Are You Feeling Like a Failure as a Mom? There’s Hope!

Are You Feeling Like a Failure as a Mom? There’s Hope!
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Introduction to Feeling Like a Failure as a Mom

Being a mom is hard work, but the most rewarding job in the world. Despite all the love and joy that comes with it, there are moments of feeling like a failure as a mom. It’s normal to have these feelings from time to time, but it’s important not to let them consume you. 

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a mom laying across a bed with the title, "Feeling Like a Failure as a Mom?: There's Hope!".

Acknowledging Common Struggles in Motherhood

Motherhood can be full of joy, but also lots of frustration, self-doubt, and feeling like a failure as a mom and wife. 

At times, it may feel like you’re a terrible mother, questioning whether you’re doing enough for your children. The thoughts that if only you worked harder, knew more, or did things differently may also creep in.

A distraught woman with her eyes closed and hands on sides of head - feeling like a failure as a mom.

Does this sound like you? If so, don’t worry! You’re certainly not alone in feeling this way. It’s quite normal for moms to occasionally (or even often) feel like failures as parents.

The Prevalence of Self-Doubt

Motherhood can be one of the most rewarding journeys we embark on. Yet at its deepest lows, it can make us feel like complete failures. 

a woman reading to children - feeling like a failure as a mom

As mothers, we often face a lot of criticism, both from within ourselves and from the society around us. We might feel inadequate or judged when we see other moms who seem to have everything together.

For over 20 years, I experienced this firsthand because my in-laws constantly criticized me. Thankfully, we were able to move far away. 

I could write a book on my many challenges, but every mother has unique struggles and experiences. It may seem like we’re alone in these instances of self-doubt and perception of failure. The truth is, this is a common experience for mothers everywhere.

While these emotions are normal and more prevalent than you may think, they can lead many mothers into a deep downtrodden state where depression and confidence issues come into play. 

mom with head down and hands around her head on knees - feeling like a failure as a mom

Fortunately, there are ways to recognize the signs of self-doubt early on before the negative spiral begins. Reclaim your sense of worth as a mother and learn to embrace your unique journey.

How detrimental are negative thoughts in your life, especially when it comes to measuring your worth as a mom? Find out by reading Spicy Rocking Chair’s, “Stinkin Thinkin…Negative Toxic Thoughts, Anxiety, & Insecurity

Purpose of the Blog Post

As mamas, we often have negative feelings and feel like such a failure. We constantly have high expectations for ourselves and feel like we’re falling short. 

You might be struggling with feeling overwhelmed by the demands on your time and energy or simply feeling unmotivated in general as a mom.  Know that you are not alone in these struggles. 

a mom slumped over on an ironing board with piles of laundry - feeling like a failure as a mom

In this blog post, I want to provide support for those going through difficult times as parents. I’ll offer the best strategies for self-care and for overcoming perceptions of failure

With a few small steps toward self-care and supportive activities, it is possible over time to become more confident in yourself that you can be a great mom.

a woman is helping a boy with schoolwork - feeling like a failure as a mom.

Understanding the Source of Negative Feelings

One of the first steps in overcoming feelings of failure is to understand where they come from. 

Societal Expectations and Pressures

Being a mother is a rewarding and challenging experience that comes with many ups and downs. Although the joys of motherhood are plentiful, many women often find themselves feeling like they are a parenting failure. 

Sometimes a bad day can turn into a bad week or month, leaving mothers feeling like they are a bad mom. The truth is, societal expectations and pressures play a big role in these states of mind. 

From social media to well-meaning family, countless images and messages tell us what motherhood should look like. These unrealistic expectations can leave us feeling like we are constantly falling short.

a computer screen with numbers and symbols of social media - feeling like a failure as a mom

I had this problem with my in-laws with potty training. They were so obsessed with the timing of potty training. When my child didn’t achieve their milestone, they made me feel like a complete failure as a mom.

