Mom guilt, it’s a real thing: Here Are 3 Ways To Help Overcome Guilt
Why is mom guilt even a thing?
We live in a society that is grossly obsessed with perfection. Perfect body, perfect hair, perfect career path, perfect kids – and most of all – perfect women. Women face extraordinary pressure to maintain all of the above and more….well….perfectly. This obsession with perfection isn’t conducive to trying to banish mom guilt, but rather, it perpetuates it.
The delightful kicker here is that despite society’s generalized idea of perfection, there are also endless double-standards and conflicting ideals that make it even harder for moms to live-up to everyone’s expectations of how they raise their children.
Expectations cause pressure. Pressure creates misalignment. Misalignment results in guilt.
Calling out the bullshit.
I’m calling out these impossible standards right here and now, and I invite you to kick their ass to the curb with me. Unrealistic and decidedly boring expectations of ‘perfection’ are just one more way society is set up to keep you feeling small.
First things first: You are not just a mom, or a wife, or an employee or a business owner. You are an extraordinary Being with purpose. Those other things are labels to describe your physical circumstances. They do not represent the essence of your soul. They aren’t YOU.
By being connected to your inner-self, you truly know yourself and the expectations of others begin to slide off you, reducing the feeling of pressure. As a mother, you can then start to make decisions for your kids and go through your day based on your true Being. This puts you closer to or in the space of alignment. Guilt does not exist within the alignment.
How common is mom guilt?
There’s a hella lotta guilty moms out there.
And guess what?? There are loads of ways that regular mom guilt can be supersized. Yayyyy…
For example, single moms have extremely high rates of guilt. MAD props to you women – I don’t know how the eff you guys do it. I sometimes experience huge “I’m gonna lose it” stress when my husband leaves for over 24 hours at the firehouse. If that can get rough for me, I can’t imagine it day-in, day-out.
Let’s not forget that shaming is still a real thing that exists for stay at home moms, which substantially increases feelings of guilt. Guilt over not contributing to household income and buying into the judgments of others that they somehow “have it easier” than working moms adds to feeling ‘not enough’.
On the other hand, working moms are plagued with guilt, too. See, there’s extra guilt for everybody! No mom left behind! Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. It seems no matter what you do, it’s not good enough for anyone.
The prognosis for relieving mom guilt is bad here, I know. But I promise you, Linda, there is a way out of the shitty guilt spiral that society thrusts in your face at every turn.
How To Banish Mom Guilt.
As I’ve talked about before, self-love and honoring yourself comes from choosing yourself first. If you want to get off the mom guilt-train, you need to learn to love yourself from the inside and put that into practice especially as a mom.
When you get deep into self-love, you connect with your truest, highest version of yourself and you become confident in the knowledge that you are enough.
“FFS, Danielle. I’m a mom. How the hell am I supposed to get all deep and self-lovey while dealing with a screaming toddler and baby barf all day long?”
I’m glad you asked, Linda – I’ve got you covered.
- Practice self-compassion like your life depends on it (it kinda does).
This literally takes no extra time – it takes discipline. Self-compassion is described as the capacity to be kind and accepting toward yourself, and willing to forgive your fumbles and imperfections. You can achieve this by changing your internal dialogue as you go about your day.
From: “I am a total shit for yelling at him so much today.”
To: “I know that’s not my normal. I did the best I could on a monumentally hard day.”
From: “I’m failing. I can’t keep up with all this. I SUCK at momming.”
To: “Today was tough. No wonder, I am running on 3 hours of sleep.”
- Doing something just for YOU.
As moms, there is a lot of pressure and guilt associated with whether we should do things for ourselves or not – because ya know Aunt Barbra has a big-ass mouth and will say you’re selfish if you take a weekend away for yourself.
Aunt Barbara be damned, be an amazing role model to your kids anyway by choosing yourself first sometimes and not being your own afterthought. Teach your daughter that society has created some major stigmas on mommas and show her how you’re rewriting those stories for yourself – and for her.
- Don’t be shy to ask for help.
Need a hand? Cue the pride factor!!
Asking for help: It’s. So. Hard.
Look, I get it. We have 4367 things to do in a day as mothers, but we must remember how important it is to have help bringing that number down. Now, don’t going asking for support from Aunt Barbara – or even your own mother – if you know it’s going to come with a side order of shame-bolstering judgments on your parenting style.
Seek support from friends and family who you know will help you without the side-eye. If you aren’t blessed with that currently in your life, find ways to connect to other mothers in community groups, join mom meet-ups or hire out help.
Even 2 hours of help a week can really make a difference. It’s not easy to build a village if you don’t already have one in place, but it’s worth it and necessary.
Be the best version of yourself so you can be the best version of mom to them.