In my previous post, 3 Types of Mommy Guilt, I described the pangs, pokes, and pressures that contribute to mommy guilt.
If you’re a mom, this guilt can come at you not just from your daughter but also from your own mother. The internal and external comments that get hurled at you can seep into your mind and set off a chain reaction of reactions can get you into a funk.
What’s a mom to do?
Over the time that I’ve worked with both my consultation and clinical clients, I’ve found that the best solution to combat mommy guilt is to “fight fire with fire.” Lay on the G.U.I.L.T. thick.
5 G.U.I.L.T.-Combat Tips
Tip #1: Give Grace To Yourself.
The big newsflash is that you’re not perfect. No mom is…even your own mom. And look, you didn’t turn out so badly (smile!). If you keep trying to live up to some unattainable standard of perfection, you will drive yourself—and your daughter—crazy.
By giving grace to yourself, I mean to realize that there is a reason the Universe orchestrated you being your daughter’s mom.
Your imperfections can even provide good ground for your daughter to learn lessons about life earlier than you did.
So, don’t jump on the bandwagon of those who – not walking in your shoes—are quick to point out your shortcomings.
Tip #2: Understand Your Underlying Trigger Point.
Mommy guilt is a bullet that can so quickly deflate your self-esteem. To take from Newton’s 1st & 2nd Laws of Motion: a body at rest (or in motion) stays at rest (or in motion) unless acted upon by an outside force. So, a “bullet” only does harm after a trigger has been pulled to release it from a barrel.
If you can first identify what that “silver bullet” to your self-esteem is, you will be able to “see (& hear) it coming.” This is half the battle.
So, how do you go about identifying your triggers?
You identify your triggers by doing Tip #3…
Tip #3: Insist On Maintaining Your Identity.
To maintain your identity, you need to first know your identity. Who are you? How do you see yourself?
Hopefully you see those qualities that make you uniquely you. Your personality, temperament, point of view, life experiences—all these make up the person you are.
You are worthy of respect and to not have pot-shots hurled at you.
You are uniquely qualified to be the mother to your daughter.
As her mom, it is important for you to guard your heart and mind from any (internally or externally) expressed thought to the contrary.
One way to guard your heart and mind is to do Tip #4.
Tip #4: Limit Your Exposure To The Source.
Limiting your exposure is just another way of saying, “You need to establish appropriate boundaries” between you and those sources of discouragement.
This does not necessarily mean to isolate yourself from such negative sources. It means to practice ways to filter out the “bad” and retain the “good.”
So, for example, you might have a certain family member who “has to have an opinion” regarding anything you do as a mom. It’ll be important for you to step back and realize that they are that way for a reason. Their commentary may actually have less to do with you and more to do with stuff going (or that has gone) on in their own lives apart from you.
Such realizations are key to helping you get a better footing on implementing Tip # 5.
Tip #5: Take Stock Of The Positive You’ve Done.
As you limit your exposure to sources of guilt you will then you will start seeing and appreciating the positive things you do for your daughter.
It’s important for you to appreciate yourself and what you do for her first. Otherwise, you will place an insidious burden on a strain into your relationship with your daughter and perpetuate the “guilt cycle.”
So, pat yourself on the back mama!
Your daughter is fortunate to have you as her mom.
Let me know the type of Mommy Guilt you experience the most?