Doctor Urges Moms to Stop Being So Hard on Themselves

Feeling overwhelmed with motherhood? A doctor offers her tips and support to help moms stop being so hard on themselves.

Mom to mom, Dr. Claire Nicogossian is on a mission to help you stop being so darn hard on yourself. “We judge ourselves more harshly than our children ever will,” she says.

Judgment from other moms is another animal all together.

“Our judgment has become so skewed that we need to look at ourselves and be comfortable with our choices and allow other people to make their choices without imposing our values on them. That’s where we’ve gone wrong a little bit, I think. There’s way too much judgment on parents,” says Nicogossian, mom of four girls and clinical assistant professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. She is out with a new book she hopes empowers moms with digestible tips, Mama, You Are Enough: How to Create Calm, Joy and Confidence Within the Chaos of Motherhood.

We asked her to share a few takeaways.

1. Know yourself

“This is not the time to look outward and compare yourself to other people, this is the time to look inward and know yourself,” she says. Especially keep an eye on what she calls active coping skills – such as a run or yoga – that are intentional to reduce stress, and passive coping skills – such as scrolling through your phone or drinking more – that are numbing and escapes, but really do nothing for stress.

“It’s not about judging yourself and feeling less than. It’s about observing yourself, observing your feelings and finding strategies to target what’s problematic and increase your joy.”

2. Manage your emotions

“Motherhood is emotional. It’s not meant to always be joyful and fun and feeling effective. There are going to be a lot of moments where you feel as a mother exhausted, overwhelmed, resentful, angry, worried,” she says. Label emotions, such as sadness, anger, embarrassment, disgust, shame, fear and worry without judgment. She calls these shadow emotions,

“We as parents cannot help or teach our children how to manage and regulate their emotions unless we first learn to manage our shadow emotions,” she says.

3. Do a little self-reflection

“If you are feeling like something is missing, stop and really look at it. … Highlight your strengths, don’t focus on where you can’t do everything because you can’t do everything.” She urges moms to remember they are doing the best they can and to focus on what they feel they are doing well.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


The Importance of Teaching Kids Financial Literacy

Knowing how to handle money responsibly is a key skill. An expert with Macomb County's Michigan State University Extension Center explains why and how to teach it.

Adaptive Sports for Kids with Disabilities and Special Needs

In search of adaptive sports for kids with physical or developmental disabilities? Here are local sports programs for kids with special needs in the metro Detroit and Ann Arbor areas.

Michigan Science Center Welcomes New Earth. Wind. Weather. Exhibit

Detroit's science hub is set to teach kids the wonders of our planet's weather systems with its latest exhibit.

MSU Research Reports Sagging Areas in Pandemic Teaching

A survey from Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative found teachers are struggling to find students and maintain attendance during virtual school.

- Advertisement -