When you decide you want to be more than a mom, it’s pretty much a given that mom guilt will show up. And it’s just as likely that it will stick around for the long haul because mom guilt is nothing if not persistent.
It will show up the moment you decide to prioritize yourself by pursuing your passions.
It will show up whenever you explore opportunities to find fulfillment outside of motherhood.
It will show up when you carve out an hour on Sunday morning to brainstorm business ideas instead of spending that time with your kids.
It will show up when you think about investing in yourself instead of using that money to buy something for your children.
And on and on.
It’s easy to think that mom guilt itself is the problem – that guilt is what prevents you from taking action to define yourself outside of motherhood.
But guilt is only a problem if you let it steal your dreams.
I think we can all agree that guilt doesn’t feel good. But the real problem is how we react to that guilt when it shows up. And if you’re like most moms, you react by doing everything you can to avoid feeling guilt again.
But when you run from guilt and avoid situations that cause guilt, it comes at a cost. And that cost is that you’re missing opportunities to define yourself outside of motherhood.
So what’s the alternative?
You have to STOP fearing guilt. You have to stop trying to run from it and you have to stop trying to avoid it entirely. Instead, you need to learn to accept it. Because mom guilt is a completely normal part of motherhood and the more you ignore it and avoid it, the worse it gets.
Once you realize that, you can acknowledge mom guilt whenever it shows up. You can even invite it to stay awhile. You can notice where you feel guilt physically in your body. (Does it cause tension in your shoulders? Form a pit in your stomach?) And you can ask yourself Is feeling guilt really so bad or is this something I can handle?
Try this and you'll discover that when you bring more awareness to your relationship with guilt, you’ll find out you can actually live with it.
And when you do that, you'll stop letting it steal your dreams.
P.S. If dealing with mom guilt has been an ongoing challenge for you, I'd love to talk to you about how to manage it on a FREE 30-minute coaching call.