Guilt: a real and ugly feeling that limits us from showing up the way we want with our children. Guilt is often the result of thoughts like, “I’m tired. I need a break. I can’t be there for all of my children. I can’t do it all. I rarely have me-time. I feel guilty that I don’t spend enough time with them.”
If this is the messaging you’ve conditioned your brain to think, just know you’re not alone. A study, funded by Birchbox and overseen by Kelton Global, surveyed 1,000 adults about the relationship between self-care, guilt and parenthood. The study affirmed that 39% of adults with children feel guilty about self-care, and 21% of them don't participate in self-care because they feel guilty.
The purpose of this blog post is to remind you that it is okay to have you-time. Take a bath, light a candle, meditate, buy your favorite meal and relish in silence; find a babysitter and go on that date you’ve been postponing for months; do something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t done yet because you’re telling yourself you can’t . . . what is the excuse? Go sky diving and skiing. Go on a drive or a walk and listen to music. Take it easy for the day and watch a movie you’ve been dying to see.
Jodi Moore, life coach and host of the Better Than Happy podcast says, “we talk about “mommy guilt” like it’s just something that comes with the role of being a mom. But it’s not. It’s not necessary and it’s not helpful. It doesn’t allow inspiration to find you. It keeps you blocked and frustrated and disconnected.” AMEN to that. If we’re not careful, feeling guilty can cause us to feel frustrated and disconnected from our children, not because of anything they’ve done, but because of what’s going on inside us.
The solution? Tell yourself you don’t do guilt. I know it sounds simple, but over time this four-word phrase has the potential to change your internal narrative. Fortunately, our human brains are the most powerful computers on the planet because of something called neural plasticity, and with it we can rewire old thought patterns and create new patterns that serve and inspire us.
So friend, if you’re reading this, take it as a sign to sit down and do something for you. It doesn’t mean you’re a terrible parent. It doesn’t mean your neglecting your children. It means you’re human, and every human needs time to slow down and balance the craziness with moments of peace. And once you let that piece nourish your soul, I bet you’ll be a more kind, gentle, loving and guilt free parent to your beautiful children.