Parenting is a full-contact sport. What with social media slams, the ever-present mom-shamers, and your own internal monologue, it’s easy to feel underwhelmed when it comes to your parenting skills. But when that little voice screams inside your head screams, “You’re doing it wrong!”, it may not be spewing the truth. Mom guilt is totally common… but also totally unnecessary. Before you start second-guessing every action, check out why you need to give yourself a much-deserved break, get rid of the guilt, and start feeling positive about your own parenting prowess!

A mother and child dance together

1. Give up on superwoman. This might sound like you’re letting failure in, but it’s really the opposite. There are images of “ideal women” all around us (seriously, scroll through your FB or IG feeds and you’ll see them), but no real person can be Pinterest-perfect all the time. And no mama should expect that she can single-handedly craft with her kiddos, drive carpool, make gourmet dinners, solve every sibling skirmish, work a full-time job, bake cupcakes for the PTA, and still have time left over to design a color-coded family chore wheel. Focus on who you are, what you can reasonably do, and simply spending time with your kids.

2. Start out with the positive. As you review your parenting fails at the end of the day… Wait, stop right there. Being a mom is hard work, and you deserve a lot of credit. Even though every parent has failures, they have plenty of wins too. Instead of focusing on the negative, start your mental daily parenting critique with the good first. Every day.

3. Pick one gold-medal moment each day. Every mom has parenting wins, big and small. The sheer awesomeness of turning your toddler’s mid-mall tantrum into nothing more than a quiet whine is a major moment, but there are plenty of other mini accomplishments to celebrate. Getting to preschool on time (or even a few minutes early), remembering the diaper bag, and finding both of your three-year-old’s shoes in under 10 minutes can be gold-medal mommying moments too.

A mother and child meditate together

4. Stop listening to other people. Everyone has an opinion when it comes to parenting. And if those opinions don’t always match yours, that doesn’t mean yours are wrong. When the “you should” mom-judgers start getting to you, forget about them. Trust yourself and your ability to love, care for, and help your child to be the very best they can be.

5. Watch your child. Whether your child is spreading their LEGOs across the playroom floor, finger painting, or running through the park, watch what they’re really doing. Notice the creative, sweet, caring, smart, absolutely amazing person they are. Oh, and remind yourself that you had something (and probably more than just “something”) to do with that.

6. Take a step back (or away). Sometimes those second-guessing moments start building, and the more you go from being a person to a mommy, the less perspective you start having. If you’re constantly introducing yourself as someone’s mom or you haven’t read a book in the past year that didn’t focus on potty training, taming tantrums, or creating cute kids’ crafts, you need a break. Stepping away (even if it’s just leaving the littles with a sitter while you go out for a latte) can help you to get out of your mommy mindset and realize that, yes, you are more than someone who hands out juice boxes and crayons.

7. Talk with other moms. There’s comfort in numbers. While some moms may judge or shame other parents, your BMFs (best mama friends) won’t. Not only are they there for you, but they’ll share their stories of mom guilt too.

Tweet us your best tip for reducing mom guilt @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)