Actually, not only did I feel like a failure, it impacted my child as well. My child felt insecure because of my in-laws’ constant pressure. This caused problems with self-esteem and power struggles. In addition, potty training took longer than expected. (It took me many more years and more children to discover weekend potty training.)

From potty training to nursing to juggling a career, to maintaining household chores, it’s no wonder why so many mothers feel stressed and burnt out. 

a woman with her head down next to a compeur - feeling like a failure as a mom.

Mothers can feel more confident in parenting by recognizing and dealing with societal pressures.

Comparison in the Age of Social Media

In today’s age of social media, it’s easy to feel like we’re constantly falling short of the perfect mom ideal.

Looking at other people’s curated family photos and updates on social media can make us feel inadequate. It can also make us feel like we’re failing when we compare ourselves to them. 

We’re only seeing the highlight reels of other people’s lives, not the messy behind-the-scenes times. It’s also important to acknowledge our own accomplishments and progress as moms, regardless of how they measure up to others. 

a woman with hands under chin looking sadly at computer - feeling like a failure as a mom

Instead, we should recognize our own achievements and growth as mothers.

Perceived or Outright Judgments From Others

As a mom, it’s easy to feel like we’re not meeting our own and others’ expectations. We pour our heart and soul into raising our children and it’s natural to want to feel like we’re doing it “right”. 

However, sometimes these expectations can feel like a heavy weight on our shoulders.  We may internalize judgments from others and start feeling like we simply aren’t measuring up. 

Years ago I had a mom approach me concerning one of my children. She offered criticism regarding an issue with one of my children. She perceived I lacked skill in teaching it, despite getting professional help for this problem.

At the moment, I felt defensive and upset because it wasn’t any of her business. This was one of those women who was always interfering in everyone else’s lives. 

I could have internalized her judgment, but instead, I took time to cool off and write her a lengthy email. In it, I acknowledged her concern while also standing up for myself, my privacy, and my parenting choices.

At the end of the day, there will always be people who have opinions about how we should raise our children and what they think we’re doing wrong. But as moms, it’s important to remember that we know our kids best and are doing the best we can. 

a woman is talking to a another woman who has a concerned look on her face - feeling like a failure as a mom.

Setting healthy boundaries and standing up for ourselves is crucial in maintaining our self-confidence and mental well-being. It’s okay to politely decline unsolicited advice or criticism and to focus on what works best for our own family. 

As mothers, we need to learn how to handle perceived or outright judgments from others in healthy ways. 

By trusting our instincts and tuning out the noise, we’ll be better able to embrace our own unique parenting journey.

Normalizing Imperfections 

No one is perfect, and that includes moms. 

Embracing the Concept of Imperfect Parenting

As a mother, it can be easy to feel like a failure at times, especially when your kids don’t seem to be meeting the milestones that society expects. It could be that your child’s behavior needs extra attention. Perhaps you’ve realized that your discipline was too harsh.

a boy with food in fron of him and with hands on cheeks looking annoyed - feeling like a failure as a mom

However, it’s important to remember that no parent is perfect and nobody does the right thing every time. Embracing the concept of imperfect parenting can be incredibly liberating. Accepting mistakes allows you to be a good mom instead of trying to be perfect. 

Remember, it’s okay to make mistakes and not have all the answers, as long as you love your children and are doing your best. So next time you’re feeling like the worst mom in the world, try to embrace the imperfections that come with parenting.

Being Transparent

Sometimes no matter how hard we try with our children, they choose a path that is different from what we had hoped for them. We can try to do all the right things and a child will still make choices that are far from ideal. 

When our kids grow up they are independent and accountable for their own choices and behavior. Our hearts can grieve for these children, but we love them just the same time.

someone is sitting on the floor in an empty room and has their hand out like they mean, "stop" - feeling like a failure as a mom.

Sometimes, bad circumstances happen that are out of our control. Add to that errors that we make, and that just compounds things.

Some of my older kids don’t have any communication with me at all. The circumstances at the time were the stuff of nightmares and I did do the best I could under horrific conditions. The heartache I feel, though, is sometimes suffocating. 

