All mom’s feel guilt, the stakes are high and we want what is best for our children. We have set out to do what is right, best and will most benefit our precious ones. For many mom’s when we perceive ourselves not doing, acting nor being in line with this intention we feel guilt.
This is such a vicious cycle and what we are expecting of ourselves is impossible without burn out or exhaustion while at the same time if we don’t stay true to this high intention we feel guilt and often shame. None of this sounds very hopeful!
The reality is there is no winning in this current model and we mom’s need to a) identify that what we are doing is not working and never will b) create space for a new belief system and expectations about what we can give to our family c) take care of your own needs so that you can come back to your family happy and healthy.
Inevitably you will feel guilt especially as you are transition into new behaviors of self care and listening to your needs, the challenge for you is to lean into the guilt. That voice in your head that is saying you are being selfish and the knot in your stomach that is pulling you back to your pouting child. Yep that is the guilt and it will be there, your goal is override those thoughts and sensations with the absolute truth – if you do not take care of you then you can not take care of your children with the open heart and present state that you are longing for.
So the next time your child is crying, your partner just walked through the door, the dog still needs to be fed and you have 7 minutes to get to your yoga class, here are some tips to a) tell everyone you love them and get in the car b) over ride that guilt and go enjoy the class c) come back to your family healthy and happy ready to dive in to their needs.
- Breath: with one hand on heart and the other on your stomach take 3 belly breaths and remind yourself about the benefits of self care
- Have a quote or mantra: something like “I take care of me so I can take care of my family” or “I am teaching my children how to self care by doing this”
- Realize this is also for your family: take some time to yourself allows you to come back to your children with joy and a present state of mind, just being there to be there is not benefiting anyone.
- Trust that you are not as needed as you think you are: this gives your children, partner, grandparents, neighbours and opportunity to connect with each other in a way that fosters relationships outside of you.
- Love yourself too: neglecting yourself is having serious mental, emotional and physical costs. Caring for yourself is less about guilt in not being there for your children and more about necessity for your well being.