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  • Mom Guilt Is A Valid Emotion: It Doesn't Necessarily Mean You Have Postpartum Depression

    Psychologist, Dr. Michele Alignay, explains why it happens.
    by Ana Gonzales .
Mom Guilt Is A Valid Emotion: It Doesn't Necessarily Mean You Have Postpartum Depression
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/LookerStudio
  • Moms don't always admit it, but they often feel bad when they do something for themselves. This is well-known in the parenting community as mom guilt.

    What is mom guilt?

    Psychologist and award-winning author Dr. Michele Alignay said guilt is a primary emotion. 

    "Normal siyang emosyon," she told Smart Parenting at a recent Calamansi Live Cast episode. "Nagkataon lang na ni-label-an 'yung mom guilt. Kasi, ang nagiging trigger, 'yung pagiging parent, 'yung pagiging nanay."

    "Pero guilt, kahit sino ay pwedeng ma-guilty," she explained. "'Yung mommy, mas maraming occasions na na-giguilty siya."

    "Guilt is a real feeling," she emphasized. 

    Why does mom guilt happen?

    "We have a tendency to overthink as moms, to be protective, or to be overthinkers also" Dr. Alignay said. "We get too overwhelmed with so many feelings," she added. "Isama mo na diyan, lalo na, if you just gave birth or transitioning tayo, tapos 'yung hormones pa."

    "The guilt is also a product of how we are raised," she said. "Kaya nag-aarise 'yung guilt because of how we are programmed when we were growing up."

    "Na dapat maayos lahat, na dapat ito 'yung standards ng nanay, na dapat ganito 'yung gawin natin," Dr. Alignay explained. 

    She also said moms want to be in control all the time. "Minsan, parang gusto mong kontrolin lahat, ultimo lamok na dadapo sa anak natin," she said. 

    Is guilt a symptom of postpartum depression?

    Moms often wonder if the guilt and sadness that they're feeling is connected to postpartum depression. Dr. Alignay answers that frankly, saying it's not. 


    "It's not necessarily na kung nagi-guilty tayo ay mayroon tayong postpartum depression," she pointed out. "Hindi siya magkarugtong."

    Dr. Alignay did point out that if a mom is suffering from postpartum depression, they may feel a lot of guilt. "We all love our kids, I know you would agree with that," she said. "That's why we feel guilty for some things, but it doesn't mean that it's already a sign of depression."

    "Depression kasi, it's another condition," she reminded the Calamansi Live Cast audience. "It can be triggered if the guilt is overridden or ang dami nang emosyon na naghahalo-halo that you can no longer function normally for a long period of time. It's dragging you, it's dragging your normal events."

    If you can no longer function as a mom and guilt is overcoming you, Dr. Alignay said, "Pwede siyang kabahagi, but it does not follow."


    Do you also feel immense guilt when you choose yourself? How do you deal with the guilt? Share it in the comment section. You can also join our Facebook group, the Smart Parenting Village, to discuss it with parents like you.

    Go to Smart Parenting's YouTube channel for more insightful videos like this.

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