The worst times can be when I’m alone or during sleepless nights. The thoughts churn in my head and sleep is nearly impossible to achieve. 

Although the heartache can feel overwhelming, I have to remind myself that I am still a good mom who loves my children deeply. I consider often how God must feel when we make wrong choices or how God feels when people are mad at Him.

It’s easy to feel guilty and blame ourselves for these situations. Instead, we must remember that we are only human and can’t control everything in our children’s lives or our own lives.

Instead of dwelling on the past, try to focus on moving forward. Sometimes all we have is hope, and that has to be enough.

a hand is reaching out and holding another hand - feeling like a failure as a mom

There’s also forgiveness, which is a powerful tool in healing broken relationships. Even if it’s not possible now, hoping for change in the future can bring peace to our minds and hearts.

The Universal Nature of Parenting Struggles

Parenting is a tough job and nobody is naturally an expert. It’s important to remember that tempting as it is to believe, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. 

We can find solace in the fact that the struggles we face are universal. We’re all in the same boat, riding the waves of this thing called parenting. We can take heart in the fact that imperfection is not just acceptable; it’s inevitable. 

Recognizing and Celebrating Achievements

It’s hard to realize achievements while amid everyday parenting challenges. Learn to recognize and celebrate successes, big or small. 

Personal Parenting Achievements

As a parent, it’s easy to focus on all the things you feel like you’re doing wrong. Maybe your toddler won’t eat vegetables no matter what you try, or your teenager is struggling in school.

a child has hands on head like they are confused and looking at a compuer - feeling like a failure as a mom

It’s important to take a step back and recognize that you are doing some things right too.

Did you manage to get through the day without losing your temper, even though your child was giving you a hard time? Did you successfully navigate a difficult conversation with your child? Did you not show anger when your child accidently broke a special item?

a woman has her hand on a child's shoulder and the child looks sad - feeling like a failure as a mom

These small achievements may not feel like much, but it’s important to celebrate them nonetheless. 

Acknowledging Small Victories

Recognizing that even small wins and achievements can have a significant impact on our lives as mothers is an important step in the right direction.

Whether it’s successfully getting your child to eat a new food, helping them with a difficult assignment, or simply managing to get through a tough day without giving up. These positive things deserve to be celebrated and acknowledged. 

a woman is looking at a paper with a boy - feeling like a failure as a mom

By recognizing and celebrating our achievements, no matter how small, we can boost our self-esteem. We can find the motivation to keep going. Ultimately, we will feel more fulfilled and empowered as moms.

Seeking Support

Reaching out to others for support can be difficult, especially for mothers who often put their own needs last. 

Open Communication

One helpful way to combat the idea of failure is through open communication with your partner. By sitting down and sharing your thoughts and feelings, you may be surprised how liberating it can be. A kind word or a hug can go a long way in boosting your spirits and helping you feel supported and understood.

a man is holding a woman who is crying - feeling like a failure as a mom

In addition, you can also reach out to friends or family members. It can be as simple as having a coffee date where you can vent and receive support and understanding.

Remember, being a mom is a journey filled with highs and lows. When tough times come, seeking support can often help to keep your spirits high. 

Building a Support Network

Build a support network with other moms, such as joining a support group. It can be incredibly helpful. This is especially beneficial if you’re a single mom without a partner to share the parenting responsibilities with. 

three women are talking - feeling like a failure as a mom

Surrounding yourself with women who understand the challenges of motherhood can help you feel less alone in your struggles. Here’s a helpful post by The Greatful Mom: The Importance of Making Mom Friends which explains why having mom friends is vital for support and encouragement.

Sharing tips, advice, and experiences can make a huge difference in how you perceive your own struggles. It can even help you become a more confident and successful mom.

Seeking support from a counselor or therapist can be an important step if you’re experiencing burnout. 

a woman is sitting on a couch crying and another woman dressed has her hands on her consoling her -  feeling like a failure as a mom

Self-Compassion Practices

Self-compassion is a form of self-love – it’s the act of being kind to oneself in times of difficulty or failure.

