We often feel like we are always expected to be perfect moms. This means when we drop one of the many balls we are juggling, leading to mom guilt.
We need to remember that guilt is inherently tied to empathy. Feeling guilty means we have deep compassion for all those around us.
Finding ways to overcome guilt does not mean we are not loving or kind mothers. Rather than feeling stuck, we can use the power of compassion to learn how to balance our work and family commitments better.
Try Breathing Exercises
Unintentional thoughts are typically the source of mom guilt. Whenever we feel a wave of guilt come over us, it's time to take a step back and breathe deeply. By taking a moment to become aware of our thoughts and feelings through mindful breathing, we can move forward with clarity. Thanks to this, we can pinpoint the origin of our guilt and decrease our stress levels.
Once we know where our guilt is coming from, we can act. For example, if we can't be there in person for our child's recital, we could see if another parent would be willing to film it. This would enable us to watch it later with our child.
Reframe Negative Thoughts About Mom Guilt
Questioning the validity of our negative beliefs can be a great way to overturn them. Most of us find that, when we look closely at these thought patterns, they are not based in reality. By reframing how we think about our circumstances and questioning what it is telling us, we can cultivate an attitude rooted in optimism rather than pessimism.
Instead of feeling like a failure because we forgot something for our child's class, we can remember all the times we have remembered. Forgetting once or twice does not make us bad mothers.
The first step in letting go of guilt is to forgive ourselves for our choices and circumstances. It is easy for guilt to turn into shame.
Being a working mom is both wonderful and challenging. To forgive ourselves, it is paramount that we remember the reasons behind our choices. We all are doing our best with the knowledge and resources we have.
Immerse Ourselves in an Atmosphere of Encouragement
As mothers, we can often feel judged or criticized by those around us which evokes feelings of guilt and shame. If the individuals around you are being critical or negative about your parenting decisions, it may be best to limit contact with them in order to preserve your peace of mind.
If we’re feeling overwhelmed by our struggles and the guilt that comes with them, it may be time to enlist the help of a therapist or coach. They can provide guidance on how to deal with burnout in a healthy manner. Dealing with the underlying issue can help us let go of our guilt.
Revisit Our Values
Getting clear on our beliefs and priorities, and living in line with them, is one of the most grounding activities we can do. For example, if family time is at the top of our list, we can relieve guilt by consciously finding ways to spend more time with our family. This would mean creating clear limits in other aspects of our lives.
In addition, we continually need to examine and update our family values statement to ensure we are still in line with our values.
Ask for Help
Asking for help is one of the most difficult things for many of us women to do. Instead of seeking assistance, we may make our stress and guilt worse by attempting to handle everything ourselves, only to discover it is simply impossible. It takes practice to approach others for help, but once we take a vulnerable step in doing so, others around us will follow suit.
Contact neighbors, personal friends, parents of our children's friends, our own parents, in-laws, the school's aftercare program, or carpool parents. Before you know it, no one feels guilty about asking for help, and it becomes a mutually beneficial relationship.
Be “Good Enough”
We must lower the bar that we hold ourselves to. We will never be the picture-perfect mom who can do it all. Rather than adding to our stress, we should remember the fundamentals.
We need to recognize that when it comes to raising our children, being “good enough” often is all we have to do to be successful.
Unfollow Those That Bring Us Down
Watching other people vacation, share family photos, or promote their latest offer on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can bring us to tears. The time we spend scrolling through social media should be spent uplifting ourselves.
We should unfollow groups or people whose posts routinely make us unhappy.
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