Mom Guilt will hold you back from being the strong, inspiring mother and woman you truly are. To be a great mom you must love yourself. This is the first step to creating a life you and your family can love.
I had been on the hunt for a photography workshop for close to a year. It had to be perfect. I needed a fantastic location, an amazing group of inspiring women, and time for some much needed Rest + Recharging.
And then the day came, I had finally found it. The most amazing workshop hosted by not one but two photographers I am completely inspired by. The location just happened to be a gorgeous AirBnB hanging off the side of the infamous Amalfi Coast in Italy. Freaking Italy lady!
I knew this would do the trick and kick in my inspiration + motivation I had been lacking for my deepest passion, photography. So did I book it? Hell Yeah I booked it. And I was completely satisfied with myself, not to mention overwhelmingly excited for the next week.
Then The Mom Guilt Set In
All of a sudden I was envisioning my one year old looking for me in the morning, and that about broke my heart. After that the flood gates opened and my thoughts ran rampant. I was imagining my kids burning the house down and wondering how they would survive meals with their father cooking?!
Is this just me being a control freak or mom guilt? Maybe they are the same thing. Or maybe one leads to the other. Either way, an overwhelm of emotions came rushing and I started feeling completely undeserving of some grandiose trip for my own selfish desires.
But I stuck it out and worked through the drowning emotions. And when I was in a better mental state I made the clear and final decision. Damn right I was going to Italy, and Hell Yes I deserve it!
Then I thought about how so many mommas out there are doing the same thing. Putting their own needs, creativity, aspirations and dreams on the back burner because of Mom Guilt.
And if you are here, than I bet you too are in need of a good motivational kick in the pants about balancing motherhood and Finding Your Self! Good thing thats exactly what you are about to get.
Letting Go Of Mom Guilt
First things first momma. You are a great mother. By not only questioning your abilities, but also taking the time to care to read about how you can better yourself in this role, is proof of that. So let me say it again. You are a Great Mother.
Since you are here and taking the time to get some helpful tips on battling this ferocious beasts, let me go on and give them to you.
Figure out when Mom Guilt usually strikes
For me, I find that a few things spark the feelings of not being enough. And oddly, it is usually when I am doing too much. Taking care of all the babes, cooking, cleaning, working, caring for the husband, figuring out the perfect meals, planning all the activities is too much for anyone.
If you are overloading your days or being a perfectionist like me than take a step back. Figure out your limits. Because it will catch up and you will start doubting everything. Did I do this right? Should I have done that? Am I totally screwing this whole motherhood thing and my kids all up?!
Shut it! Don’t let yourself get to this point. Know your limits and ask for help. You don’t have to be all the things. In fact, you cannot be all the things. So cut that crap out.
Even if this means asking your husband to help with the dishes a few times a week or start enrolling the kids into getting the laundry together for you. My 3 year old is capable of this. Teach them the life skills young. It will save you sanity and set them up for self sufficiency. Win Win.
Another time I catch my thoughts being jerks is when I have been forsaking them.
That’s right. You need to pay attention to you to. Not just by putting on make-up or sneaking a shower. Those are crap ways of finding me time. You need to check in with yourself Mentally.
In the beginning for me that was hiding in the bathroom the second my husband came home for 5 minutes of peace and to be in a not touching zone. Oh how far I have come.
Okay, after thinking back, maybe sneaking a shower isn’t such a bad one. I have had many a mental convo in the shower. Taking a long walk is another great way to tune into yourself. But the best way to gain some clarity and get on track with yourself has got to be journaling.
I purposefully wake up at an obscenely early time to accomplish this one life changing feat. And that is Morning Pages.
Writing to yourself first thing in the morning with no judgement or worry of what to write will eventually bring you in tune with yourself. Here you will figure out what is really bothering you and what parts of you are locked up and want release. Which brings me to my biggest tip.
Find Your Passion and Live it.
Your children are not your passion. I promise.
But they may be the key in finding it if you haven’t already. I found my love of photography through my intense desire to document my growing children. And it blossomed into something so much bigger than I ever dreamt.
You Will Be A Better Mother By Taking Time To Build Time For Your Dreams
Squash any shame or guilt about taking the time to better yourself. Your children need to see that and it will give better quality family time also.
If you are lost in motherhood and needing help in finding and unlocking your inner desires you can start by asking yourself some deep questions.
These will work great to write in a journal and ponder over for a few days.
- How am I making choices based on “I should” rather than “I desire”?
- What would my friends and family say are my strengths? You can actually try just asking them this also!! Try asking your parents or someone close to you.
- If I was “living the dream” with nothing holding me back what would I be doing?
- Do people ask me for help in something particular often? If so how I can I develop something from this.
- What do I gravitate to most on social media. Is it a desire in me that I can bring out?
If you feel like you are drawn to be creative, I highly recommend reading The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.
By taking the time to find your self-identity you will reinforce your character. This is beneficial in not only your mental toughness, but also in showing your children the possibilities and strengths of living and working through goals, and finding their own dreams.
If you can tell yourself everyday that you are doing that, than it won’t be so bad to battle silly self doubts like, “Did I feed them enough veggies today?”
Hey BTW, You are A Great Mom
Remember to tell yourself this A. Lot. Remember you gave them life. Taught them to walk, to talk, and made them giggle when they were sad. You were there for them in the best and toughest parts of their lives. And That will be what they remember.
I hope you got some feels from this and are thinking about big ways to battle the onslaught of mom guilt. You can do it momma. I would love to know your biggest challenges as a momma and how you overcome them.