Self-Compassion and Strategies

It’s only natural to feel lost and experience feelings of complete failure from time to time. When this happens, practicing self-compassion can make all the difference. 

a woman on a couch has her head back and her eyes closed - feeling like a failure as a mom

It involves treating yourself as you would treat a friend who is going through a difficult time. Treat yourself with kindness, understanding, and complete acceptance.

Have a non-judgmental attitude towards yourself, and acknowledge your strengths and accomplishments. Be gentle with yourself when things don’t go as planned. 

Negative Thoughts of Feeling like a Failure as a Mom

The weight of caring for another human being(s) can be overwhelming, and the expectations we place on ourselves can be extremely high. 

a woman has her hands on a baby who is crawling on a couch while two other young children are watching - feeling like a failure as a mom

When negative thoughts start to creep in, it’s vital that we take a step back and practice self-compassion. This means recognizing when we’re being hard on ourselves and challenging those negative thoughts with a kinder, gentler perspective. 

While it’s easier said than done, taking the time to practice self-compassion can help us break free from the cycle of negative self-talk and negative thoughts and provide us with the strength and grace needed to be the best mom we can be.

a woman is in a tub with bubbles and she is drinking something - feeling like a failure as a mom

Tips for Coping with Overwhelming Moments

Coping with overwhelming moments can be a challenge. With the right tools and mindset, it is possible to navigate through them successfully. 

Practical Strategies for Managing Stress

Feeling like you’re failing as a mom can be an incredibly overwhelming and isolating experience. Juggling parenting, work, and personal life can be overwhelming and exhausting for even the most resilient parents.

a woman is working on a computer with a baby on her lap and another child watching - feeling like a failure as a mom

When I’m tired or have done too much, I’m more likely to feel overwhelmed. It took years, but I have learned to recognize when I’m frazzled (well, most of the time).

I will take the time to get some fresh air. Sometimes I’ve left the house to go sit out in the woods by myself to just be quiet and meditate. When my children were younger, going and sitting in the bathroom with the door shut and praying, crying, or just thinking helped. 

a woman is sitting on the ground outside - feeling like a failure as a mom

Learn to recognize when you are overwhelmed and take a break. This will help you to stay calm, focused, and in control. Also, just saying no will help you to avoid getting yourself into situations that may be too much.

Remember, being a parent is tough, but you’re doing the best you can and that’s all that matters.

Self-Care In Your Daily Routine

Finding time for self-care in your daily routine is important.  Even just taking a few minutes each day to focus on yourself can make a huge difference in your mental health and well-being. 

Taking care of yourself is important. Doing things that make you feel good is one way to do that. Some examples include taking a bath, eating chocolate cake or ice cream, listening to music, or going for a walk. 

a woman is walking a dog outside - feeling like a failure as a mom

I find it hard to stop doing things for others and cleaning, even when I’m tired. This is because I have a habit of pushing myself too hard. I’m still a work in progress. I’ve learned that taking care of myself is necessary. Tara from Breakthrough Loading, has 50 creative outlets to try in her post. There are lots of fun and interesting ideas – give some a try!

When I prioritize self-care, I can be my best self. This means I have more energy and patience to care for others. It can feel like you’re being selfish by taking time for yourself, but the opposite is true.

a woman has headphones on relaxing on a couch - feeling like a failure as a mom

There will always be dishes and even piles of laundry (or mountains!) and you might have a messy house, but your top priority is taking care of yourself and your children. 

Sleep is your best friend, especially after you’ve had a new baby. Sleep deprivation can make even the smallest tasks feel overwhelming. Challenging behaviors with your kids will seem even more difficult to handle when you’re running on empty. So, prioritize getting enough sleep each night – it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity!

