Mom Gives 'Old Mom To New Mom' Advice To Woman Terrified She's Bad At Parenting—'Bad Moms Don't Question If They're Being A Good Mom'

The fact she's even questioning it says everything, according to experts.

TikToker giving advice to mom who is worried about being a bad parent TikTok; Canva

Most moms and dads at one time or another worry that they're downright terrible at the job of parenting, but one woman on TikTok was so sure she was failing at parenting her difficult toddler she posted a tearful plea asking for advice.

And one self-proclaimed "old mom" was at the ready with advice that every parent probably needs to hear at one point or another.

A mom in her 40s on TikTok shared the parenting advice she'd give her younger self.

Sarah, a TikToker known as @peeliesnpetals on the app, shared her advice in response to a young mom whose mental health struggles were making parenting all the more difficult. 


A young mom was worried she was failing the task of parenting a difficult toddler while also struggling with her ADHD.

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Young mom Kleigha (@kaydkay93) took to TikTok with a totally common problem — her screaming toddler was running her ragged. But for her, the fraught situation had a whole other dimension.

As a person with ADHD, she struggles with overstimulation, and her son's behavior was driving her to her "breaking point."



"I don't know how to deal with a toddler who doesn't talk and only screams," Kleigha said through tears, writing in the onscreen text that she was "so overstimulated" by her son's behavior she had to put him in a "safe place" and step away "to breathe." 


For people with ADHD, overstimulation, or sensory overload, occurs when one of the five senses is overactivated — such as when a toddler is screaming, in this mom's case. This "makes it difficult for the brain to process what's going on," according to Healthline — especially when avoiding the source of the overstimulation isn't possible.

"I'm gonna lose my f--king mind," Kleigha  said, before breaking down in sobs and admitting, "I wanna be a good mom but I don't feel like I'm being one."

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The 40-something mom responded with advice for young moms who are worried about being a bad parent.

Stitching Kleigha's video, Sarah doled out what she wishes she'd known when her kids were small. Plunking a box of Kleenex down on the table as if handing it to her, she emphatically told her to stop crying. But not in a "tough love" way. In a "you're doing everything right" way.


"Stop. Listen to me," Sarah said. "I'm an old woman. I'm old for this app. I'm 43. I raised a child like that." She went on to say that she, too, cried all the time while doing it. "And you know what I would tell my younger self, and what I'm going to tell you right now? A mom that wants to be a good mom is a good mom."

Sarah went on to say that Kleigha and every other mom or dad worried about being a bad parent are likely doing all they can to not be — and their children's challenging behavior doesn't mean otherwise. "You are doing the very best you can," she said. "You don't question whether you're being a good mom because you have a difficult child."

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The older mom urged young moms and dads worried about being bad parents to give themselves a break.

Sarah was quick to validate Kleigha's efforts toward caring for herself and her condition while also parenting her toddler. But she urged the young mom to be gentler on herself in the process. "When you need to take a break and you need to cry, you do that. But you also give yourself grace."


Speaking through her own tears, Sarah also urged the young mom to "love and hug that baby when that baby lets you, and when that baby cries, it's okay to cry."

And then she landed on her single most profound bit of advice — the fact that Kleigha is even worried about being a bad parent in the first place means she's doing a better job than many. "Bad moms don't question if they're being a good mom," she said. "You've got this."

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Experts say being worried about being a bad parent is incredibly common — and rarely means that you actually are bad at it.

As parenting coach Robert Schramm reveals in the video below, feeling like you're falling down on the job of parenting your kids is essentially part of the territory of being a parent at all.


And he agrees with moms like Sarah. "Parenting guilt is real," he says, "but if you’re worried enough to think 'I want to be a better parent' [and] spend time searching online for answers, you’re not a bad parent."

Speaking with us in 2017, life coach and mom Amelia Kriss put it a different way. "You are not suddenly failing at parenting because you snapped at your child or chuckled quietly behind her back when she lost her mind because her peanut butter and jelly are 'all mixed up now,'" she writes. "If you are failing as a parent, it is likely because parenting is kind of an impossible thing."

But the good news is, Kriss says, that children don't need perfection, "they just need you. They need you to care, to try, to show up, and to model for them what it means to be a person.... Not to mention, self-compassion: they need to see you do that."


So take heart, Kleigha and all moms and dads like her. You're doing a hell of a lot better than you think you are.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.