Irrational Thoughts All Moms Have

9 irrational thoughts all moms have...stop thinking these things today!

irrational thoughts all moms haveMaybe it’s the hormones from giving birth.

Maybe it’s the fact that becoming a mom changes everything, even some crazy and unexpected things.

Or maybe it’s just that we moms are, by nature, a little crazy. Yeah, it’s probably that.

Whatever the reason, at some point or another all moms find themselves thinking some illogical, unreasonable, and unjustifiable thoughts. For some of us, those thoughts swim through our brains more days than not—sometimes even multiple times a day!

I’m here today to remind you that these negative musings are totally baseless. They’re rooted less in reality and more in stress, frustration, anxiety, and exhaustion.

So the next time one of these crazy ideas creeps up on you, refuse to give it the time of day. Tell it to go bother someone else, because you’re currently choosing sanity.

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9 Irrational Thoughts All Moms Have Tweet this!

1. I suck at parenting.

When I interviewed nationally-acclaimed family doctor Deborah Gilboa, she said parenting is the only area that the majority of people feel like they’re messing up—probably because the stakes are so high, because we want to do a good job so badly.

But while you might feel like anyone could do a better job raising your kids than you are, remember that you are their mama for a reason. You are the perfect mother for your particular child.

Sure, you might yell more than you want to, or you might do some things to inadvertently cause your child to misbehave. But a misstep here and there does not a sucky parent make.

2. No one else’s kids are this bad/annoying/behind/etc.

Try as we might to avoid it, some days the comparison monster still rears its ugly head.

We see a toddler sitting quietly at a restaurant and assume ours is the only one who acts out in public.

We see a preschooler who can count to 100—forwards and backwards—and think our kid is light years behind the learning curve.

We see a teen who never rolls her eyes and for a moment wonder if ours is the only one questioning authority.

Reality check: More often than not, your kid is completely and totally normal

3. I’m going to get a ton done today!

No, you’re probably not.

Why? Because the moment you get to work, you’re going to get a call that your kid just threw up at school, please come pick him up immediately.

Or the minute you wake up to conquer the day, you discover your baby is starting on another tooth, so you might as well go ahead and cancel your plans.

There are certainly some things you can do to be more productive today, but you might as well accept the fact that you’re never going to accomplish as much as you’d probably like.

4. My child hates me.

No, she doesn’t. Even if she said she hates you—even if she said it multiple times—rest assured, she still doesn’t actually hate you.

5. My partner isn’t attracted to my post-baby body.

Truth: The only person who has a problem with your post-baby body is you.

You fret over stretch marks your partner would have to squint to see. You bemoan a few extra pounds that your partner couldn’t care less about. He wants you just as much—correction, he wants you more than he did before you become a mom. 

Your partner loves your post-baby body. You should start loving it too.

6. I’ll never feel like myself again.

Granted, this one isn’t totally irrational, because it’s probably accurate to say you won’t ever feel exactly the same as you did pre-children.

But new moms, I promise that eventually you’ll feel like yourself—just a new, better, more complete version of yourself.

7. My kid has a fever, therefore he must have a life-threatening illness.

 A sick child is certainly something to take seriously, considering that their little immune systems are still developing. 

But that doesn’t mean every tiny lapse in health is a sign of something more terrible. Remember, when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.

8. I’m screwing up my kids. They’re going to need years of therapy.


I suppose it’s true that a lot of people trace their issues back to their mothers, but that’s only because their moms were the most involved—and therefore most influential—people in their lives. Not a bad thing!

9. I’m a terrible mother.

Do you love your kids? Then you’re not a terrible mother! End of story.

Have you had any of these irrational thoughts? Can you think of any others?

Did you enjoy this post? If so, I’d be so grateful if you shared it with other moms who are probably thinking these irrational thoughts too!

38 responses to “Irrational Thoughts All Moms Have”

  1. SOOO true! I say all the time that it is something hormonal that happens after they are born or during the process. I would say it’s the passage through the birth canal but I had two c’s! And #5!!!

  2. During a long swim yesterday this went through my head, “Scott loves me. Susanna loves me. The question is- do I love myself?”

    Slowing down helps. Moms are doing so much. Just a moment of quiet can generate healing thoughts and refocus the situation.

  3. No one else’s kids are this bad.

    Love it. I always feel this way until I go grocery shopping. Thankfully my girls behave and when I see kids throwing a tantrum, I just take a deep breath and move on. I feel bad for the mother, but it makes me feel like all kids have their moment not only mine.

  4. Yes – my baby isn’t even out of the womb and I already struggle with if I’m being a good mom. Am I exercising too much for her, despite enjoying continuing to workout? Is it bad to eat Cheerios instead of carrot sticks? Will the baby know we haven’t installed her car seat yet, even though she is due any day???

  5. Definitely, “I’m going to get a lot done today.” Whether it’s interruptions at work or trying to make a phone call while you are home with your kid, things always come up unexpectedly or take way longer than they should. It’s frustrating but that’s just the way it is. I can return calls when my kids are in college, right?

