Let’s talk about Mom Guilt
*edit- I’ve just realized I have generalised here. Dads feel guilty too! This article can apply to parents of all kinds
Yesterday I ran a poll on Instagram and when I asked if Moms are experiencing Mom Guilt DAILY, the answer was a whopping 88%!!! Are you part of the 88%?
The thing is… the other questions showed just why this might be!
- Most kids are still at home as many schools haven’t opened yet!
- Most moms are working and looking after the kids!
- Most of them said that their parenting challenges have been magnified by the pandemic.
Which makes perfect sense! Sounds like a recipe for guilt! How can you meet everyone’s needs with everything that’s going on around us?
Let’s look at what guilt is?
Guilt is the feeling of not being, doing or saying enough or the “right” thing.
But every emotion has a function! I believe that guilt’s purpose is to motivate change. But we can’t make changes if we don’t understand the belief behind our guilt. Our beliefs drive our emotions and where do we get these beliefs from that we’re not good enough? (Childhood, other moms, social media?)
The social media world we live in paints a Pinterest-Perfect-Picture where you can think you are the only mom NOT doing it all right. Guess what??? We’re all in the same boat! This is the first pandemic we’ve ever lived through… there’s no time for perfect families. No one is doing it right.
BUT the most empowering thing is… no one can control your emotions or beliefs. You are in the driving seat! You have the power to make the changes! (No matter what others say or do.)
So what CAN you do about Mom Guilt?
- Acknowledge that the guilt is there. “I feel guilty because…” Giving yourself permission to feel your feelings totally and completely is a great way to work with them and not against them.
- Figure out WHY you’re feeling guilty. Guilt stems from a place of lack. A place of ‘not enough’. Write down what ‘enough’ looks like for you. List all the things your brain is telling you you SHOULD be doing.
- Are you being realistic? Look through the list and next to each one write whether this is a realistic expectation to set for yourself or not.
- What is a more realistic goal? Take control! Set your own expectations! This can give you a chance to see where you can make changes or make shifts in your expectations of yourself! Sometimes guilt can be a motivator for change… but only if we’re willing to not sit in it and rather move through it!
- Focus on the positives! When we only look for lack… we see more lack! Make a list of everything you DO do!!! You may surprise yourself when you see how much you’re already doing. Congratulate yourself for the hard work you are putting in! Remember you are doing the best you can with the tools you have at the moment!Ask for support where possible, focus on what you can control and let go of the rest, connect with friends and family who make you feel good AND unfollow and hide accounts on social media that make you feel less or unworthy!You are your children’s Mom for a reason! They don’t want a perfect Mom… they just want YOU. And in their eyes you are perfect.
Sending loads of love and positive parenting vibes
Clare Emms is a mom of two and a Parent Coach. She is a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator. She has a BEd (ECD and Foundation Phase Education) as well as an Honours degree (Psychoeducational Support). She is the founder of Ripple Effect Parenting, where her intention is to empower parents and teachers and allow them to spread positivity and growth to children and others and so create a ‘ripple effect’.
Her passions include Positive Discipline, Parent Coaching, Child Development, Teaching, Protective Behaviours, Mindfulness, Psychology, NLP as well as working with the Inner Child. She facilitates Parenting Workshops, Teacher Workshops and Mindful Mom Retreats as well as her Reparenting course helping you to revisit beliefs and habits that may be holding you back.