Will I ever ditch ‘mom guilt’? Here’s what has worked so far
You love your kids, but if you’re constantly feeling as if you're not doing enough, you have "mom guilt" — and Coach Tish has some tips to help.
I absolutely adore and love my kids deeply, but loving them and having a full life and career can often feel like an internal tug of war. I’m constantly trying to reset my emotions and dodge the triggers that make me feel guilty for not loving them enough. I feel guilty when I pick them up from daycare and after-school care (they are 7 and 3) later than usual. Not enough vegetables on their plate? Guilty. My son has been on his iPad for too long this morning, so I can write this article (it’s spring break, God help us) — guilty. And this is when I’m physically here; when I mess around and go somewhere without them, it’s like a guilt bomb goes off inside.
Sure, some of it is my childhood trauma, but I think a lot of it is the pressure society puts on moms (I’m sure dads, too…but we’re talking about moms today, m’kay?) who have jobs outside of the home. Why do we feel guilty for having a life outside of them? Or when we are putting in extra hours at a job we enjoy? This has got to stop.
I’m asking these questions of myself while actively working through guilt every day (with the help of a therapist), and there are some things I’m doing to reset my emotions and kiss mom guilt goodbye for good. I hope they help you, too.
1) Be where my feet are: When my brain tries to tell me I’m not spending enough time with my kids, I lean into the time I do spend with them. I try to be present and listen to them those hours before and after school. From pointless talk about cars to doing homework and taking a bath, I try to be there physically and mentally. It’s about quality, not quantity here. Valuable time together, even if it’s not a lot, can go far for mom and kids.
2) Plan Ahead: My son’s kindergarten year caught me slipping. I wasn’t prepared for all the breaks and scheduled days off of school, and I went on a guilt trip every time it happened. I would see all the other moms plan dentist appointments and weekend getaways on President’s weekend while we were stuck in our normal “school routine” — but without the school! Now that he’s in first grade, I’m doing my best to plan ahead, so the time he is home and off school is valuable, fun, and family-oriented.
You love your kids; you probably put them higher on your list than you. You’re doing a good job, Mom. I have one more tip for you. Watch this week’s episode of “The Reset” to hear it.
Letisha Bereola is a life coach who helps ambitious women overcome burnout and reach their career goals, so they feel great at work and happy at home. She’s a former Emmy-nominated TV news anchor, Podcast host of AUDACITY, and a speaker. Learn more at www.coachtish.co.
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