“Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility! Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate! Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness!”~ C. JoyBell C.
No matter where you are in your motherhood journey, it’s easy to feel like you’re failing or aren’t doing enough. Your toddler isn’t potty trained yet. The oldest thinks you’re boring. Mix in other stressors like housework, work work, and every other one of life’s demands – and you’re swirling in feeling inadequate as a mom.
As a mama bear of two, I’ve learned how to push past this feeling inadequate , a feeling that is uncomfortable when it inevitably pops up, and I have a feeling these tips right here will help you as much as they helped me.
13 Impressive Ways to Overcome Feeling Inadequate As a Mom
1. Practice flexible thinking.
Old habits that no longer serve us stick with us until we learn otherwise. This is especially true when it comes to our thoughts.
Do you think you’re a failure when you burn breakfast or botch the birthday cake? When your child doesn’t play nice on the playground, do you beat yourself up, equating their actions to your lack of being a “good mom”? Emotions that stem from unpleasant situations can sink you like quicksand. One crushing thought leads to another.
Break your rigid thinking pattern and release all those “I should’ve/could’ve/would’ve” thoughts. Weed out negative notions with blurbs rooted in a growth mindset.
“Today was a shouting match, but we’ll start fresh tomorrow.”
” Right now, I feel like I can’t keep up with everything on my plate, but I can tackle one thing at a time.”
Some days you may feel inadequate as a mother, but that doesn’t mean you are.
2. Rethink your standards whenever you’re feeling inadequate as a mom.
Often, you’re your own worst critic. Whether you’ve set high standards for yourself (that one time you were able to achieve) or get roped into keeping up with the Joneses, it’s not easy to do what you think you should be able to get done.
A clean house. Happy kids that eat their vegetables.
Reevaluate what you can get done in a day, and give yourself grace when you don’t.
3. Tap into a support system
The cliche is true: It takes a village to raise a child.
So, reach out to your community to gain support. Digital or physical.
The Peanut app and conscious parenting Facebook groups are popular. The park and library are also great spots to mingle with other families. The library usually has free educational classes you can enjoy with your child.
Before Covid hit, our local book nook was a weekly stop for us!
4. Learn as you go
No one is born knowing how to raise a child with zero questions to ask.
How do I handle my emotions when my child misbehaves? How much TV is too much for a toddler?
Jot down questions to research on a notepad or in your planner. Get them out of your head and set a small window to research.
You’ll have more mental space that way.
When you screw up, an apology helps heal the hurt.
By apologizing, you’re validating your child’s feelings (this eases the intensity of their emotions and quickens the meltdown process). Acknowledging and making space for your child’s feelings also teaches them that it’s okay to make mistakes.
6. Connect with your child
“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”~ Donna Ball
Join your child in one of their favorite activities or games for 5-15 minutes. Ask them what they want to play and enthusiastically say “yes!”
Children love connecting with the important people in their lives, and you don’t need as much time as you think.
Stop the unnecessary guilt you give yourself and do what you can when you can.
7. Get a planner.
Forgetting your kid’s soccer game or when their science fair project is due is the worst. So get organized with a planner.
A daily or weekly planner keeps track of all your kid’s activities, bills, and day-to-day tasks, leaving you less likely to miss an important event again and stew over what you did wrong.
8. Set designated times for worrying and proactive thinking.
Brooding over your worries does not help you feel better. Letting your emotions run their course can help you feel more competent and confident.
Pour your parenting concerns and pressing tasks out into your planner in one shot. Ten minutes is short and sweet.
9. Whenever you feel inadequate read positive affirmations.
The more you speak positively to yourself, the more you teach your brain to respond to negative thoughts.
For example, swap “I can’t do this” for “Motherhood has given me a strength I didn’t know I had.”
Switch “I wish this would end” for “This too will pass.”
10. Nurture with naps and nature.
When you feel inadequate as a mother, your mind is likely frazzled.
Dozing off for 20 minutes or less gives your mind a break, and stepping outside lowers anxiety while pumping up your mood.
11. Release your emotions when feeling inadequate as a mom.
Motherhood can make anyone feel confused, panicked, annoyed, or offended.
Your emotions serve a purpose, but that doesn’t mean you must hold onto unhelpful ones. Clinging to negative emotions for too long worsens your mental and physical health.
Drawing and journaling provide therapeutic benefits. Screaming and punching the throw pillows in the guest bedroom works, too.
12.Listen to music
Studies have shown that listening to nostalgic music floods your brain with dopamine.
Dopamine sharpens our focus and helps us seek out solutions to our problems. When you’re feeling like an inadequate mom, the problems pile up.
Early 2000’s hits like Try Again by Aaliyah or Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson are nostalgic earworms. The uplifting lyrics get me out of my funk!
13. Understand that life moves in seasons
If anything is constant, it’s that our lives constantly change. With parenthood, the change can seem never-ending.
Know that what you struggle with today, you’ll likely laugh about later.
So ground yourself in support, but go with the flow.
Motherhood is an ebb and flow dance. We all have those days when we “can’t get anything right”. On days like that, go with grace, mama.