good mothers.
In fact, it’s precisely because we’re not perfect that we can be good mothers.
We can offer our children compassion and understanding, because we’ve experienced those same emotions ourselves. We can be patient with them, because we know that even the most frustrating behaviors are often just a phase. And we can love them unconditionally, because we know that they are perfectly imperfect, just like us.
2 – “The best thing a mother can give her child is her time.” – Unknown
In our fast-paced, busy world, it’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending to-do list and forget to make time for the people we love.
But our children need us – they need our time, our attention, and our love.
When we make the effort to slow down and connect with our children, it can make a world of difference in their lives. We can create lasting bonds, build their self-esteem, and help them feel loved and valued.
3 – “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” -Agatha Christie
There is no greater love than a mother’s love for her child.
A mother will sacrifice anything for her child – her time, her energy, her sleep, her social life. She will do whatever it takes to keep her child safe and happy.
This selfless love is one of the most beautiful things in the world, and it’s something that we should all strive to emulate in our own lives.
4 – “You are not a bad mother because you have imperfections. You are a bad mother if you have not tried to overcome them.” – Unknown
Being a mother is hard work. There’s no denying that. And it’s easy to beat yourself up for not being perfect.
But the truth is, there’s no such thing as a perfect mother. We all have our imperfections.
The important thing is that we try to overcome them. That’s what makes us good mothers.
So don’t be too hard on yourself, Mama. You’re doing the best you can. And that’s all that any of us can ask for.
5 – “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” -Rajneesh
Rajneesh’s words ring true for any woman who has experienced the miracle of childbirth. A mother is not simply a woman who has given birth; she is someone who has been transformed by the experience.
The moment a child is born, a mother is also born.
She suddenly has a brand-new role to play in the world, and she must rise to the challenge. This new person is both powerful and vulnerable, capable of great love and great protection.
In short, a mother is someone who has been transformed by the experience of becoming a mother.
She is someone who is absolutely new.
It can be important to remember this when all of that mom guilt kicks in – we are finding ourselves as mothers while we also find our way as parents and try to raise a well-rounded, happy child.
It’s a lot. Be kind to yourself.
6 – “The truth is, no matter how much we try to be perfect mothers and wives, the guilt will always find us.” – Unknown
Anyone who has ever tried to juggle the demands of work, family, and home knows that it is impossible to be a perfect mom or wife.
There will always be something that falls through the cracks, whether it’s a neglected chore or a screaming child. And while we may beat ourselves up for our imperfections, it’s important to remember that we are not alone.
Every woman experiences guilt at some point in her life, and it is an inevitable part of motherhood.
So instead of dwelling on our mistakes, we should focus on the good that we are doing.
We should also remember that our children will not remember the times we screwed up; they will only remember the moments when we were there for them. So let’s cut ourselves some slack, Mama. We’re doing the best we can.
7 – “So what if you’re not the perfect mother? There’s no such thing. But there is such a thing as being a good mother, and you are that.” -Unknown
Being a mother requires an infinite amount of love, patience, and strength. And it’s also perfectly normal to feel like you’re not doing it right sometimes.
The truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect mother. But there are many good mothers in the world, including you.
So don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake or have a bad day. Just remember that you are doing your best, and that is good enough. You are a good mom.
8 – “The best mothers are not the ones who have never struggled. They are the ones who have never given up.” -Unknown
Being a mother is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Not only are you responsible for another human being, but you also have to deal with the constant judgement of others.
It’s no wonder that so many mothers feel guilty all the time.
However, it’s important to remember that the best mothers are not the ones who have never struggled. They are the ones who have never given up.
Every mother has her own unique set of challenges, and it’s how she responds to those challenges that defines her as a mother.
So if you’re feeling guilty, know that you’re not alone. And know that every day, you’re becoming a stronger, more compassionate mother.
8 – “You are not a bad mother because you have bad days. You are a human mother, and that’s all there is to it.” – Unknown
Being a mom is hard. There’s no denying it. From the moment our babies are born, we are expected to know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.
We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. But the truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect mother.
We all have bad days. We all make mistakes. And that’s okay. Having bad days and making mistakes does not make you a bad mom.
What matters is that we love our children and we’re doing our best to raise them right.
So if you’re feeling guilty because you had a bad day, or because you made a mistake, cut yourself some slack.
You’re just human, and that’s all there is to it.
9 – “The only way to do it all is to not do it all.” -Dana Riquelme
Whether it’s it’s driven by societal expectations, expectations we place on ourselves, or the crazy attempt to keep up with what we think everyone else is doing, there’s this insane amount of pressure to be able to do it all.
From working mothers to stay at home moms, from FIFO moms, traditional moms, and single moms, we all face different challenges.
And while it’s easy to feel like we’re not doing enough, it’s important to remember that we’re more than likely doing more than we even realize.
So the next time you’re feeling guilty about not being able to do it all, just remember that you’re not meant to do it all. And you’re most certainly not meant to do it all, all by yourself.
