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I Feel Like a Failure as a Wife and Mother — You’re Not Alone

There are so many responsibilities in today’s society that often fall on the shoulders of women. We’re told to be good spouses, moms, and women all at once. It can seem like we are constantly doing things for other people without any time or energy left over for ourselves. If you’re telling yourself “I feel like a failure as a wife and mother,” you’re not alone.

Looking deep within ourselves to determine why exactly we feel this way can be incredibly frightening. But it’s a necessary step to getting back to ourselves and tell ourselves we’re worth it, we’re good enough, and we are a success NOT a failure.

In this blog post, we will explore reasons why you might feel like a failure as a wife and mother, do a deeper dive into your relationships, and explore 8 ways to make you realize that you are a good wife and mom.

Why do I feel like a failure as a wife and mother, upset woman

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Examine Why You’re Thinking “I Feel Like a Failure as a Wife and Mother”

What experiences are causing you to feel like a failure as a wife and mother? Here are some common experiences wives and moms may have:

1) Do you feel like a failure as a wife and mom because you have expectations of perfection?
2) Are you feeling overwhelmed, like you can’t squeeze in everything you want as a mom, wife, and woman?
3) Do people around you make you feel inadequate?
4) If you’re a new mama, did you not get the birthing experience you wanted? (For example, you were planning a natural birth and got a c-section instead? Or vice-versa?)

Woman pushing pram feeling like a failure as a wife and mother

5) Were you unable to do something that “all mothers can do”, like breastfeeding or feeling immediately connected to your baby/child?
6) Do you care for your child’s needs and have a tendency to ignore your partner or yourself?
7) Do you feel guilty for wanting or needing to have time alone or spend money/time on self-care?

These are common experiences, but it’s not an exhaustive list. And let’s set the record straight — NONE of these are failures. Sure, they are challenging situations that need resolving, but they don’t mean that you’re failing, and they don’t mean that you’re a failure.

My Personal Story with Feeling Like I’m Failing My Husband And Sons

Lately, I’ve really been struggling. Between family problems, the never-ending pandemic, climate change, wanting to homeschool my oldest son for preschool, losing one of my jobs due to changing international laws, and feeling extremely overwhelmed with life, I have been anxious and depressed. What makes these struggles worse is that I’m experiencing guilt that I’m not able to handle everything.

I feel lost and wondering what to do next. As a married woman, the world rests on my shoulders. It’s not every day, but moments come and go that it feels like I’m failing my husband and kids.

Making a Change to Feel Better

Overwhelming life as a work at home mom
(What my overwhelming life frequently looks like.)

I might be burnt out right now, but I’m definitely working on it. My feelings are valid, and I’m happy that I’m always doing my best for myself and my family!

For me, when I feel awful, I don’t want to do anything: socialize, work, or go out of the house. But the truth is these are the exact things that help me feel better. It helps me to know I’m not alone and that I’m not the only one struggling. It helps to move my body, get dressed, see a friend, and accomplish something.

Conversely, I found that when I felt like a failure, I spent a lot of time on social media and news sites. But these were contributing to my struggles. I was making things worse for myself.

I have found the things that I love to connect me to my roots as a wild woman and help me feel like a free spirit again. And the more I do them and lean on the people in my life, the more I’ll be able to be myself, happy and full!

14 Ways to Feel Like a Successful Wife and Mom

Being a mother is learning about the strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with the fears you didn’t know existed.

Being a mother is learning about the strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with the fears, you didn’t know existed.

Linda Wooten.

So how do we go from feeling like a failure as a wife and mother to feeling good about our role in our marriage and relationships?

First of all, let me say that your desire to be a good wife and mother is always a good instinct to have. It doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice yourself, but doing your best for the people you love is always a good thing in life! It’s all about finding balance and relieving that stress and pressure from your life.

1. Talk to a therapist

It can be hard to experience these emotions and often wonder what you’re doing wrong. A therapist can help you explore your reasons for feeling this way, and understand that it’s not your fault.

Therapists and counselors often know the root causes of our feelings before we do, but they’re trained to help you discover your deep-seated emotions and behaviors for yourself.

Going to therapy has always instantly made me feel better when I was overwhelmed with negative emotions. Sometimes just having someone else there to help you get out of your head is exactly what you need.

RELATED ARTICLE: What To Do When You Feel Depressed About the End of Maternity Leave

2. Spend time with your children individually

Woman spending time with her child individually

A mother should spend time with her children individually because then she gets to know them on a deeper level.

One-on-one time strengthens a relationship because it helps you to get to know the person better and to communicate with them more easily. Many people don’t take the time they need for themselves and for their relationships, but when you do, there will be so much more balance in your life.

If you only see them at night before bedtime or during school drop-offs, they might not feel as close to you as if they spent quality time with you other not just when it’s convenient. Putting in the effort will help you be more present and create deeper bonds—that way, they see how much you care for them and prioritize their needs, it’ll make a difference.

