I used to feel guilty about doing any little sort of thing for myself – from getting a haircut, to working out, to buying a new purse, to watching Netflix while my husband puts the kids to bed, to going out for a girl's night. Actually, I still sometimes feel guilt for these things but I'm getting better and better at taking care of myself and knowing it's okay to put me first. In this post, I share how to stop the mom guilt and why we need to.
Affirmations Can Be Powerful
Before we go any further, make sure you check out my post Affirmations for Moms to learn why affirmations work and how to use them effectively. I dramatically changed the way I think, and therefore, my attitudes, emotions, mental and spiritual health when I started using affirmations in 2014. I can look back now and see how much I lived in fear and in stress before I began to change the way I think.
The affirmation we are going to use is:
I give myself permission to spend time, money and attention on myself.
Say the Affirmation Aloud
The key with affirmations is that use them to rewire our brains and change our habitual thoughts so we can begin to believe in what’s possible and what COULD be true. Say it aloud anytime you feel a guilt thought pop up – use the affirmation to replace that thought with what you WANT to happen. This is how you begin to change the habitual thinking in your life that isn't helping you feel better or get to your goals.
How to Use the Affirmation
Print it out from my printable set here on Etsy, or write/type it on a piece of paper and tape it up in the spots around your house and in your car where you will see it daily! This keeps the truth before you – reminding you of what’s possible and what could be true for you. It then activates your brain, or motivates your brain, to come up with a plan to make it happen. You’ll find you’ll get creative ideas to make that affirmation come true!
My Story – Kids Birthdays
So my son, Griffin's, birthday is today and I was thinking that to be a great mom, I “should” show up and have lunch with him at school! However, last week as winter break and I took a week off of work and really didn't want to lose more of my little working time (I work 3 days a week) to do lunch with him. So I told myself that it's totally okay – we had a big, fun party for him this past weekend, he opened presents this morning before school, and I bought him an ice cream cake, and I'm making his favorite dinner tonight – spaghetti. I AM DOING MORE THAN ENOUGH! What a great day for him! It's okay that I'm not doing more.
This is just one tiny example of how I was “shoulding” on myself. I know I'm not even fully aware of how much I actually doing it all throughout the day! How about you? What do you make yourself feel guilt about as a mom?
1 – Realize that Spending Time Away Won't Harm Your Kids
You are your own person with your own identity, desires, goals, talents and dreams that sometimes include your family and sometimes they don't. It's okay for you to have your own life, even if it sometimes takes you away from your kids and family.
Whether you work, or go on a girls trip, or leave for an afternoon to go get a pedicure, or get a haircut, or have a babysitter over so you can have some time to yourself, it's okay to spend time away from your kids and it's healthy if it's what you need.
2 – Realize Your Cup Needs to be Full First
Always remember that pouring into yourself first is how you show up as a your best self as a mom. I've said it many times before but it's always worth repeating – you can't pour from an empty cup. A depleted, unhappy mom is not what our kids or spouses need. They (and we) need a thriving and content mom who is enjoying her life. Do whatever you need to do to get there! Check out these blog posts for more help:
3 – Realize The Perfect Mom Doesn't Exist
You can guarantee that you will make mistakes, and yes, some of those mistakes might harm your child's self worth, esteem, increase their anxiety and put them in a therapist's chair one day. But the truth is – you are always doing the best you can with the knowledge, wisdom, resources, and health you currently have. That is all you can do!
The perfect looking mom images that come from Hollywood and social media are not even real. Those moms still sit at home with messy hair, no deodorant on, stinky breath and are wearing yoga pants. They just don't show it on social media! Realize that what you see online is on the highlight reel of someone else's life.
Read more about not being perfect in this post – Why It's Okay to Stop Trying to Be a Super Mom.
Channel the Guilt into Affirmations and/or Prayers!
It can be hard to cut out a habit, and worrying about our kids and thinking about what a bad job we think we're doing can easily become unhelpful habits.
I've found when it comes to changing habits that replacing it with something new helps me to change it more easily. So when you have a worrisome or guilty thought pop up, remind yourself of today's affirmation – “I give myself permission to spend time, money and attention on myself.”
Mom Guilt Creed:
- I won't be so hard on myself and will give myself permission to mess up, not be perfect, and make mistakes.
- I won't second-guess my decisions and will trust my intuition, which is my best resource in guiding me always.
- I don't owe anyone an explanation or have to explain my decisions to others
- I'll learn to care more about what I think than what I think others are thinking.
- I won't look to social media to be my bar for how to be as a mom. I will trust my own intuition instead.
Affirmations Album for Moms and Kids
If you combine the affirmation cards with my affirmations album, you’ll really see transformation in your life! Check out my album here.