10 – “No one is perfect… That’s why pencils have erasers.” -Unknown
This is a simple, yet powerful reminder that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. And that’s okay.
What matters is that we learn from our mistakes and become better people as a result. Just like a pencil, we have the power to erase our mistakes and start fresh.
So if you’re feeling guilty about something, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can. You’re an amazing mom, and your kids are lucky to have you.
11 – “Don’t strive to make your children perfect. Strive to make them happy.” -Unknown
There’s so much pressure on mothers to raise their children perfectly. But the truth is, there’s no such thing as a perfect child.
And even if there were, what would that even look like? A perfect child that never makes mistakes and never learns and progresses?
It’s okay if your children make mistakes. It’s okay if they’re not the best at everything they do. What matters is that they’re happy.
So instead of striving for perfection and feeling all kinds of mom guilt for not achieving perfection, strive for happiness. It’s a much more attainable goal, and it’s one that will benefit your children far more in the long run, and will teach them such important life lessons too.
12 – “Don’t forget, you’re human. It’s okay to need a break.” -Unknown
This is something we all need to remember. We’re human. We’re not robots. And we can’t keep going and going and going without eventually needing a break.
It’s okay to take some time for yourself. It’s okay to put your needs first, even if just for a little while. You deserve it, and your children will benefit from it too.
Taking regular breaks (without the guilt trip from anyone, including yourself) will help you become a happy mother that is more balanced and can see more easily when your cup is nearing empty.
13 – “There is no such thing as a perfect parent, so just be a real one.” -Sue Atkins
This is such an important reminder for all of us. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. We’re all just doing the best we can with what we have.
We often think of being the perfect parent, and feel a lot of guilt when we can’t attain it. But what we should be thinking about is what successful mothers look like (not perfect ones) and what being a real and successful mother looks like to us.
So instead of beating yourself up for not being perfect, focus on being real. Be yourself. Be authentic. Be present. Your children will love you for it.
14 – “And remember, the most important thing you can give your children is your time.” -Unknown
This is something we often forget in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We get so caught up in trying to do it all that we forget to just be present with our children.
But the truth is, the most important thing you can give your children is your time. Just being there for them, listening to them, and spending time with them is so important, even on the hard days, just spending time with our kids can make such a big difference.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not doing anything special. Just being there is what matters. And at the end of the day, it’s not even about the amount of time you spend with them, but more that you intentionally spend time and focus on them.
So next time you’re feeling guilty about not being able to do it all, just remember that the most important thing you can give your children is your time. And that’s something you can always make some time for.
15 – “The best thing we can do for our children is to show them how to love” – Unknown
This is such an important lesson for all of us to remember. The best thing we can do for our children is to show them how to love. Not just through our words, but also through our actions.
Our children learn from us by watching what we do. So if we want them to learn how to love, we need to show them how to love. We need to be kind and compassionate, patient and understanding, and we need to show them that we care about them.
Our children are watching us, so let’s make sure we’re setting a good example for them. Show them how to love, and they’ll be more likely to do the same.
This means showing them how to love others, but most importantly, how to love themselves. Teach them to be kind to themselves, to be patient with themselves, and to understand that mistakes are okay. Teach them that they are loved, no matter what.
16 – “No one said this parenting gig was going to be easy. But it is so worth it.” -Unknown
This is something we all need to remember. Parenting is hard. It’s not always easy, and there will be days (or even weeks) where it feels like nothing is going right.
But it’s important to remember that even on the hard days, parenting is so worth it. All the love and laughter and happy moments are worth the hard days.
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed and like you can’t do it anymore, just remember that no one said parenting was going to be easy. But it is so worth it.
17 – “You are enough. You are so enough. It is unbelievable how enough you are.” -Unknown
This is a reminder for all of us moms that we are enough. We are so enough. We have everything we need to be successful mothers.
We often doubt ourselves and our abilities, but the truth is, we are more than enough. We are strong and capable and loving. We can do this.
So next time you’re feeling the mom guilt, like you’re not good enough, or feeling like there is a lot of pressure on you to be more, or do more, just remember that you are enough. You are doing an amazing job.
17 – “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and don’t forget what’s truly important.” -Unknown
This is such an important reminder for all of us moms. We often get so caught up in the little things, and we forget what’s truly important.
Motherhood is full of little decisions and tough choices, small moments and big days, high emotions and so many distractions.
We worry about the small stuff, like whether or not our kids are eating healthy enough, if they are getting enough sleep, or if they are doing their homework correctly. But the truth is, none of that matters as much as we think it does.
What matters most is that our kids are happy and healthy and loved. So next time you’re feeling guilty and overwhelmed by all the small things, just remember to take a step back and focus on what’s truly important.
18 – “As a parent, your job is not to be perfect. Your job is to be there.” -Unknown
This is something all parents need to hear. We often put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, but the truth is, that’s not our job.