RELATED POST: Learn to Meet Them Where They Are

3. Be honest and vulnerable

Couple having an honest and vulnerable conversation

When you think you’re failing, make sure you express your honest emotions with important people.

Being open and honest with your spouse about what you’re experiencing is a great way to release some of your stress. This might help to build a stronger emotional connection with your spouse. (Take a look at this post about supporting your spouse to see if there are any things here that you need from your spouse.)

If they know what is troubling you, they can better address it. Plus, confiding in someone is proven to lower stress levels. Resentment builds up when we stay silent about our problems; i.e., if it’s bothering us we can’t expect our spouse not to know or notice too.

When it comes to your children, let them know that you’re working on feeling better so that you won’t be irritable. But tell them that you’re human and you might get frustrated sometimes. Validate their feelings if you get frustrated or push them away because of your stress and burnout, and really hear them when they talk to you.

But whatever you do, don’t dump your emotions on them like they’re an adult.

4. Put yourself first by investing in self-care

Mother getting a massage and investing in self care

When you’re a working mom, your job usually isn’t a reprieve enough to relieve your stress because your job has its own stresses and pressures. And when you’re a stay-at-home mom, you might believe that you’re a burden and don’t deserve to spend money on yourself because you’re relying on your husband’s income.

But investing in self-care has so many benefits! Spend your time and money on things that help boost your mood as a wife and mother. This can be anything from going to yoga class, to wearing new clothes that make you more confident or spending a spa day away from the kids!

Being away from the kids isn’t bad parenting, in fact, it’s essential to your life as a mom. They say that those who take time for self-care are more satisfied and more patient with their families.

5) Examine your priorities

Mother examining her priorities

In today’s modern world, it can be difficult to find a balance between the priorities in our lives. It’s not uncommon for people to create an imbalance where one aspect of their life is at the forefront while others are lacking.

This leads them into stress and anxiety they did not realize they were fostering in themselves. Priorities are important because they help us stay grounded, ensuring we’re mindful of what we’re doing with our time rather than racing around mindlessly trying to do everything.

This is the exact predicament you may experience as a mom (though a dad can experience it as well). When you figure out your priorities, you help to align your day

6) Get out of the house

Sometimes getting out of the house and walking around can help you get out of your head and feel better

Especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom, it’s important to get out of the house. It’s easy to become trapped in a bubble. This can lead to depression.

So getting out of the house will help with feeling like a good wife and mom because being around new things will boost your mood. It will also give you a break from the daily household chores and make your day-to-day life more interesting!

Interestingly, walking around, greeting people, and smiling are all things that can help your confidence levels as well!

RELATED POST:
How to Live Boldly and Passionately Every Day!

7) Use affirmations

When our heart is heavy, we can lose hope. But affirmations are a great way to put that hope back in your heart and realize how amazing your life is.

Affirmations are statements that we declare to be true in order to help our brains focus on something positive. For example, you might say:

  1. “I am strong and beautiful.”
  2. “At this moment, I am free.”
  3. “I thank God for everything that I have in my life.”
    (If you’re not religious, you can use something like “The Universe” instead!)
  4. “I am successful. My children look up to me.”
  5. “I am my childrens’ rock and safe place.”
  6. “I am powerful.”

These statements help to change our mindset to help us notice the positive things in our lives. Affirmations are a great choice for moments when you’re overwhelmed!

Read this post for more: Affirmations for Moms

8) Find meaning and purpose

Woman journaling about her purpose and meaning for living a good life

A reason you might think you’re failing is that you’ve lost sight of your purpose.

Whether it’s a professional or personal pursuit, a meaningful goal that pushes us to break through any obstacles in our life isn’t just personally rewarding—it benefits the people around us too. And given all we do for them, this is why it’s so important to have a purpose in life.

Your purpose might be your kids, or it might be family in general. It could be to help lift up another woman or friend, or it could be to speak your truth. Having that purpose can help you develop gratitude and thankfulness.

Regardless of whether you believe in god or not, your heart will settle and fill with love when you focus on your purpose.

9) Exercise regularly

Regular exercise can help with depression

Taking care of yourself is related to the success you find in your life. (Really!) Exercise can help your mood because it releases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals into your brain. Exercise also helps you to get better rest, which in turn gives you more energy to take care of yourself and your kids.

It’s important to remember that just like the rest of us, moms need exercise! When you’re struggling with your mental health and you need to boost your energy, the quality of your marriage, and the example you set for your kids, exercise could just be the thing that helps you do all those things.

Related Post: 7 Ways to Feel Better When You Don’t Know What’s Wrong

10) Get enough sleep at night

Getting enough sleep is important to getting through tough times

When you finally tumble into bed at the end of a long day, what happens? Do you toss and turn? Are you able to put your thoughts out of your mind and get some good rest?