  6. The mind of the mom fascinates me. From a dad’s perspective, I wonder if a mom was able, on a given day, to vanquish her to-do list and get everything done with her kids, if she’d somehow find something else to feel unaccomplished about.

    We dads can help change that by reassuring the moms in our lives that yes, you have a ton on your plate, but you’re also rocking it – no matter how many items you actually check off.

    Who we are, dads and moms, is shaped by parenthood. It can’t be helped. We do have to concentrate on letting those elements that are part of our identity to shine through, no matter what.

    Love is a huge part of it. We gotta keep showing it because it fuels what we do and how we feel doing it.

  7. #3 and #7 – YES. Big yes.
    I always think I’ll get a ton done..
    And I freak out about ear infections. Yes, I do.
    After five years and two kids, you’d think any of this would ease up?

    The saddest one I remember is that when Scarlet was a baby and crying, “Mama!” I thought she must be calling for someone else – a phantom mother who is better than I am.

    I’m glad I now know that she was calling for me. Still does.

  8. Oh Katie… I needed this today. I bet 3/4 of the moms our there need this today.

    I am the queen of irrational thoughts and I’ve thought every single one of the irrational thoughts that you’ve shared.

    Thank you for this. Like I said… I needed this today.

  9. Alright, I have some husbandly things to say here–kick me out if you like, but you did a fantastic job on isolating common thoughts/conversation pieces in my home.

    My wife and I (my best friend and darling) are expecting #12 any day now. We have 2 married, 1 getting married, 4 grandkids—we have experienced the WHOLE GAMBIT here.

    Concerning #1, #4, #8 & 9: Relaaaaaaaax. The good news is, you feel this way partially because you love your child(ren) and want to be the best for them. Not only are children more resilient than you probably realize, you AND they will have a realization moment when they hit the teen mark—that you’re only so much further down life’s path than THEY are.
    So I say again, Relaaaaaaax. You’re learning. So are they. Love them, trust yourself IN that love and keep improving.

    Now onto my biggest issue, #5.

    Please, please,….PLEASE listen to your sweetheart when they say you’re beautiful. I love my wife for who she is. What she does and the moments we have shared over decades of building a family together. We’re not young anymore, but I’m telling you–she is the most beautiful woman I have ever known.

    She can still smile at me and I get butterflies.

    I mean seriously. Wow.

    So I do understand that you may not feel as attractive as you’d like to, but you should never underestimate a partner’s blindness to superficial details. Maybe you should trust us–that we see & appreciate the real beauty that only grows through time.

    The One Who Loves You

    • I love this comment from start to finish, but this line is my favorite: Love them, trust yourself IN that love and keep improving. That sums it all up right there, for all of us! Thanks for sharing your encouraging perspective.

  10. Yep, I’ve had them. Still have some. Fortunately, if I voice any of these thoughts in front of my husband, he sets me straight. He’s often my voice of reason! But I can do it myself, if I make an effort.

  11. Yes, yes and yes to all of these things!

    Those “new mom hormones” are no joke. It takes me a good three months before I start feeling like a sane human being again… except who am I kidding, I still don’t and I have three kids!

    Motherhood is nuts.


  12. Oh pretty sure I’ve had all of these. Motherhood is totally an irrational game. I’ve also had the “this is going to last forever” irrational thought. But every phase passes. Even the good ones.

  13. I absolutely love this post, Katie. Yes, I’ve thought all of these things at some point and I have felt more scatterbrained than ever since having kids. However, they are so worth it and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks for this reminder that I’m not alone in these thoughts, and most of them are a little irrational. 😉

  14. Yup. I have absolutely had every one of these thoughts!!!! And yes- they are irrational…. your beautiful encouragement is so needed for all of us moms who have gone ‘there’ in our minds! Thanks for this Katie!

  15. With every word that comes out of my mouth, I think I’m screwing them up emotionally. Truth is, everyone’s a little screwy. :D. Oh, I also think that my kid won’t be well-rounded enough because I don’t sign him up for all the activities that moms around me are signing their kids up for – soccer, swim. You name it. We ain’t done it. Hehe.

  16. I’m pretty sure I’ve had all these thoughts at one point in time. I’m getting better as I, and my kids, get older! Parenting is hard, but no one is better at being a mom to our kids than us.

  17. #3 made me laugh! Being a parent does change A LOT about your life, but in so many positive ways. I seriously couldn’t imagine my life to be as fulfilling without my daughter.

  18. Oh geez, some of these thoughts are downright depressing! My irrational thoughts are more along the line of, “OMG he’s going to tip the table over; he’s blinking funny, is everything okay? he’s going to knock over the hot coffee (that he cant reach)” lol

  19. Mom’s are the greatest, we’ll do anything for our kids, but of course, we’re only humans and there are times we tend to have irrational thoughts, but, we should stay strong, be firm and positive, always keep in mind that we are raising such beautiful creations of God and showing unconditional love for our children will help us overcome this anxieties. Thanks for sharing. Great post.

  20. Yes I have had some irrational thoughts as a mother like many mothers do. I have thought that I was an incapable mother and that my children hate me. What is important though is that I cleared my mind, and focused on being the best that I could be.

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