You work a corporate job and feel that you aren’t there enough for your children.
You have your own interests and hobbies that you’d love to do again, but feel you should spend all of your time devoted to your family.
You would love to take a weekend to yourself with complete silence – other than catching up on your favorite shows, but know that’s not realistic.
Sometimes you feel that you’re just not a good enough mom.
If you find yourself nodding your head to any of these – or maybe all of them, know that you are not the first to feel that you are inadequate as a mom.
However, we are here to talk through your feelings and provide insight into new perspective on the journey of parenthood.
Here are our top 6 tips on letting go of mom guilt and finding your sense of self in the process:
1. Set an Example for Your Kids
It’s important for your children to see you as an example of what they should strive for themselves. And that can mean having a good sense of who you are, what you need to do for yourself, and how you make your own happiness.
Let them see that you are independent. That you have a job, a hobby, friends, etc. and that those things are important to you.
Most crucial is that children understand that your happiness is not dependent on them and their mood.
2. Let Go of the Responsibility to Rescue.
As moms, we can easily feel guilty if our children get hurt physically or emotionally. We’re supposed to protect them!
But if your responsibility is to lead by example, then keep in mind the diﬀerence between needing to rescue your children rather than providing guidance.
Children will make mistakes and that can be healthy. As long as it is not detrimental to their well-being, it can be helpful for a child to make a choice on his or her own and then experience the eﬀect (or consequence) of their choice.
Acknowledge their pain, empathize with them, and discuss what was learned and how it can be dealt with next time.
3. Be Mindful of Expectations.
Does it feel like every other child is excelling in school, sports, etc. and yours just wants to draw stick figures?
Guilt can ravish us when we think we aren’t providing our children with the finest schools, the most intense sports groups, and the best opportunities.
We all want our children to succeed, but be mindful of the expectations you put on yourself and your children in the process.
And you never know…those stick figures may just turn into fine art twenty years down the line!
4. Be Okay with Making Mistakes.
This goes for you AND your children!
Yes, you are probably going to screw up.
You may think it’s okay to eat a week old leftover in the fridge, but then find your kids with an upset stomach afterwards. You may push them too hard and end up with cranky, overly tired little ones. You may say “yes” to a movie you thought was okay to watch only to be woken up with the kids having nightmares all night long.
That’s how we learn, too.
By being vulnerable with your kids and letting them know that you can make a mistake and learn from it can help them acknowledge the same about themselves.
Too high of expectations on ourselves and our children can lead to anxiety and mental illness. We aren’t perfect – but showing that to them can be one of the most perfect things we do!
5. Give Yourself a Healthy Dose of Selfishness.
You’ve probably heard that you can’t pour from an empty cup, but are you taking it seriously when it comes to parenting?
To give freely and unconditionally, we need to make sure we take care of ourselves first. That means filling our cup!
Remember that weekend away you secretly thought about? Or that hobby you miss? Maybe it’s just a binge-watching day on Netflix? Give it to yourself!
We know that you may think you have to give everything you have to your family, but you can easily find yourself exhausted, empty, and resentful when you give, give, give and don’t receive enough back to refill your cup.
So don’t delay, start now.
6. Most Importantly – Tell Them This.
What’s the most important thing to do as a mom?
Let your kids know they are loved and wanted. Period.
Let go of feeling inadequate because they aren’t the best at something, that you may not get to spend as much time with them as you’d like, or that maybe dinners aren’t always homemade.
Just ensure they know you love them and want them.
Being a mom is tough – mentally and physically. And even tougher is pretending that everything is okay when inside you just feel like crying.
You don’t have to pretend any longer.
If you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Parker, Centennial, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the Greater Denver Metro area and are feeling that motherhood has taken away your sense of self and has brought on anxiety and guilt, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves.
Our oﬃce has helped many moms process guilt in a natural and therapeutic way while helping them gain a sense of self and happiness.
Contact us now and let’s get you loving yourself as a mom – there’s nothing to feel guilty about!
Looking for more support right now? Check out our Peaceful Mom Series by clicking here.