We’ve all been there.
I’ve been there more than my fair share.
Part of what drives me as a mother is making sure I am 100 percent always there for my daughters. I never want them to think that I’ve chosen someone else more important than they are in my life.
But there are jobs. And careers. And meetings. And hobbies. And friends. And … and … and life.
Ah, yes, motherhood guilt.
So I was writing up a totally different post when I found myself writing a list of all the things we really should forgive ourselves for right now that leave us with that feeling of motherhood guilt. All those things that keep piling layer upon layer of guilt on top of each other.
So, we’re letting go of guilt today.
I’ve been saying a lot recently that our work as Abundant Mamas is all about letting go. It’s our life’s work. We are constantly having to work harder at this skill. Helping women do just this in our group coaching program IS my biggest passion.
Guilt is one of those EASY things we can let go … well, at least some kinds of guilt.
This post is all about helping you release some motherhood guilt over the common things that unfold in your life raising a family: Like that time you …
Whether it’s long and tedious or sacred and traditional, seeing our little ones drift off to sleep with an I love you, Mommy is often the best part of the day. Not because the rest wasn’t good but because those moments are always the most precious, the ones when suddenly everything that went wrong is done and over and complete and we are back to being ourselves, stripped bare and naked of nothing but love. You went where you needed to go. You did what you had to do. There will be more bedtimes. Let it go. Forgive.
We’re going to assume you don’t yell 24/7. We’re going to assume you tried your absolute best to take a different route. Let’s assume you were under pressure … be it internal, time or emotional. Let’s assume it was just a bad moment, a bad decision. And let’s assume most of the time your heart is in the place of love because you wouldn’t be here on this website in this community if love wasn’t totally beaming from your being. Let’s assume you’re trying to yell less. So, assuming all of that … no guilt needed. Let it go, Mama. Forgive.
Asked to be alone
For some of us, being alone to think and dream and hear the sound of our own breathing is as essential as water and food. It’s how we cope with the hardest of moments in motherhood. Taking time to be alone, even if it’s just 10 minutes hiding in the bathroom, is not anything to fret over. Let it go. Forgive.
Cooked dinner instead of playing
Our only job as parents is to love our kids and keep them healthy and breathing. This means they need to eat. This means they need food. This means unless the cooking fairy lives at your house you will need to make dinner. And as far as I can tell no dinner hour ever came at the most convenient time in any household on earth. Kid needs to eat. Mama needs to eat. Let it go. Forgive.
Used TV to get things done
I believe that in order to be able to completely relax and be present as a parent means we need to cross off those really important/nagging things on our to-do lists. Yes, I have multiple to-do lists! If making sure the fundraiser forms and the lunches get packed will help you relax so you can play a game later, just do it. And TV is a great tool to use when life just won’t let up. And by life I mean kids. Just be sure to actually make time for a game — and anything else that truly matters to you. And then once you have made this decision, let it go. Forgive.
Went back to work (even when someone was sick)
There is no greater joy then being that present, playful parent we want to be all the time. But sometimes work just feels good. Sometimes work is what we need, to pay the bills, to buy groceries, to keep the roof over our heads. Yes, even when a child is sick and you have to go anywhere because people’s lives depend on you. Because your lives depend on you. This is an easy one to let go. Forgive.
Insisted that the kids be perfect
Sit up straight. Smile better for this picture. Brush your hair. Change your clothes. Wear a different coat. Don’t make mistakes. Your goal is not to ruin them and make them feel insecure. Your goal is to give them the best possible start in life. Your goal is to teach them how the world works. Except they’ll learn anyway, with or without our nagging presence. Just know that your heart has been in the right place. Perhaps it’s time to let go of the weight it carries and let them just be themselves. And you get to do the same. Forgive.
Said the wrong thing
Anger talks. It talks really loudly. Anger sometimes gets us to say things we don’t mean. Just ask my daughter and she’ll tell you this is truth. And yet it’s part of being human. It’s part of growing up and learning. It’s part of figuring it all out. So you said something you regret. You said something you wish you hadn’t. It sits in the pit of your stomach. Say your sorry. And then … let it go and forgive.
Didn’t teach your kids anything
There is this unwritten rule now for moms to fill their day with teaching their kids new things. This unwritten rule sends children to kindergarten where they will always be far ahead of their class — and bored. So that day you didn’t teach your baby how to read or didn’t do a Matisse art project, it’s OK. They will be OK. They will be just fine. Let it go. Forgive.
Were really distracted
You were on your phone during that period of time at the park today. And it was your first and only break you had all day. Maybe all week because your partner is out of town, or your a single parent. And while absolutely being present is awesome and wonderful sometimes it’s just not possible. Because fears and worries take over. Let it go and forgive.
Just because we forgive ourselves for these motherhood guilt trips doesn’t mean we can’t still improve on them. In fact, it’s always a balance to keep maintaining a life and a home and raising a family. Our work in raising ourselves as mothers is never done, it’s never over. If you need inspiration for self-discovery, soul-care, support and sisterhood … check out my group coaching program and get the help YOU need right now.