Moms of Neurodiverse Kids: Post 2/8 "6 Tips for Managing Mom Guilt"

Oct 25, 2023

Today, I want to talk about something that every mom faces at some point - that nagging feeling known as "mom guilt." Now, if you're a mom raising neurodiverse kids, you might be thinking, "I know that feeling all too well!"

Raising neurodiverse children is a journey filled with love, joy, and yes, challenges. Those challenges often lead to a kind of guilt that can make you wonder if you're doing enough, if you're making the right decisions, or if you're failing your kids in some way. But guess what? You're not alone, and you're definitely not failing.

Here are few tips to help you manage that mom guilt:

Embrace Imperfection: Repeat after me, "I am not a perfect mom, and that's okay!" It's important to recognize that no one has all the answers, and that's perfectly normal. It might sometimes seem like other moms have it all together, but remember, there's no such thing as a perfect mom.

Take a Step Back: Pause for a moment and look at what you ARE doing. You're already juggling a multitude of tasks and raising a remarkable human being (or multiple)! Rather than fixating on what more you could do, take a moment to acknowledge everything you're already accomplishing. You're doing an outstanding job.

Know Your Support System: Who do you turn to when you need to vent without judgment? Who can you go to for tangible or practical advice? Who are your cheerleaders? Recognizing your support system can be a lifesaver during those especially tough moments.

Celebrate Small Wins: Keep in mind that it's the little victories that can matter most. Whether it's a smile, solving a math problem, or a step towards independence, each milestone is a reason to celebrate. These moments can help you push aside that guilt and enjoy the progress. Take today as a chance to spot and appreciate the positives.

Look at the Bigger Picture: It's easy to get caught up in the details and focus on the one thing that's not going perfectly. For instance, maybe your child refused to eat broccoli today. But ask yourself, "What have they eaten today? What about this week? Are they well-nourished and healthy overall?" Sometimes, it's okay to let go of things that aren't essential right now.

Connect with Other Moms: Join support groups or online communities where you can share your experiences, ask questions, and gain insights from other moms who have been in your shoes. Talking to others who "get it" can be incredibly therapeutic.

Mom guilt is a shared experience, and it can be amplified when raising a neurodiverse child. But please, give yourself some grace. You're an amazing mom, and your child is so lucky to have you. Take a deep breath, embrace the small victories, and know that you're doing all that you can do.

Michaela Zoppa, LPC, is a Clinical Therapist with Grace & Gratitude Counseling, a practice of women serving women in Downer's Grove, Illinois. GGC clinicians frequently work with moms and neurotypical sisters of children with neurodiversity challenges, as well as women and teen girls struggling with overthinking, toxic perfectionism, people-pleasing, and more. Book a free consultation today to get started! 



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