Lifestyle

What’s the Deal with Mom Guilt (And What You Can Do About It)

mom guilt

If you’re a mother then I’m 100 percent certain you’ve experienced mom guilt. But girl, you’ve gotta take care of you, too!

Here’s how…

Don’t Feel Guilty For Practicing Self-Care

So many of us, especially us mommas, feel guilty for spending time and resources on self-care.

How do I know this? Because I’m guilty of the very same thing!

There are a lot of complex reasons for this within our society as well as because of our own personality traits.

BUT I think it’s time we start to buck the norm.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else says – we deserve to focus on and tend to our own needs. Matter of fact, it’s good for our little people and big people to see us take care of ourselves.

You’ve heard the expression and you know it’s true, too….

You can’t fill another’s cup if your own is empty.

Stop and think about that. Seriously, close your eyes for five seconds and visualize it.

Need help? Look at that sad ass cup. That’s what we’re dealing with when we don’t take care of ourselves.

Not a good look, right??

You’ve gotta fill your cup, momma. And I’m gonna help you.

Mom Guilt – We’ve all Got It

Let’s talk a little here about why you shouldn’t feel guilty for practicing self-care. If you’ve felt the guilt, you know that burning feeling of shame that often accompanies the guilt.

Let’s change that.

It’s Not Selfish

Whether you have a case of working mom or a stay at home guilt, they’re the same. I’ve done parenting both ways and trust me, the mom guilt is real no matter what.

But let’s reframe this a big.

First and foremost, taking time to care for yourself is not selfish in any way. It may be hard to get past the mindset that the needs of others are more important than your own, but stop for a moment.

Overcoming this mindset is super-duper important to allow yourself to meet your own needs.

Your needs are important too.

Care isn’t a zero-sum concept. When you care for yourself, it doesn’t have to mean you don’t care about others.

How about them apples???

It’s Necessary

Self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

It’s truly like the airplane air mask comparison. You have to ensure you can breathe before you can help those around you.

If you’re like me and you’ve caught yourself breathing short, shallow breaths with a feeling of panic while doing normal, non-stressful activities, then I’m talking to you friend.

If you’re tired, rundown and overwhelmed all the time, you absolutely cannot give your best self to others. You also can’t offer yourself the very best.

Remember that self-care isn’t selfish.

I 100 percent know that I am a much better person when I practice self care. I’m better for myself, for my family, for my community. It’s a fact.

It Sets a Good Example

When you’re a parent, investing in self-care is not only good for you, it sets a good example for your kids.

Think hard about this one…how will your kids discover how to take care of themselves if they haven’t seen the behaviors modeled?

You can impact your family big time, all by taking care of you.

Not only that, but taking the time to care for yourself can be inspiring or motivational for those around you. Think of the positive impact it can have on your mom friends and your family when they see you doing you and shining on.

It doesn’t matter what your friends are doing. You do you.

When more of us lead by examples of self-care, others may begin to change their minds about making time for themselves, too.

It Demands Respect

Friends, I can tell you my family wasn’t sure what to think when I started truly, deeply valuing myself and making myself a priority.

They didn’t actually tell me, but I think they were like, “who’s this lady and why is she behaving like this?”. Their looks said it all.

But think about it. How we treat ourselves sets a precedent for how you expect others to treat you.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Eleanor Roosevelt. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

When you demonstrate that you value yourself and that you find worth investing time in yourself, others will respond in kind.

Learning to set boundaries, and yes – sometimes that means telling people no – is good for your relationships.

It teaches others how you expect to be treated and makes it clear that you see yourself as a priority.

There’s no reason to feel guilty for that.

Let go of the mom guilt

It takes time to overcome a lifetime of ideas about what’s “right” and “wrong” with motherhood.

I don’t claim to have all the answers and I can honestly say, I bounce back and forth between both worlds of self care and self neglect.

But I do know that when I’m operating in my the world of self care, I function better for myself and my family.

Life makes more sense when I’m on that path. Hugs from afar.

P.S. My favorite, life changing book of the year is the Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey. It helped me understand how and why I think, feel, and act the way I do as well as others. P.S. I’m a seven…

Related article: 5 Simple Self Care Ideas for Moms

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