KuelLife Logo home 1000

Is Mom Guilt Holding You Back?

Kim Muench April 2023

Kim Muench, Becoming Me Thought Leader

“Dear Kim, I have four adult sons, two of whom are still living at home. They are presently 24 and 26 years old. I feel guilty.”

A recent inquiry from one of my clients about Mom Guilt inspired me this month. The letter from this distraught Mom continued:

“I’m struggling because when they were young, I went through several years of stress and anxiety due to my husband being called overseas after 9/11. Single parenting while my husband was far away and doing a dangerous job took a toll on me and led me to cave into the boys needs a lot – even when I knew better.

“Remembering we can’t go back, we can only move forward..”

In hindsight, my negligent parenting caused them not to learn how to work through their feelings, take responsibility, and to understand the value in sometimes not getting their way.

Today my son’s days are slept away and their nights are filled with drinking and gaming. Neither has worked in the past year. On one hand, I am tired and resentful to be supporting this lifestyle for them, on the other hand, I feel guilty that I didn’t give them the skills they need to live independently. 

Please help me figure out what are acceptable boundaries for their stage of life and how to go about making them see I am setting boundaries because I love them and care about their future.”

~Stressed Mom of 4 with 2 at home

Use The Mom Guilt:

The number one barrier to parents putting appropriate boundaries in place with their young adult and adult kids is…their emotions. Parents’ feelings are getting in the way of their sons and daughters moving forward into financial and physical independence.

Remembering we can’t go back, we can only move forward, I strongly suggest you consider using the Mom Guilt and resentment you feel to fuel your desire to change this unhealthy parenting pattern.

“First, take an honest inventory of where boundaries need to be set..”

First, take an honest inventory of where boundaries need to be set. To give you some guidelines here, think about the ways they can step into supporting you in the home. If they aren’t yet doing their laundry, cooking and cleaning up after their meals, and maintaining their rooms so it’s walkable and free of dirty dishes, that’s the place to start. That’s the minimum.

You Are Not Powerless:

Next, sit down with each of them to discuss their financial contribution to the household (food, mortgage, utilities, insurance, transportation). Since your sons are unemployed at the moment, so give them a reasonable amount of time to get a job (full-time). Two weeks to a month is appropriate. 

Then, the rent you charge them will depend on their income. You’ll also have to think about what you would do if they do not follow through on gaining employment. 

You are not powerless here mom, though you have been giving your power away. Your sons need you to empower yourself so they can find purpose and value in their futures.

One last thing, let them know you believe in them! Say it with confidence, eye contact, and your kind yet firm tone of voice.

Did you enjoy this article? Become a Kuel Life Member today to support our Community. Sign-up for our Sunday newsletter and get your content delivered straight to your inbox.


Kim Muench Becoming Me

About the Author:

Kim Muench (pronounced minch, like pinch with an “m”) is a Jai (rhymes with buy) Institute for Parenting Certified Conscious Parenting Coach who specializes in working with mothers of adolescents (ages 10+). Knowing moms are the emotional barometer in their families, Kim is passionate about educating, supporting and encouraging her clients to raise their children with intention and guidance rather than fear and control. Kim’s three plus decades parenting five children and years of coaching other parents empowers her to lead her clients into healthier, happier, more functional relationships with compassion and without judgment. 

You can find out more about her mission and services at www.reallifeparentguide.com. She is on Facebook at Real Life Parent Guide, Instagram, and on LinkedIn as well.