I would say the majority of mothers suffer some form of this syndrome in one way or another. Generally it is brought on by the desire to do the very best for your children, but feeling that you are lacking because you parent differently from other mothers.
I consider myself to be a good mom, but from time to time I suffer from this syndrome. Some days it’s worse than others, and I find it’s because I’ve compared myself way too much to other women I know. Being a good mom means you’re doing the best you can within the means given to you.
We all parent differently, and there are so many qualities that I admire in other moms that sometimes I pressure myself to be just like them. Once the pressure sets in, the guilt swiftly follows. This is absolutely unnecessary and if you do this to yourself, please give yourself a break.
I don’t think a good mom is one that does everything ‘perfectly’ or just so. There are qualities and actions I strive for and would love to be at a point in my life where I could live them out daily (buying organic foods, making super healthy meals all the time, working out daily, going hands-free more regularly, no TV, doing more DIY, play more with the kids, etc). I’m not a bad mom because of it, but sometimes I feel like it because others are at the point in their life where I want to be!
“I’m a bad mom because I (fill in the blank).” you say, “I’m a good mom because I (fill in the blank).” It’s something I need to remind myself daily. Even if I feel like the day was terrible and I failed in so many ways, I need to remind myself I am not bad. Tell another mom why they are a good mom too! You may not parent the way they do, and maybe even disagree with certain aspects, but they might just need to hear from you, why they are a good mom.
There is one perfect mom: Mary, the Mother of God. She began her vocation as a mother with the virtue of humility and I think it’s important for us to live humility as well. It will help us to not suffer from the ‘bad mom’ syndrome and when we do fail, will help us get back up so we can get to where we need to be.
We’re our hardest critics! Let’s support each other, and get rid of this nasty syndrome together!