Its 5am, I’m lying in bed, eyes full of tears. I look over at my newborn baby who is sleeping right beside me and think to myself, “you don’t deserve to be his mom.”
I feel helpless and consumed with guilt.
My son was born 6 weeks early. He spent the first 3 weeks of his life in the hospital. Now as if dealing with his premature delivery wasn’t hard enough, I wasn’t able to breastfeed. And at the same time, I was itching to get back to work.
I was an all-around mess, in my mind.
“What mother itches to get back to work?”, I thought. I love my son dearly but I also love what I do. It makes me feel alive and gives me purpose.
I spent the first few weeks of my newborn’s life at home feeling guilty about everything.
And then one day, while listening to a podcast something hit me – I had the power to make choices.
I could choose to continue feeling sorry for myself or I could get up and do something about it.
And so, I did something about it. I made a vow to stop self-sabotaging, to stop feeling guilty, and to make some clear cut decisions from that point forward.
I haven’t looked back, and since then I’ve created 3 hacks to help moms pivot out of guilt.
1. Get comfortable being imperfect
Have you ever felt “I am not playing enough with my kids,” or “I am not doing enough for their development, or “If I exercise, I’ll be taking time away from them?”
I get it. I’ve felt that way too.
What I’ve realized through this process of constant guilt is that, I am not perfect. And that is ok – I accept it. Or at least I try my best to.
Once you’ve accepted that you’re not perfect you can move on to the more important business of loving your kids as an imperfect mom. You can replace guilt with happiness.
The more time you spend feeling guilty, the more time you’ll take away from being fully present with your kids.
Trust yourself and be proud of the decisions you make because you know you’ve made them for a reason and although it may not always be the perfect option, it’s the best you can do at that moment.
2) Host a strategy session with yourself
This is one of my favorite things to do. Typically a strategy session is a dedicated time set aside for planning a particular course of action.
Sit down with a pen and paper, write out what you’re feeling guilty about; why you’re feeling that way, what’s the alternative, and how you can get there.
So in my case, I wanted to start working again almost immediately after bringing my son home from the hospital. But I knew I had very limited time to dedicate to it.
So during my very own personal strategy session:
· I decided to hire someone who I can delegate tasks to
· Made a pros and cons list on what 1-2 areas I should focus on to grow my business
· Set up an online marketing system to generate leads and sales on demand
· And got crystal clear on my objective for the next 3 months
The result? I felt more in control of my life and decisions. It allowed me to work through the mental haze that caused me to feel guilty about my desire to work immediately.
It helped me regain momentum in my business while also giving my son the attention he deserves.
You can apply this to any area of your life; career, fitness, family, friends, etc.
The point of this exercise is to create a game plan on how you’re going to overcome the roadblock that’s causing your guilt or unhappiness.
3) Go on a social-media cleanse
As an introvert, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with social media.
I don’t like putting my entire life on the “gram”, and frankly I’m sick and tired of seeing everyone portray such perfect lives.
It makes you start comparing yourself to other moms and it sucks!
So, the solution? Get off it. Give yourself a break for a while.
Most people on social media won’t share the good, bad, and ugly – they only share the glossier side of life. They’ll brag about their child’s early milestones but not when something has gone wrong.
And so we naturally start comparing our kid and life, and think “we must be doing something wrong.”
Sometimes all it takes to remove the guilt from our lives and be proud of our life decisions is to black out the noise that’s causing unnecessary guilt and stress.
It’s important to address your feelings of guilt because that is the only way you’ll be able to understand the root cause of those feelings and tackle them head on.
As an ambitious mom, whether you’re ambitious to be the best you can be in your career, family, fitness, or anything else, you may need to make short term sacrifices in some areas.
But the great part is that you have the power to make choices and change those choices whenever you desire. This gives you more control of your life and empowers you to make decisions you’re proud of.