In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the top 6 ways to overcome working mom guilt.
First a quick update:
“How to say ‘No’ and set your boundaries”
Click to watch the video from the TV show Emotional Mojo where the show hosts and I reveal the ways to stand up for yourself and set your limits.
“Wanting more creates obsessions, anxiety and depression”
Click to read the article I wrote for EmotionalMojo.com about the pain, suffering and lack of fulfillment which occur when we always want more. I also offer the solution and tips about how to enjoy life right now and celebrate what you have.
Now, let’s talk about the top 6 ways to overcome working mom guilt.
On the TV show “Emotional Mojo”, fellow co-hosts, Jada Jackson, Michelle Yarn and Tara Gidus openly shared and revealed their guilt relating to motherhood and work.
Michelle expressed her fear that she will miss out on those unique moments or milestones as her child grows, particularly in the first year of her child’s life.
Tara expressed her guilt, saying that she simply doesn’t feel that she is enough – on any level – “never enough for my kids and never enough time even for myself…I’m giving to so much to everybody else, and it’s that never feeling enough; I feel like I’m not enough to my job, to my kids, to myself.”
Jada Jackson is divorced after ten years of marriage; she hasn’t yet had kids and says “I feel a lot of guilt because I chose my career over having kids and when it was time to have kids I got divorced, so it continues for me that I realize that I would have to start over if I want to have kids.” You can watch the video here.
Before offering the ways to overcome working-mommy-guilt, it is critical to understand the effect that guilt has and creates. Guilt is the feeling that one has done something wrong or is bad. When a person feels guilty, she will automatically find ways (even subconsciously) to punish herself. After all, what do we do with people we determine are guilty of doing something wrong? We punish them. Even if you do not openly punish yourself, you will feel that you are not allowed or not entitled to have fun or enjoy life.
In other words, unless you let go of the guilt, you will not be able to enjoy any of the rewards of your work or career. The guilt will rob you of the joy of life and your children.
You will also harm your children because they will sense, pick-up or copy your guilt; they will learn to be extremely self-critical and judgmental and they will become programmed to believe that life is driven by guilt and that one is not meant to enjoy life or its rewards.
Here are the top 6 tips to overcoming working mom guilt
1. Accept your emotions
Validate your emotions by identifying them and accepting them. Along with guilt, there will be regret for lost moments and opportunities; there may also be sadness. By allowing them, you can move through them and not stay stuck in them nor suffer from physical illness by trying to deny those emotions.
2. Avoid critical people who encourage guilt
There will always be people who do not agree with your choices and are instead, critical of your choices. Avoid them, and instead, surround yourself with people who support you and your choices. Also, accept help and support from others. Ask for help.
3. Focus on the rewards of your career/lifestyle
Write down the reasons you chose your career or job. How does it reward you? What are the mental and emotional benefits? How does it help you to evolve and develop? Which people have you met and which relationships have you created that are positively impacting your life as a result of your work and job? Focus on all of the rewards of your work.
4. Run errands with kids
Schedule time with the children and whenever possible, take them with you on errands. Children bond primarily by doing things with you but they also bond by being with you. Give them a chance to be by your side. Also, consider ways that you can adjust your schedule or take days off to attend those events you deem very special for your children. Use technology to your advantage. Use video chats to speak with your children when you are away from home or on the road.
5. Determine your values
Get clear about what your values really are. If your guilt is so overwhelming because your primary value is family, children or motherhood, then consider what changes you can make to reduce your time working or at the office. Can you take some unpaid leave to spend some critical time with your children? If you know that you have no choice but to work to support your children, then accept that you are already doing the right thing.
6. Forgive yourself – guilt leads to self-sabotage
If, as mentioned above, you really want to be a stay-at-home mom, but because of various circumstances you are forced to work, then forgive and accept yourself. You are still doing the best you can and you love your children sufficiently to provide and care for them.
Sit down and talk with your children and explain your choices. Remind them that you love and care for them, and, that they can always come to you and speak from their heart about what they feel. Allow them to be real to you – to express themselves, even if they do not agree with your choices or if you missed something that was important to them. In other words, validate them and their feelings.
Finally, remember that you are always the role model to your children. What are you modeling? Are you modeling joy, happiness, self-respect or are you modeling self-condemnation and criticism? If you want your children to be happy, excited about life and follow their passion, then ensure you model it. Lastly, make some time for yourself. You cannot give if you don’t have; ensure you have energy for yourself as well as for others.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.