The notion of “the bad mother”

This is a good reminder of how unhelpful — even damaging — negative self-talk around parenting can be. I like how the author began considering her parenting decisions/reactions as skillful or unskillful, rather than good or bad. “Unskillful” at least leaves room for improvement, while “bad” leads to feelings of guilt, hopelessness and frustration. 

The good mother/bad mother dichotomy seems to be ubiquitous, although dads are not immune — there’s plenty of guilt to go around. When you’re tempted to go down the “I’m such a bad mom/dad” rabbit hole, it might be worth stopping to ask yourself why you’re labeling yourself that way. Are you holding yourself to an impossible standard? Did you behave in a way that made you feel unkind or out of control? How can you be more skillful next time?

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