Mom Guilt: what it really means (and how to get rid of it in healthy ways)

When I was a brand new mom, I had zero desire to dabble in anything other than pure and domestic motherhood. 

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When my first baby was six months old, I was rocking him one day and this song came to me. I had written music before, but this one was really good. After a couple of experiences with people and God, I felt like music was an outlet I wanted to pursue. 

So I directed a successful crowdfunding campaign to raise the money, and released my first album

Over all the nights of songwriting and band rehearsal and recording in the studio, I did feel some mom guilt toward the beginning. 

It didn't take long though, for my husband and I to realize what an OUTLET for myself I had created! I cannot tell you the energy and happiness that came through to my motherhood, as a result of those hours I was able to put towards pursuing my passion and dream. (Thank you, Abram, for your support always...I think you knew I'd be crazy if I didn't have my work on the side.)

Album cover for my debut album, Enjoy the Ride

Album cover for my debut album, Enjoy the Ride

Fast forward two babies and three years later, and I have found a way to work from home and help other mothers who feel drained and on the outs with motherhood. 

I believe firmly that a mother's desire to mother her children can be strengthened and complemented when she finds and pursues, in a reasonable and organized way, her passion outside of the home. 

Quick Plug:

And with that, I'd like to really quickly let you know that I offer business coaching for moms. 

If you are looking to take an idea and find a way to make it profitable, to bless your family as well as the lives of the people who you want to serve, then I am the perfect coach for you. I am not too into my business at the moment to be too busy for you, and the first steps that you'll need to take are still fresh on the bottoms of my own shoes. 

What is Guilt?

But let's dig deeper here: what is guilt? 

In the same way that our body sends a pain signal to let us know we have a wound we need to address, our mind uses guilt to let us know that there are two conflicting desires, and a solution needs to be found. 

In other words, when you feel guilt, you have not necessarily done something WRONG. Okay? Really, let's be clear on that. Guilt is not a signal that you've done something wrong. It is a signal that you have two conflicting desires, and you have not yet made a decision and created a solution to solve for this. 

For example: Let's say you make a hair appointment for eight weeks after your baby is born. You want to go get your hair done; you want to feel cute postpartum, and have a break from the baby to chat with the girls in the salon. AT THE SAME TIME, another desire exists in you: you want to be a wonderful, devoted mom to your baby. 

So as you leave to the salon, that guilt creeps in. Totally understandable. 

Solution: think a thought like, "I can get my hair done today and still be a wonderful devoted mom to my baby. In fact, taking care of myself like this helps me to be a better mom."

Then you could come home and tell your little new one all about your hair appointment while you nurse. 

Your thoughts can swoop in and save you from mom guilt if you let them. 

But if not, realize this too: it is totally okay and normal to feel mom guilt. 

What mom guilt looks like for me

For me, mom guilt surrounds one overarching theme: my kids and television/electronic devices. I used to have such a battle in me *every*single*day*. I would feel these achey, pull-me-down heavy feelings each time I turned on Netflix or YouTube Kids for the kids. 

I finally just got sick of feeling that way. I decided that the research can go both ways, and that having a break in the day to watch some shows can actually be a great independent and restful activity for MY kids. I decided to focus in on my life, my conscience, and my level of what was okay, not some researcher at a university who said that watching shows will shrink my child's brain or ruin their IQ. 

Once I made that decision, I was open and aware enough to observe that: my child actually really does benefit from his time chilling in front of the TV.

My high-energy four year old really does well with some down time, on the couch, watching Paw Patrol for an hour. It's like a "reset" button in the middle of the day. And I love the me-time. And no researcher can tell me otherwise.

This transition of thought has felt SO good, and it leaves me feeling more positive, happy and eager to steal my kiddos from their show and go swing them out back. Just in time to not have their brain shrink too much... ;)

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Here is a video I would love to share with any moms who are considering starting, or trying to start a business from home. 

And here is the best Mom Guilt podcast episode if you have a few minutes to listen while you drive or do dishes. 

Closing thoughts...

Remember: guilt does not necessarily mean you've done anything wrong (if you've killed someone on purpose, go ahead, let that guilt seep in.) Lol. MOM guilt specifically, is two conflicting desires. 

Identify which two desires of yours are creating the guilt within you, and either think a thought like that of the example above, or make a plan to address the imbalance of those desires in your life. 

To moms being moms, AND taking care of their own selves and dreams!!

-Liz

P.S. I'd love your comments - what are your two most common conflicting desires?

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Liz Langston2 Comments