The Bark Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
illustrated women, shadow to convey she is struggling mentally Mental Health

7 Ways to Combat Parenting Guilt

The Bark Team  |  June 20, 2023

illustrated women, shadow to convey she is struggling mentally

Since the dawn of time, parents around the world have all asked themselves the same question. Am I doing this right? When it comes to caring for the person you love most in this world, it’s easy to worry about if you’re doing your best. 

An age-old dilemma we now call parenting guilt, this anxious feeling has largely gotten worse for parents who are constantly comparing themselves and their families to manicured momfluencers on social media.

But there’s hope for parents consumed with day-to-day worries and future anxieties. It turns out a little self-compassion and some practical strategies can go a long way in helping you overcome parenting guilt and self-doubt, reminding you to keep going even when faced with tough times.

7 Tips for Combatting Parenting Guilt 

1. Acknowledge the universal experience of parenting

Parenting is a shared experience that unites people from all across the globe. Understanding that every parent faces challenges and experiences moments of doubt can be a source of comfort. Recognize that it's normal to have doubts and that you are not alone in your journey.

2. Practice self-compassion

Parenting guilt often stems from holding ourselves to impossibly high standards. Embrace self-compassion by treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer a dear friend. Remember, you are doing the best you can with the resources available to you.

3. Focus on the positives

Shift your perspective by focusing on the positives in your parenting journey. Celebrate the small wins and remind yourself of the impact you are making in your child's life. Emphasize the moments of joy, laughter and connection to cultivate a sense of fulfillment.

4. Seek support

Building a support network is crucial for overcoming parenting guilt and self-doubt. Surround yourself with fellow parents who understand the challenges you face. Share your experiences, seek advice and draw strength from their stories. Consider joining parenting communities, attending support groups, or seeking professional help if needed.

5. Embrace imperfections

No parent is perfect, and that's okay. Embrace your imperfections as opportunities for growth and learning. Understand that making mistakes is a natural part of the parenting journey. Be gentle with yourself and use these moments as valuable teaching experiences for both you and your child.

6. Prioritize self-care

Taking care of yourself is essential for your overall well-being as a parent. Nurture your physical, emotional and mental health through activities that replenish your energy and bring you joy. Remember, self-care is not selfish; it enables you to be a better parent for your child.

7. Trust your intuition

You know your child better than anyone else. Trust your instincts and believe in your ability to make the best decisions for them. While seeking guidance is important, ultimately, you are the expert on your own child's needs.

Parenting is a remarkable journey, filled with both challenges and triumphs. It's normal to experience moments of guilt and self-doubt, but it's crucial to breathe and remember that you are doing a great job!

Bark helps families manage and protect their children’s digital lives.

mother and daughter discussing Bark Parental Controls