Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

My friend Jessica recently wrote parenting things she refuses to feel guilty about and it really got me thinking about all guilt we experience as moms. 

Mom guilt is a son-of-a.

It begins to plague you as soon as you figure out your pregnant. I drank too much wine last weekend. I ate my weight in sushi yesterday. I’m the worst mom already.

No matter what you do or what decisions you make it seems every move is associated with some kind of self-imposed guilt. There’s also a whole lot of judgement from the rest of the world (but that’s a post for another day) but the worst is the pressure and subsequent guilt we put on ourselves.

Whether you do or don’t ANYthing, there’s guilt. How and what you feed, what kind of diapers you use, whether you work or not, what kind of discipline you practice. It all leads to guilt. Guilt, guilt and more guilt. It’s exhausting and ridiculous.

As a mom, I am in a constant state of self-doubt “am I doing this right” “is this okay” “is this the best way” “I shouldn’t have done that” “I could be better at this”… I could go on and on and on. I am much harder on myself than anyone else is and it seems I can never quite attain the mile-high expecations I have for myself. What does this mean? GUILT.

It’s consumed me for far too long and thankfully I have finally figured out a cure-all. Okay, I may be exaggerating, but I have figured out something that helps lessen my mom-guilt significantly.

What’s my trick? How do I talk myself out of feeling guilty for any and every little thing?

I take myself right out of the equation.

After giving advice to a fellow self-doubting, guilt-ridden mom, I realized how much I related to her plight and how I was readily able to give her genuinely kind advice and encouragement. 

Why the heck couldn’t I talk to myself that way?

Most of us, the nice ones anyway, would never talk to another mom the way we talk internally to ourselves.

Here’s an example of how we talk to ourselves vs. other mommas:

How To Eliminate Mom Guilt - For Good!   www.herviewfromhome.com

What the what?!

It’s true but so very wrong.

We are downright mean to ourselves.

The best way to deal with mom-guilt or negative mom self-talk is by pretending you’re talking to another mom.

Seriously, it works every time (unless you’re judgy McGee to other mommas and in that case you may just deserve some of your own negativity… just sayin’).

The key to being gentler on our mom-selves is truly allowing ourselves to begin changing our self-talk to resemble the mom-talk we’d give to another mom.

Beginning this process won’t instantly take away the guilt but it WILL get you thinking about it in a different way. It begins an internal conversation about whether or not you’re being unfair to yourself. That conversation that hasn’t been happening (at least myself) up until this point. A conversation that was desperately needed.

What I’m starting to discover is that some of my thoughts absolutely need to be challenged because I am not being kind enough to myself. If another woman spoke to me the way I spoke to myself, I’d have some very unkind words back to her. So why is it okay to talk to ourselves this way? It’s not.

I recently wrote about needing a sister-wife and while I was half-joking, I suspect another aspect of this potential relationship would be that we would be constantly lifting each other up. Repeatedly validating each other and giving positive affirmations. The result of that would be happier moms. Moms with higher self-worth. 

While the sister-wife thing is unlikely, we, as women and mothers, need to continue and strive to be kind to each other but we also need to start encouraging each other to show ourselves kindness and love as well.

So I offer this challenge to my fellow moms:

Next time you’re feeling guilty or experiencing self-doubt take a second and really think about how you would respond to a good friend having the same issue or thoughts. Think about what support you would offer, what information or words of encouragement you might have. This process will hopefully begin your own realization that you’re no different that your friends and fellow mombies and that you too deserve all the kindness you would so readily offer them.

YOU, awesome momma, are worth it.

 
Photo credit: Thomas Hawk via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Shaunacey Bonneville

Shaunacey Bonneville blogs over at http://www.simplyshaunacey.com/. She survives primarily on coffee, red wine and the hope that she will one day sleep again. In the meantime, she blogs from home in an effort to maintain what is left of her sanity. She’s currently being held captive by her two small children (please send help... in the form of coffee… or wine).

Don’t Fear the Gap

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Baby lying on mother's chest, black-and-white photo

I was afraid of the gap. You know, the one where you have some kids and then wait several years to have another? That gap. When we moved here, we kept all the baby things because we weren’t ready to say we were done but weren’t ready to start over. Moving to the farm brought wayyy more chores than our neighborhood home and adding a tiny human to that mix felt a bit crazy. RELATED: I’ll Always Want Another Baby There were months of back and forth . . . talk of barefoot baby feet stomping all over this place...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, If Something Feels Off, It Probably Is—Trust Your Intuition

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter black and white photo

A few weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter was playing at a friend’s house when she messaged me on her game tablet to come pick her up. I didn’t ask why I just went to get her. I asked her once she was home how it was, and she told me she had a weird feeling and she was just “trusting her guts,” which I loved hearing her say. Apparently, her friend had a bunch of extended family show up at the house that we were unaware of. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and confident so she thought nothing of listening...

