How to deal with ‘MOM GUILT’

MOM GUILT. Most of the mommas I know (myself included) seem to suffer from this. And no matter how much we try to escape it, well…we just can’t because it is so deeply ingrained into our mom brains. Now, I am pretty sure I am not the only one who feels this way about their child. It is a constant mix of love, care, worry, and yes, guilt. It is wanting to be with our kids all the time, but then of course, not being able to because we have to go to work, do errands, run the house, meet up with friends, and take time off to take care of ourselves.

Actually, the last one is something we mommas forget to do. We usually allot the measly few minutes we have before going to bed for this, which is so sad. And most days, we don’t even get to enjoy it because more often than not, one of our family members yells, “MOM” and we have to rush to save the day.

Oddly enough, blogging is my little escape from the busy life of a working mom, and I hate that I don’t get to do it as often as I want to. On most evenings, just as I get warmed up to write, my husband or son calls me because they need me, and I end up not doing any writing at all. This can really be frustrating, because this is the only time I ask for myself. But when my family needs me, that’s it.

I guess the thing I struggle most with motherhood is finding the balance between a happy family life (time with the husband and my son), work, social life, and time for myself. Every day I struggle with having to meet all of what’s expected of me and more, and still have time to look good and be healthy. I don’t know how other moms do it, but apparently it is possible.

I recently attended an event by Sun Life Financial that allowed moms to have a guilt-free pampering day. We moms were treated to the best–a yummy buffet at Bloom in I’M Hotel, inspiring talks by amazing moms, and a full body massage at Onsen Spa. It was exactly what I needed, as I had just come from a working trip and desperately needed that time for myself.

What I really enjoyed though, was a talk by guest psychologist Michelle Alignay. She broke down the feeling I struggle most with: mom guilt, and helped us mommas see that it is possible to find balance in our lives. Like, okay, she basically defined the meaning of balance as: the feeling of BEING IN TOUCH with one’s self (body, mind and spirit) of CONTINUALLY centering energy with the COOPERATION and CONSCIOUS SUPPORT of all other parts… as we are in the constant process of changing. I never really thought about finding the balance in my life, but wow, to have that would be amazing! Every single day I strive to find that and fail miserably, as I feel the pressure coming from all aspects of my life. It is so difficult to be a working mom, and a wife, a daughter, a friend and just a person with hopes and dreams. We put everyone’s needs before our own and in the end we are left with nothing for ourselves, which can ultimately hurt us.

I love that Michelle reminded me to work on my wants, should, and capacities in order to find balance in my life. It turns out, I should always ask myself these three questions: (1) What do I WANT? (2) What do I think I OUGHT TO DO? (3) What do I think I CAN DO? And after I answer these questions, everything will be clear, because then I will know what I should prioritize and accept to do on that day. This means having to say NO to things that don’t really matter, so I can do things that I actually want and need to do. Finding balance is very tricky, but once I am able to decipher what really matters, then everything else is just noise.

The most important take away from her talk is that we actually HAVE A CHOICE!!! We can choose to be at peace and satisfied or face other’s or our own judgement and guilt. Mommas, you already know what to choose–it is okay to be happy with our imperfect lives. Perfection is unattainable, and besides, it is boring. It is so freeing to know we can do things on our own terms, in our own messy way–we shouldn’t strive to be a cookie cutter version of a perfect mom, wife, etc. That will never end well, because sometimes that cookie cutter will cut out the good parts and you can never get it back.

Really, that was just what I needed to hear–that I don’t have to be some person’s idea of a perfect mom. That I can get a massage when I need it, or finish my work until I am satisfied. That it is okay to delegate some of my work. I cannot do it all and more, I need the help of others to find balance within me. And most importantly, it felt great to know I am not alone in this struggle. We mommas go through the same thing every day, which is why we have to be kind to one another.

Also, I love this message: instead of having a rule that covers all situations, choose to pick within the situation. <3 This means being flexible, working with what we have, and trying to see the good in the situation. This will prevent meltdowns and unnecessary arguments, and will promote peace in the home. Most importantly, do not wait for a big “message” to know your life is out of balance. Acknowledge the little imbalances, and deal with them as they come. BE PROACTIVE IN CARING FOR YOURSELF. And we can do this by:

PERCEPTION:

Affirming our goodness.

Releasing control of things beyond us.

Saying NO is okay and needed at times.

Feeling happy and satisfied is normal.

Relinquishing some tasks that stresses us.

EMOTIONS:

During emotional highs: PAUSE.

Ditch the guilt.

Choose to love more.

Be silly with the kids.

Flirt with the spouse.

Make marriage matter.

ACTIONS:

Choose to rest or sleep.

Give ourselves an extra 10 minutes in the shower.

Put a little color on the face.

Find a spot for daily reflection.

Find a daily physical activity to do.

Since the talk, I’ve been trying my best to incorporate what I’ve learned to my daily life and so far, so good. Finding the balance in my life seems more attainable now that I put less pressure on myself to do it all and more. It is okay to make mistakes and to enjoy life, while being responsible and taking the time to do the serious things.

I’ve realized that I cannot do it all, which is why I have made an appointment with a Sun Life Financial Advisor to discuss Tristan’s education plan. There is no better time to start investing than today, while my son is still young, so I wont have to worry about paying for his education in the future. Doing this allows me to enjoy life and spend quality time with my family, because I know my money is working for our future. I swear, I feel like an adult with all this talk, and it is a pretty amazing feeling!

Visit http://brighterlife.com.ph/sunshorts now and sign up for the next Mommy’s Day Out!!! <3

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