How To Free Yourself From Mom Guilt

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If you're a mother, this needs no explanation. (Do dads have dad-guilt?). 

Not only are you conditioned to put yourself last and everyone in your home first, social media creates a world where you feel scrutinized constantly for not doing enough, not doing it right, not measuring up, not keeping it together... 

The message is clear. 

Even though you've given up your body, your sleep, your free time, your patience, your career, and even given up your SNACKS for your children (little thieves), the world tells you it's not enough. 

"YOU are not enough"

Biggest lie ever. Somehow your kids are still doomed even though you're doing your absolute best? 

Mothers are SO hard on themselves. And you often know it, but it can feel like a runaway train that you don't know how to stop.

I don't know when it became a thing, but it's here and I've had enough. 

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When I was pregnant with my first child, I bought alllllll the books. 

If there was a book on how to birth a baby, raise a baby, get a baby to sleep, feed a baby exactly right, care for a baby, and help this baby learn how to be a decent human (preferably that didn't hate me), I had the book. 

And I read them all. 

And I was mad that my husband didn't. (Funny now. Not funny then!)

I was so hell-bent on not screwing this up. I was afraid to have kids in the first place.

What if I ended up like this or that? What if I made the same mistakes? What if I'm not a sound mother? What if I never sleep again? 

And then when the baby was here, I kept going with the books. Google and I were best friends. 

I can laugh at this now, but looking back it's very obvious to me now that I had no faith in myself. 

I wanted someone else to tell me how to do it instead of my own intuition. I hated not knowing an answer. I felt GUILTY if I made even one mistake (convinced I'd ruined my child forever). I let doctors reign over me and the kids, not questioning a speck. 

So you see? 

Even in the fear of making mistakes, we still make mistakes. 

Let me share with you a few "mom of the year" highlights (that I've previously judged myself for) that I've had with my firstborn: 

- Went to a Halloween party next door when he was three. The baby monitor AND our half-hour check ins did not reveal that he was awake and looking for us. Found him crying and shaking in our bed, terrified. Slept on our floor for the next year.

- Went to a baseball game and watched a pop-fly come right towards us and didn't move either one of us out of the way. The ball hit him square in the face. Emergency room. Broken nose. He currently still hates baseball. 

- Tried to please everyone else (manners, etiquette, expectations) instead of listening to my child's needs. Ended up forcing him into uncomfortable situations, thinking he'd get over it (as we were all forced to do). He responded with meltdowns since I ignored his first 10 answers to the contrary. 

 

This from the mother who was trying to do it all perfectly. 

You're not alone in this confusion and struggle. 

Which is why it's SO important that we talk about it because the anxiety, guilt, and stress you feel is actually unnecessary. 

I KNOW. 

You don't have to live like this. You don't have to tip-toe on eggshells around distant relatives because of their expectations. 

Fuck expectations. Fuck tradition. Fuck rules. 

Every time you give in to what other people want you to do, you give away your intuition, your peace of mind, your sanity, your family's well-being, and the ability to trust yourself. 

Mom-guilt comes from:

  • Comparing yourself.
  • Listening to bullshit about what you "should be" doing. 
  • Allowing others to tell you what to do. 
  • Berating yourself for not being perfect. 
  • Listening to what they think
  • Wondering if there's something "wrong" with you.
  • Deciding and buying into the idea that you're not good enough

 

I lived this way for 34 years. Most women never escape this feeling and end up empty their entire lives, always striving for someone's opinion and validation to tell them they're good enough. 

Guess what? 

The wait is over. 

Not only am I here to tell you that you're good enough, but I'm going to teach you how to free yourself from this Mom-Guilt forever. 

So that YOU start to believe that you're good enough. 

 

1. You are not a victim. 

You've been told that you are. But the truth is, you have every ability to control how you feel and react to anything around you. 

You can choose your responses. You can choose your actions. You can choose your behaviors and (WAIT FOR IT) You can change your mind at any fucking time without explanation! 

Freeing, yes? 

What if you didn't worry about her being mad at you for not showing up?

What if you didn't have to care what he thought?

What if you didn't have to waste any more precious energy stressing and judging yourself about how her kids are more well-behaved than yours (and she's better dressed and always put together)?

What if you didn't feel guilty anymore that you didn't have every answer for your child's struggles (because you knew you had the power to find them)? 

These are all victim behaviors. We do them without even realizing it. You don't have to buy into them. What's the worst that can happen if you just stopped caring about everyone else and ONLY focused on YOU? 

How would you be a better mom? 
How would you be nicer to yourself?
How much more relaxed would you feel? 

Journal on these and see what you learn about yourself. 

 

2. Guilt is a choice. 

No one likes this one, but it happens to be true. We decide to feel any feeling. No one makes us feel stupid, guilty, small, embarrassed, sad or happy. 

Think about it this way. When you tell your child to do something and he gets mad, did you make him mad? Or did he decide to be pissed off on his own because he just simply didn't want to do it? 

You are only responsible for YOUR feelings.

Which means everyone else is only responsible for theirs.

You can't make them feel anything they don't want to feel. (And that should free you up to stop worrying about other people's reactions.) Any anger or malice that comes your way is actually about that person dealing with their own shit, and not about you. 

We take on guilt as a basic idea that we've caused harm. But we don't let it go after we've apologized, done what we could to repair the situation, and anything else we can think of. We automatically think we're STILL causing other people to suffer, and in essence, we are unable to simply forgive ourselves and move on. 

You can choose to let it go. It doesn't have to eat you up inside.

How can you forgive yourself in one small way today? 
How can you start to take responsibility for your own feelings and reactions? 

Journal on these and see what you learn about yourself. 


3. Trust yourself. 

Much of the reason mothers act like victims and carry truck-loads of guilt is because we're plagued by low self-esteem and not knowing who we are. 

Remember me reading all of the books? 

No clue who I was. No trust in myself that I might have an inkling of instinct in there somewhere. 

We don't even give ourselves a chance. 

How would it look like to trust yourself?
What are you already doing in your life that is evidence that you know what to do?
(This could be as simple as - I feed my kids every day. Not every parent does that. #WINNING)

Journal on these and see what you learn about yourself. 

 

Your freedom from anxiety, stress, people-pleasing, and the shit-ton of guilt starts by answering these questions.

These burdensome feelings are not required. They're not a natural part of life. You don't have to carry them around like a badge of honor to prove that you're doing your damndest just to make it through the day. 

When you're NOT weighed down by this crap, you're free to do all the other stuff you keep waiting on to show up.

Enjoying your kids more.
Taking those trips you really want to go on. 
Less time with people you don't like.
Having a better relationship with your spouse (or having the time to enjoy a relationship at all)

 

Let me know how it goes and what you find out. 

 

If you'd like more help with this, I'm offering personal coaching calls to help you dive into specifically what's going on. Together we can shake these habits loose forever. Enough wasting time feeling like garbage. You deserve so much more. 

- 60 minutes / $97
- 90 minutes / $147

Email me to schedule a spot today. <3