Our job as parents is not to be perfect. Our job is to be there. To be present and available for our children when they need us.
Of course, we want to do our best and be the best parents we can be. But that doesn’t mean we have to be perfect or that we should let those feelings of guilt take over. We will make mistakes, we will make choices others don’t agree with, we will do things that seem right at the time but looking back may not have been the best decisions, and that’s okay.
What matters most is that we are there for our children, no matter what.
19 – “No matter how much you try, you will make mistakes. That’s just part of being a parent.” – Unknown
One of the hardest things to learn about being a parent is that no matter how much we try, we will make mistakes. It’s inevitable.
We are human, and we won’t get it right all of the time. But that doesn’t mean we should beat ourselves up about it or feel guilty. We just need to learn from our mistakes and move on.
What matters most is that we are trying our best and that we love our children unconditionally. They will forgive us for our mistakes, just like we forgive our own parents for theirs.
20 – “Parenting is not a competition. It’s about doing what’s best for your family.” -Unknown
Everyone will approach parenting differently. We all have different influences in our lives, different goals and expectations, different lifestyles, and different understanding of what makes a happy family. Not only is that okay, but it’s also a good thing.
You might feel like you’re less as a stay-at-home mom than the happy working woman who seems to have it all together. Or perhaps your goal is to be a guilt-free working mom because your career is important, or because you want to show your kids they can achieve their goals, or simply because you want to go to work. Or maybe you don’t, and that’s okay too.
However you choose to parent, compare yourself only to who you want to be, the kind of mother you want to be, and your goals as a parent. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. And don’t compete against anyone else. Only you know what is best for you and your family.
21 – “Parenting is not a race. It’s a journey.” -Unknown
Have you ever found yourself wishing this phase would hurry up and pass? The challenges of the sleepless newborn days, the sass of the temperamental two-year-olds, the emotional meltdowns of the four-year-olds… we find ourselves saying “I can’t wait for this phase to be over”.
And it’s hard because while these phases seem like big chunks of time, they really do pass by so fast, and then we find ourselves feeling guilty all over again for wishing it to pass by.
One of the first questions you can ask yourself to help in this time is by asking ‘is this a challenge, or is it part of the journey?’. Parenting isn’t about getting to the destination the fastest, it’s about the ups and downs of the journey, and breathing in every moment you can.
Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but remember, you’re not alone.
22 – “Parenting is hard. But the rewards are priceless.” -Unknown
No one said parenting was going to be easy. But the rewards are more than worth it.
The late nights, the early mornings, the tantrums, the spills, the messes, the never-ending laundry… it’s all worth it when you see your child smile or hear them say “I love you”.
I swear it’s a survival mechanism built into the mind of your child, but the first time you hear those words, or when you feel like you can’t go another single day repeating the challenges of motherhood, these little moments are what will help you through.
While you might find yourself wishing you were a better mom, the reality is, parenting is hard, and you’re doing an amazing job, be sure to take a moment to enjoy the little rewards along the way.
23 – “Parenting is not about perfection. It’s about intention and connection.” – Unknown
Parenting is hard, and it’s okay to not be perfect. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s necessary. There’s no full-time job you could do where you could be perfect all of the time, and parenting is very much a full-time job.
Our kids need to see that we’re human too, that we make mistakes and that we’re learning just like they are. They need to see that we’re capable of making mistakes and then owning up to them.
We have good days where parenting seems effortless, and we have not as great days where we are thankful for screen time and snacks…
What matters most is our intention as parents and the connection we have with our kids. They need to know that we love them, no matter what.
24 – “Parenting is not a competition. It’s a dance.” – Unknown
Parenting is not a competition, it’s a dance. Just like any dance, there are ebbs and flows, there are moments when you feel in sync and others when you feel out of step.
The key is to keep dancing, to find the joy in the journey, and to know that even on the hard days, you’re still doing a great job.
The good thing is, you don’t have to be the best dancer, just like you don’t have to be the best mother, you just have to be you.
25 – “Putting myself first is taking care of my family. I cannot pour from an empty cup.” – Unknown
Possibly the worst thing a mom can do for her mental health is to forget to take care of herself. We push so hard to prove that we are strong women who can create this ‘work-life balance’ (that doesn’t exist by the way).
We’re conditioned to believe that taking time for ourselves is selfish, therefore feel guilty any time we need time out. But we are human beings and giving over and over again without doing something for ourselves means we will burn out fast.
Taking care of ourselves is one of the realities of motherhood that isn’t talked about enough, but is very much needed.
We’ve all seen the memes and social media posts about “mom guilt.”
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, it seems like there’s always something to feel guilty about.
Maybe you feel like you’re not doing enough for your kids, or maybe you’re struggling to balance work and home life.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important to remember that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes, and that’s okay.
Hopefully, these mom guilt quotes will help you realize that you’re not alone in feeling guilty and that most of the time, the things you’re feeling guilty about are very much normal parts of motherhood.