Grace Over Guilt

Mom Guilt. It’s a thing. It can be overwhelming at times.  With our plates so full that the chickpeas roll on the floor, let’s give ourselves grace.

I’ve been a perfectionist since I was a kid. I had my room just so and I’d rearrange my furniture on the regular. (Who’s got time for that now?!)  Many of us struggle with perfectionistic tendencies in some form or another. We hold ourselves to impossible standards because of the perceived success of others. It may look like they have it all together, but we don’t know the full story.

The only comparison that matters is between you and you. And even then, allow for grace. Allow for gentleness and kindness. It’s not a completion. It’s a moment by moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires, and goals.

We’re doing our best and sometimes we feel like we’re doing ok and other times we feel like worst mom of the year. To help manage the various feelings of guilt, I’ll go through some examples of mom-guilt moments and how to handle them.

Put the Brakes on These Guilt Trips

  • Taking Time for Yourself

Before I had kids, I loved daily meditation, yoga, and reading. It felt so good!

Now that I raise two girls and run a business, time is sparse. When I leave them at daycare at the co-working space or with my sister-in-law, sometimes I feel guilty. I want to spend more time with them, but things need to get done and I need some “me time.” We all do.

My girls look up to me. If I don’t make time for work or self-care, they’re learning to not be responsible for their own well-being. That’s not OK. When head to yoga, I remind myself that after savasana, I’ll be calmer, which has a calming effect on my family. In fact, when I’m a moody-mama, my husband will say, “honey, have you been to a yoga class lately? I think you need to go to yoga.” He knows that I’m a better mama after I’ve been on my mat. Even still, knowing that doesn’t always take the mom-guilt away. That’s where more grace comes in…

Give yourself grace.

  • Not Feeding Your Kids Healthy Food

THIS is tough. I know because I’m a Health Coach. Sugary cereal isn’t in our pantry. If we travel and the hotel only offers Frosted Flakes, oh well. All the good food choices I make for them outweigh this one meal. Next time, I can bring a healthier alternative in my purse.

Sometimes work is so demanding, ordering pizza is the best thing you can get on the table. It may not be dairy or gluten free. It’s OK, you’ll make a better choice next time.

As beautiful as breastfeeding sounds, it’s not for everyone. If you believe it’s the healthiest option for your kids, but now you have to feed them formula. It’s OK! Allow yourself to feel sad, accept it, know that you’re doing your best.

Give yourself grace.

  • Not Spending Enough Time with Your Kids

My Mom friends talk about this all the time. We want to spend as much time with our kids, so they grow into great humans. Sometimes it’s OK to schedule a night out. Guess what? You’re human, too! You deserve to do all the things you enjoyed before you had kids. It just takes some planning to make it happen.

When your kids are older, tell them why you’re making time for things that are important to you. It opens the conversation about so many things. Time management. Self-respect. Self-empowerment. Boundaries. Be the reason they make themselves #1.

Give yourself grace.

  • Not Doing it Right

What does this even mean? There is no right or wrong – that’s our perception of how we think we should behave.

Guess what? No one is keeping score. Our parents didn’t have it all right. The worst thing we can do is feel GUILTY over living our lives.

Give yourself grace.

Mom Guilt is like PMS. We all get it sometimes. If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend 5 minutes stressing about it.

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