So, what is ‘mum guilt’?
Why do you get it?
More importantly, what can you do about it?
Well, motherhood as you well know is a complex beast with a tangled web of emotions.
There is no ‘one size fits all', and you are learning every day and doing the best you can in any given moment.
It’s time to take the pressure off lovely.
You're doing great just as you are.
Often, we hold such high expectations on how we ‘should’ be, or who we ‘should’ be.
We have an assumption of what life will be like after the baby is born, what our days will look like, how we will feel, think, function.
So when our world is turned upside down and shaken up, (to varying degrees), we then feel like we are failing for not meeting these often-unrealistic expectations of self.
I honestly thought that after I had my kid that my life would return to ‘normal’, that I, would be the same ‘ME’, but with a child.
Er….. hello! Not quite. Not for me anyway. And I am glad about it too!
I’ll be honest, it can take real effort and awareness to view ourselves with compassion and loving-kindness in those tired, often overstretched days.
It’s no wonder really as our brains are, unfortunately, hardwired to steer towards the negative side of life. Think caveman survival and protection.
So it’s up to us to change this and rise up as the strong, empowered, women we are and treat ourselves with the loving respect we deserve. Not negative self-talk, fear, and guilt.
The language you use is insanely powerful and you have the power to rewire how you think and behave. You have the power to take control and make different choices.
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Here are three tips for banishing/managing mum guilt.
- Speak to yourself like you would your best friend. Think about what you would say to them? How would you advise them? What would you suggest they do? This is your opportunity to bring your awareness within and meet it with compassion and love.
- Write an ‘I've totally nailed it today’ list at the end of each day to celebrate your wins. This will boost your confidence, affirm, and confirm you’re positive actions, and help you to stay motivated through the release of reward chemicals in your brain – dopamine. Write down everything you feel happy about, big, or small. Could be that you had a shower alone or sent that email. Or perhaps you managed to book that mini-break, do yoga, or make a dinner that your kid loved – and ate!
It’s time to move away from spending your time or energy ruminating or feeling bad for the things you didn't do or that you felt you got wrong. This negative reflection will prevent you from moving forward.
Instead, reward yourself for all the great stuff you do all the time! You are learning every single day, and these ‘failings’ you have are in fact lessons, that, if you choose to, you can grow and evolve from.
- Create a positive affirmations list - Use these or choose your own, make sure they resonate and are meaningful to YOU.
- “I am worthy”.
- “I am deserving of good things”.
- “I am fully in control of my mental health and wellbeing”.
- “I am open to opportunities that come my way and I embrace them fully”.
- “I am a great mother, and I always do my best”.
- “I am able to confidently make good decisions”.
- “I see you, guilt, and I face you with love and compassion. But I no longer need you, so I choose to let you go now!”
By using affirmations, you can rewire your brain and change the patterns of your thoughts and behaviours with regular practice.
You have all the power you need inside you to make these changes happen and I know you can easily do this. By using positive language, you are telling your brain how you want to feel, allowing for new neurological pathways to form which then reframe your thoughts.
You get to decide how you want to be.
So, be more YOU.
Love yourself a little more every day.