Ditch mom-guilt today
When we ditch mom-guilt and remove unrealistic expectations off our lives, we can truly love and live fully. Your children will thank you for it in years to come (and so will your future-self)
Mom-guilt is a thing.
Whether you’re a mom or dad, you are prone to its effects.
Even if you’ve never heard of mom guilt or can’t escape its unrelenting grip, it’s something that pervades almost every family. Simply put, mom-guilt is that common feeling of not doing enough as a parent, not being available enough, or not doing things the way you think they should be done, or making decisions that may ‘mess’ your children in the long run.
I’ve had dozens of conversations with parents about this very topic. Their exact words are, “I don’t want to mess my kids up.”
Whether the guilt originated from past experiences or personal insecurities or pressure from family, friends, schools or social media, know that the struggle is real. I hear it time and again.
This blog post is here to help you step out of mom-guilt and into the joy of being a parent again.
Five pro-tips to say good-bye to mom-guilt
Don’t let anyone “should” on you.
I remember when my son was a newborn and struggled to breastfeed him. I had so much pressure from other moms about this issue that it brought me to tears (and a number of times at that).
It starts with should – and often in our minds. We tell ourselves that we should be making cookies, or I should get my child into that school, or I should be living a different life.
Should breeds discontent, unrealistic pressure and sets us up for despair.
Years later, a wise (and older) mom told me these six beautiful words. “Don’t let anyone should on you, Mandi”. It was liberating, and I’ve taken it to heart. So, hear me say it to you today. “Don’t let anyone should on you.”
Taking care of yourself is taking care of your children.
Don’t let mom-guilt hold you, hostage, from taking care of yourself. Just today, I chatted with a mom who expressed her heart’s desire with these words, ”I want to feel better about myself as a mom. I’m tired of feeling guilty about needing some ‘me-time.”
We postpone hair appointments, exercise times or even taking it slow so that we can take care of our children. But, the tricky thing is that resentments begin to grow and that’s not a good thing.
Laugh a little (or a lot)
Laughter lightens the load and is full of those feel-good endorphins. No matter what you’re facing, laugh at home and with your children. Get that gut-aching, belly laughter going. It’s so very good for you.
I’ve heard it said that laughter is the cheapest form of therapy, and the most pleasant one too.
“Laugh my friend, for laughter ignites a fire within the pit of your belly and awakens your being.” Stella McCartney
Different is sometimes just different.
A great life lesson is to accept that every family is unique and it’s that quirkiness that makes things what they are. What my family does that is different from another, isn’t necessarily wrong. It’s just different. So stop comparing and be comfortable with your own family culture.
One mom messaged me saying that she deleted all her social media accounts because she didn’t like the feeling of comparison it awoke within her. She said that seeing the ‘snapshot’s of other families’ lives, that all seemed hunky-dory, caused her more stress than joy. Grow contentment for your own family and its ways – that in itself is great gift.
Stop trying to live up to the impression of a ‘perfect’ mom.
Your children want you to be you. Not the ‘all-together’ mom, or the ‘gym’ mom, or the ‘working’ mom or the ‘Instagram’ perfect mom. They want you. You have what you need to love your children well. Get working on being you – and only you.
And if you need a final bit of encouragement to walking free from guilt, try this practical technique. I think it can help.
There are four steps to using the ‘Ditch the mom-guilt list’:
- Write everything down that you feel guilty about. Be honest here because nothing is too big or too small. It’s your list after all.
- Look at your list and ask: “Should I feel guilty about this?” Hopefully, you’ll find that the answer is often, “No, I shouldn’t!”
- Finally, ask yourself, “what can I do to change it?” It might surprise you at the creative answers you come up with when getting things out on paper.
- Take that first step to ditch the guilt.
Guilt and fear go hand-in-hand, so when you let go of the guilt, you will find fear will diminish too! Go for it!
Please join me for a FREE webinar on this very topic next week Tuesday. Click here for more info.
I’d love to hear from you. Please let me know which one stands out to you, or if you have any other ways of letting go of mom-guilt. Let’s support one another.