Am I A Good Mom? How to Deal With Your Self-Doubt

March 24, 2022
by Chelsy

Am I A Good Mom? How to Deal With Your Self-Doubt

By Chelsy
March 24, 2022

We all have those days where we look at our child and think: “Am I a Good Mom?”

I’m here to tell you that as long as your child is happy and healthy – yes you are!

But that doesn’t mean a hill of beans if you are suffering from self-doubt issues – which is an unfortunate after-effect of narcissistic abuse.

Narcissists treat you in a way that has you constantly doubting yourself. From gaslighting to devaluation, narcissists want you to become dependent on them when it comes to living and making decisions.

Once you break free from the relationship with the narcissist, these lingering feelings of self-doubt don’t magically go away – and it can begin to affect the way you see yourself as a mother.

To help you work through your self-doubt, here are some tips to gain back your confidence both as a person and as a mother:

Identify Your Triggers

While your self-doubt may be the after-effect of abuse, it’s important to understand where it is stemming from now.

Does it happen when you communicate with your ex? Scroll through Facebook? Make any sort of parenting decision?

While there are triggers you can avoid (like looking at FB), there are others that you really can’t. But, by knowing what is causing your self-doubt, you can take more effective steps in dealing with it.

Start by writing down your self-doubting thoughts and taking note of what happened before these thoughts occurred.

Reevaluate Your Standards

There is no such thing as a perfect mom, despite what Instagram may try to tell you. Perfectionism is a myth and the more you try to hold yourself up to this standard, the more you will fail.

Confident parenting has nothing to do with perfection. It’s all about doing our best to encourage our children’s overall development – physical, social, emotional, etc.

Therefore, it’s important not to set the bar too high when it comes to being a mom. Let go of the idea that you have to provide 100% perfect care to your children each and every day.

Personally, I sometimes get down on myself when I think about how much time my daughter spends playing on her tablet. Oftentimes, I regret buying it and I feel like a bad mom for doing so.

But then I remember that I am a single mom trying to work, take care of myself, take care of my kid, and take care of my household – if that means letting my child sit on her tablet for an hour or two, that’s okay.

That’s my new standard: an hour or two. Otherwise, I take steps to engage with her and get her attention away from Roblox and Minecraft videos.

(Sometimes this involves playing Roblox or Minecraft – you gotta do what you gotta do!)


Expand Your Identity

When you spend enough time in an abusive relationship with a narcissist, you start to lose your sense of identity. Add on the fact that you are also a mom and who you truly are gets lost in the void.

Healing from narcissistic abuse and being a good mom means re-defining your identity and self-worth.

It’s okay to identify with your role in life, as long as that role is accurate. For instance, you are a mom but you are not the horrible person your ex made you out to be.

Once you can distinguish this, you can start to rediscover your true self. Once you know who you truly are, it’s hard to doubt that person.

Focus on nurturing other aspects of your being, such as your hobbies, friendships, and career. This will provide you with additional sources of validation and confidence instead of defining your worth based on how good of a mother you are.

Take Control of Your Thoughts

During your relationship with the narcissist, their behaviors completely re-wired your brain to doubt yourself all of the time.

Fortunately, you can take back control of your thoughts by addressing your self-doubt. When a moment happens where you doubt yourself, talk back to the thought – tell yourself that you are good enough and that you can trust your instincts.

Even if it doesn’t feel true in the moment, doing so will train your brain to stop thinking this way so as doubting thoughts enter your mind, you’ll automatically dismiss them.

Negative self-talk will hold you back from healing. Be kind to yourself and give yourself grace – finding your worth again is a work in progress.

Work With Your Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is not horrible. It is a valid way of assessing your decisions and actions and can be helpful in making improvements in your life.

When it doesn’t run rampant in your life, it can be a form of constructive criticism that can help you become a better person and a better mother.

So when you start doubting yourself, ask yourself if this is a learning opportunity. Just like the situation with my daughter and the tablet, I started taking steps to reduce her screentime when I started beating myself up about it.

The narcissist tried to push you down and destroy you as a person. You can show them by taking the after-effects of their abuse and turning it into a positive.

Talk about taking back your power!

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Ugh, social media. What better place to find “perfect” moms living their “perfect” lives in a way that seems so effortless.

Whenever you start to compare yourself to others, remember this: What you see on social media is not reality.

Likewise, you are likely not going to hear the whole truth of someone’s experience if they are concerned about how you will perceive them.

Life is not a competition, except with yourself. What other people are doing doesn’t matter and you shouldn’t doubt yourself as a mom because they seem to be doing it “better”.

A trick I like to use when I come across posts and stories of “perfect” moms is to ask myself: “Is their life like this every moment? Do I want to be like her? What aspects of their life can I adopt to better myself?”

There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other moms but don’t let it cause self-doubt when it comes to your own lifestyle and parenting skills.

Learn to Ignore the Haters

When you’re dealing with a narcissistic ex, they are going to say many unpleasant things about you. When you’re parenting with one, you can’t easily block them.

You may know what they say isn’t true but hearing it doesn’t help when it comes to dealing with your self-doubt.

So, what do you do when people speak ill of you?

  • Don’t defend yourself. You won’t change their mind and, the more you are unsuccessful in convincing them otherwise, the more you may start to believe what they say.
  • Flip it around in your mind. More often than not, people will say mean things to you because they feel that way about themselves. Assume that they are talking about themselves.
  • Purge the toxic people from your life. If you can let toxic people in your life go, let them go.

On the flip side of this, make sure to surround yourself with uplifting and positive people. They will help overshadow any negative you can’t remove from your life (like your narcissistic ex).

Seek Support and Talk it Out

In the end, there’s nothing wrong with talking to someone about your self-doubt. Whether you seek the help of a therapist or talk with your mom friends, it’s important to find some sort of support to help you through this.

Make a point to find someone with whom you can talk about your fears. This is far better than silently blaming yourself for being a “bad mom” – which you aren’t, by the way.

How do I know? Because you’re reading this article. No horrible parent is going to give a lick about improving themselves and their parenting skills.

You Are a Good Mom!

Whether you are still doubting yourself because of the narcissistic abuse or your ex continues to tell you that you are a horrible parent, it’s important to understand that none of this is true!

Once you can realize that, you can take the steps necessary to work through your self-doubt and get back your confidence as a mom and as a person.

How do you deal with your mom-confidence? What moments remind you that you are a good mom? Leave your stories in the comments below!


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