Why is shame and guilt around motherhood one of the hardest things to shake? Because the responsibility and love that we feel for our kids is so huge, so that when we mess up or do something that doesn’t align with who we want to be or how we want to behave, at the heart of it, everything becomes our fault.

That, my friend, is a HUGE weight to have to carry.

Before we have kids, we have this idyllic idea in our heads of how we want to show up as parents. We can be quick to judge those mums in the supermarket with children who are having tantrums over wanting an apple instead of a banana. We’re not going to be like THEM. We are going to have perfectly behaved children, because we know better.

Then WHAM! We have kids, and something happens.

We get tired. We get emotional. Feelings we never even knew we had come up for us without warning. We get triggered. So much of the time.

I spent the first year of my life as a mother bawling my eyes out watching random romantic comedies. Never before had I got emotional like that about watching people break up, or seeing kids go through their parent’s divorce…AND these movies were meant to be funny!

I also tried the “Cry It Out” method for a short period. I yelled at my son in the supermarket. I put him in timeout. I had moments when I really didn’t like him because he was so difficult! And there were many moments that I didn’t like myself because of my actions and thoughts.

Oh, the guilt and shame of it all.

Guilt is that inner critic telling us what we SHOULD or what we SHOULDN’T have done.

We can get stuck in a vicious cycle of guilt and shame. I’m a terrible mum; My kids are going to think I hate them; I’m so soft! Why did I do that? I know better than that; There is no point; I can’t do this.

For a moment, I want you to entertain the idea of speaking to your child like this when they make mistakes. How do you think their behaviour will improve over time? Will they grow up feeling valued? Enough? Loved? 

If the answer is no, then ask yourself what you are doing to yourself when you think these thoughts. Does it empower you to be a better parent? To be the best version of you? I’d imagine the answer to these questions is no, too.


I’m here to tell you that it’s ok to let go of the guilt and the shame. It’s ok to show yourself some compassion for losing your shit, for not being perfect. Having the feelings shows that you love your kids and that your behaviour is somehow not in line with your values. On the flip side, it also illustrates very harshly that you lack compassion and love for yourself.  To shake the parental guilt so you can start parenting from an empowering burn-your-bra-kind of place, you need to start showing yourself some love. Forgive yourself for reacting in a way you “shouldn’t have”. Show some kindness to yourself. There is an inner child in you that needs to be loved just as you are and forgiven for not being perfect and getting it right all the time.

In the words of Elsa; “Let it Go”.

If you don’t let go, it will consume you. Practice forgiveness. Practice compassion. Feel into your feelings. Meditate. If you feel that guilt comes up for you over and over again, seek help. Find someone to talk to who will listen. Forgive yourself first so that you can begin to be more present for your kids during those moments of pure chaos.


All behaviour is a communication of an unmet need. We probably get told that about our own children. But have you ever considered that this is also true of yourself? When you snap at your child, or when you’d rather be stuck in traffic than play with them, start to tune into your behaviour and ask yourself the following:

1. What were you feeling when you did the thing?
2. What were you needing?
3. What resourceful way could you ensure you meet those needs next time it happens?

Most of the time we have an underlying need to be heard, or to be loved, or to feel safe.
Begin a practice where you learn to build a relationship with your inner child based on trust and compassion, rather than guilt and shame. Tune into what she needs and try to figure out ways in which you can meet those needs the best you can.


Let’s face it, there is no hiding from our kids. No matter how hard we try to be that happy mummy or that perfect parent, the truth is our kids see right through us. So, we might as well just show up as we are. No frills. Transparent and authentic. Often, we try to hide our real feelings for want of protecting our kids. We don’t want them to see us sad. And if we snap, we are too ashamed to admit our faults.

Showing our vulnerability in front to our children is imperative in teaching them- showing them- how to be vulnerable themselves. Brené Brown talks to strength in vulnerability. The more open we can be with our kids; the more we can own our mistakes, share our feelings and openly process our thinking, the more they will learn to do it for themselves. It’s showing them that its ok to be perfectly imperfect in every way.  In fact, it’s totally human.


Parenting is a learning journey. Once we start to gain awareness around areas of our own parenting, the danger lies in inviting even more guilt into our lives. Oftentimes I hear mothers say 
“OMG I have spent years doing something I know I shouldn’t have. I have damaged my kids for life!”

Let go of this belief. It is never too late to repair. NEVER. Yes the longer you wait the harder it becomes, but there is ALWAYS time to repair with your child.

As soon as you know you have reacted to your child instead of responded from a space of safety and unconditional love, own your mistake. Talk to your child about how you are sorry, what was happening for you in the moment, how you were feeling, and how you intend to do differently next time. Repairing is the key to showing vulnerability. Vulnerability builds strength within your relationships with your children, other adults as well as yourself.

Show people you are human. Be kind. Be compassionate. And know that you are enough.
Sending big hugs to all you wonderful parents and caregivers out there. May you find courage to release the guilt, step into vulnerability and be authentically you.

Carolina is a Parent & Kids' Coach and former Primary School Teacher whose passion and mission is to see all children thrive. She believes that supporting parents and caregivers in their journey lies at the core of achieving her vision.

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