Keep Reading

10 Lessons I Hope You Learn Playing Youth Sports

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy dribbling down basketball court, black-and-white photo

Last night was my sixth grader’s last basketball game of the season. He played with many of the same gang of boyhood friends he has known since kindergarten. This year, however, they were introduced to a traveling team, older players, and much stiffer competition than they had encountered in the past. They stood the test and played their little boy hearts out. I am proud of my son, his team, his coaches, and all the familiar faces we came to know in the Greenwood Laboratory School cheering section each week, sometimes two to three times in one week!  Here’s to...

Keep Reading

I Love You At Every Stage

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three children at park, color photo

Confession: I love the 1-year-old phase. Our youngest is one and such a joy to be around. He’s still so cuddly, finds such joy in the smallest things, is learning new things every day, and smiles at every little thing his big brother and sister do. I love the 3-year-old phase. Our only girl is three. She has a flair for the dramatic, but she is very forthright with her feelings. “I’m having a hard time.” “I just miss my daddy when he’s at the Fire House.” “I’m a princess.” “God made me beautiful.” She is quick to be a...

Keep Reading

Simple Moments Shape Childhood

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy in shallow water of beach

Sometimes it’s the little things that can turn out to be the biggest things. Motherhood has made me appreciate the everyday moments, the simple moments, differently.  Being outdoors with my boys can be simple in theory, but I absolutely love the adventures we take. Whether we are hiking, biking, swimming, exploring, or checking out a new park, this momma knows it is time well spent.  RELATED: I’m Watching You Grow Up in the Little Moments Because whether they realize it or not, these memories being made are the special ones. The ones my boys will carry with them in their...

Keep Reading

I Promise to Show Up for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in garden

My child, I hope you know you can count on this: I will show up for you. I will show up when you wake in the middle of the night, when you get up too early or stay up too late. I will be there to make your meals, read you a story, and tuck you into bed. I will show up when you are sick—taking time off work, bringing you to the doctor, cleaning up your throw-up, and sitting up with you. I will show up at every game, sitting in the stands or a camp chair, freezing or...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Growth Is Tangible, and When It Is You Hold On Tight

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom putting bike helmet on child

I never expected my sign to come in the form of a plastic bag. As a parent, you’re told over and over how fast it all goes, to cherish these times because they’re gone in a blink. You see the gradual changes in your kids as they move through milestones. One day, they can hold their own spoon. They begin stringing words into sentences. Their ages are counted in years and no longer months. You watch these things happen every day, but I didn’t realize some transitions would come in tangible ways, like a grocery bag filled with wet swim...

Keep Reading

Some Nights They Need You a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping, color photo

Some nights they need you a little more, mama. Because of the bad dreams or the bogeyman they are adamant is under the bed. Because firefighter daddy’s schedule leaves him missing goodnight tuck-ins and bedtime stories several times a week, sometimes leaving them a little needier and more emotional. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. RELATED: I’ll Lay With You As Long As You Need, My Child Because they are sick. Because they feel safe in your presence. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. It’s not always easy. It’s not always (okay, hardly ever)...

Keep Reading

Sweet Babies, I’ll Be There

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children lying in bed, color photo

When your world is calm and peaceful, I’ll be there. When your world is chaotic like an ice cream shop on the hottest day of summer, I’ll be there. When you need a Band-Aid applied and a boo-boo kissed, I’ll be there. When you want to perform in your Frozen microphone like you’re performing for a crowd of 20,000 people, I’ll be there. When you feel lost and alone, I’ll be there. When you feel you have nowhere to go, I’ll be there. RELATED: I Will Always Be There When You Need Me, My Son When you need a pep...

Keep Reading

I’m in the Big Little Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
black and white photo of little boy and little girl standing in a window together

I’m in the big little years. It’s when you’re no longer in the tender season of babies and toddlers—those sweet, smothering, exhausting years of being constantly touched and needed . . . . . . but you’re not yet in the big kid years—navigating boyfriends and driver’s licenses and bracing your heart for the impending ache of an empty nest. I’m somewhere in between. I’m in the years of having littles that aren’t so little anymore, but still need you for so much. They have big feelings. Big ideas. Big dreams. But they have mostly little problems (even though they...

Keep Reading