Let me start with a story of a friend who relayed to me that they felt guilty because they sometimes need space from their kids and needed to take time to take care of themselves.
Oh yes!! Now this is a juicy one because raise your hand how many of you feel guilty about taking time out from your family. Oh yes!! You who said ’No’ did you make sure your kitchen was sparkling and your kids had food before you went out – yes you do feel it though you might not acknowledge it. This is the one guilt I encounter the most with my clients, friends and colleagues. Being a mom many believe is equal to self-sacrifice which translates into ‘my feelings and needs’ are not as important as my kids’ or my husbands’.
Ever since I became a mom 13 years ago, I find that one constant feeling in my life that I encounter almost everyday: ‘mom guilt’. In talking to so many other moms they too feeling guilty because they stay at home and take care of the kids and your home; or you work and aren’t home enough. Guilt because you don’t make money and you feel that is seen as less worthy by someone else or because you don’t PTA or you didn’t keep your house clean, your kids are not perfect angels or they are not going to enough classes or going to too many!!! Mom guilt is prevalent everywhere. As far as I can tell whichever you flip a situation mom guilt is omnipresent.
I am here to shed light on this….if you are nodding your head or you think this is crap, either way read on.
1) Ignoring your needs: When you ignore your own needs and keep taking care of others, you either are constantly irritated, annoyed, depleted, angry; or you shutdown and just do what it takes without feeling it i.e. You also then lose the joy. So who is losing out? — not just you but your family too!
2) Taking care of yourself once in a while by going out with your friends or date night. While these are absolutely great ways to rejuvenate, if this is all you are doing; the message you are giving is ‘I am only important once in a while’ or “ I only have fun when away from the kids” or “ I can only take care of me when others come along” And then comes… you got it!! Mom guilt!!
Ok so now if any of this resonates with you or triggers you, read on.…
First and foremost, your needs are as important as everyone else’s in the family. You have the power to make it a win-win situation. So I am asking you to empower yourself to take care of YOU!! And you are scratching your head as to how, here are some tips:
1) When you see the mom guilt coming, don’t avoid it, acknowledge and say thank you I accept you. Don’t go down the train of what-if and hold onto it. Let it go!
2) Take a little time to take care of you everyday-things that serve your heart, mind and soul. (Example: Take a walk, meditate, listen to music and dance, sing loudly in the shower/car/outside. I love the acoustics of my car so it’s my favorite place, paint, read, listen to something inspirational, cook yourself something you love and that nourishes your body and eat it slowly, embroider (one of my clients loves to do this to de-stress), journal.)
3) Ask for help from your family when it’s too much, your friends who will love to help you if ask them.
Take a small step today and many small steps will lead to massive changes. Share this with another friend and pay it forward.
– Yukti Rao
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