It’s not uncommon for parents to have trouble sleeping, but it is important that they find ways to get the sleep their body needs in order to function well during the day. Getting quality sleep (and enough of it) can help you erase your overwhelming emotions and feel more balanced in the morning.

If you’re having difficulty falling asleep, try this: before bed, take a bath or get in some form of light exercise. Then do something that you find relaxing like reading for 20 minutes before bed. (No phones!)

It’s also important to make sure your bedroom is at the right temperature. The optimal nighttime environment should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (or 16-19 Celsius). And don’t forget to get rid of anything that might disrupt your sleep, like lights and noise.

11) Take a probiotic

Taking a probiotic to benefit your gut health is a great way to get over feeling like a failure

One thing that has come to light in recent years is just how much our gut affects our overall health and mental health. The Gut-brain connection has been researched and studied extensively by doctors, scientists, and psychologists alike.

What they have discovered is that when someone has inflammation in their gut, it can lead to brain inflammation, which can affect the way people think, and changes in their moods and behaviors. It’s not always considered how our gut impacts the way we feel mentally or physically.

Taking a probiotic can help your mood. Make sure to keep up with taking the probiotic every day for at least 8 weeks, and monitor how you’re feeling. If you don’t notice a difference in your moods after 8 weeks, talk to your doctor about other treatment options for depression.

12) Focus on your relationships, not your roles

This woman knows to focus on her relationships, not her role as a wife and mother. Woman embracing supportive husband

Here’s one for modern married women. In the past, women were expected to cater to a man’s every need when she was married. And then when she became a mama, all the parenting was up to her.

This kind of belief was not sustainable and often made a woman bitter. (It’s easy to think you’re failing when you’re judged on everything you do!) But when a woman focuses on the quality of her relationships, she’s more likely to feel free and live in the present moment. She doesn’t need as many distractions and experiences more love in her life.

So when you start to become bogged down, thinking about whether you’re a good wife or mom, then consider instead what your relationship with your child or husband looks like and if you’re both satisfied with the quality of the relationship.

Related Post: 13 Ways to Be a Good Wife and Mom

13) Lean on your friends

Woman leaning on her friend

When it feels like you’re failing or you become lost, don’t fear. Find a friend or family member who can be there to support you. This person can help you get out of your head and really hear your truth. They will understand you and help you work through your emotions. This person must be someone who can love you unconditionally and be there to support you with heart and hope.

Women need friends to share their triumphs with, and also to comfort them when they are feeling down. They need friends who will listen to their problems and offer advice. They also help encourage each other when times get tough. Women need female friends because friendships are a powerful source of support, and without having that support, it is hard to feel good about ourselves or like we’re successful in life.

14) Get off the internet

Woman on her phone. Putting down your phone can drastically help mothers

Social media is detrimental to your mental health because it can be too addictive. We are constantly comparing ourselves to other people and we think that their lives are better than ours, which can lead to depression and thinking you’re inadequate and a failure.

Social media also gives us a place to release our anger and sadness without having to deal with anything and just telling people to “deal with it.” (How many times have you heard that?) Oftentimes, social media is fake because people usually only post the good moments of their lives on social media and not the bad ones.

So put down your phone. Set limits on the amount of time you can spend. And more importantly, find another, healthier habit you can put in its place.

15) Spend time alone with your spouse

Couple on a date. Spending time alone as a married couple can help your feelings of inadequacy

This connection is most likely the most important one in your life from the moment you got married, or even before then. When you add kids to your marriage, suddenly being parents takes priority. But in order to rekindle the love with your partner, you should spend time with them alone.

Whether you schedule date nights with your child with your parents for the night, or you just find a few minutes of free time to talk and connect, this kind of intentional connection with your husband can wrap you in the love that you so desperately want to have!

More Tips for Knowing That You’re Enough as a Wife and Mom

  1. keep a gratitude journal
  2. write down fun things your children do every day
  3. when you’re feeling at your worst, don’t be alone
  4. if you go to bed thinking that today wasn’t any better, try again tomorrow
  5. start strong in the morning with healthy habits
  6. don’t forget why you wanted to have a family
  7. let go of the past
  8. lift up another woman who is struggling too
  9. remember that no matter how awful you felt today, tomorrow is a new day

Conclusion

Remember, when it feels like you’re failing, take heart: the world is conspiring in favor of you to experience the best family and relationship you can have with your husband and son or daughter.

There are a lot of reasons why women think they’re failures as wives and moms. From unrealistic expectations to not having the time or energy for all that we need to do, it’s easy to fall into this trap.

But when you follow these tips, you help prevent yourself from becoming bitter.

If any of these resonate with you or if you’ve felt overwhelmed by life lately, know that there is help available. There is always someone to come alongside your family and offer support where needed so that everyone feels cared for and loved unconditionally.

Find someone to walk with you through these tough times together.

Have you ever felt this way? What helped you get through these tough times?

Drop a comment below!

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