As a first-time parent, this was one area I wasn’t prepared for at all. When you have a baby, you will not experience a good night’s sleep for quite some time. It’s temporary and it will get better, but it seems like forever in the midst of it. Try to rest as much as you can when the baby is sleeping and accept any offers of help from friends or family.

a woman is sleeping with a newborn next to her on a bed - feeling like a failure as a mom

Taking care of your emotional and physical well-being will help you handle the challenges of being a mom.

Conclusion to Feeling like a Failure as a Mom

Being a mom is no easy feat, but it’s one of the most rewarding roles in life. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this journey and that it’s okay to ask for help when needed. 

Prioritizing self-care and finding effective ways to manage stress can make a huge difference in your family life. 

a woman is reading a book on a couch - feeling like a failure as a mom

Summarizing Key Points 

Everyone has periods of feeling like a failure while parenting. It is important to recognize that these moments are normal. It’s to be expected when we are managing so much simultaneously. 

Taking the time to identify and acknowledge where these feelings come from can be beneficial. It helps us separate our sense of self-worth from our parenting accomplishments. 

We should celebrate and recognize our parenting successes. We need to seek out support from other parents, engage in positive self-talk, and reach out for help if needed. This allows us grace for imperfections and to practice compassion when it comes to understanding our limitations as mothers. 

a woman is on the floor hugging and kissing a child - feeling like a failure as a mom

Parenting can bring on intense amounts of pressure. Let’s give ourselves a break and remember that mistakes do not equate to failed parenthood.

As hard as this life journey can be, don’t forget to take a step back and appreciate the beauty of parenthood. Embrace its joys and cherish every moment with your family. 

a woman is under a blanket with a flashlight reading a book to two boys - feeling like a failure as a mom

Let’s understand that it is ok to have off days; we are all human after all. So when feeling like a failure as a mom, take a deep breath and remember that you are doing the best you can!

Encouragement For Self-Acceptance and Growth

It is tempting to wallow in the feeling of failure. But, you are NOT a failure!

We should allow ourselves to see mistakes as chances for growth and forgive ourselves for what we didn’t anticipate or didn’t know. 

And don’t forget to share those wins with other mothers – mentors, friends, or even strangers online. Your unique experiences can encourage others and remind them that “failure” doesn’t have to be the end goal when it comes to parenting. 

three women with babies sitting on their laps are sitting around a table talking - feeling like a failure as a mom


We’ve gone through many of the common struggles and emotions that moms face in their day-to-day lives. It can be easy to struggle with feelings of being inadequate, guilt, and fear and feeling like a failure as a mom.

Find support from the special people around you. Join parenting groups. Read up about parenting skills. Pursue an activity that makes you feel better – whatever works for you!

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a woman with her head down with the title, "Do You Feel like a Failure as a Mom?: There's Hope!"

Let’s encourage each other in our pursuit of being the best moms we can be, no matter how much pressure we face from the outside world.

In the end, what matters most is the memories we create and the bond we share with our children. Love and hope will keep us going through the toughest of times -no matter what.


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      1. I just was talking with one of my friends who is feeling like this right now. She is a new mom, so plan to pass this on to her for encouragement.

      2. Thank you for this wonderful post for all the moms out there. My sister struggles at times and I’m sending this her way.

      3. This is such an important post for all parents! Thank you for being so honest and compassionate. I know so many parents will benefit.

      4. Such a meaningful post. It’s so true that we mentally beat ourselves up as parents. Giving ourselves a little grace goes a long way.

      5. This is such a helpful post for all the moms out there. It’s so wonderful for you to share this great information to help give hope.

          1. This is my favorite post. I feel like this every day and I struggle with balancing blogging, house chores, and spending time with my toddler. It’s so helpful and nice to read something like this when I feel overwhelmed. I save this post to read it whenever I need to ease my mind.

            1. I am humbled and thrilled that you like this post so much! I’m so glad it’s helpful to you, Mirela! It is so very hard to juggle things and have balance. I struggle daily.

      6. This is a very encouraging post for all moms. It is easy to fall into the feeling of failure and overwhelm. You have offered great strategies to help overcome those feelings.

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