HAPPINESS:

How to Shake Mom Guilt

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The perfect reminder for letting go of mom guilt.

By Christy Wright

I remember sitting back stage in my green room, with tears streaming down my face just before I was about to go on stage. I was on the West Coast in Irvine, California and about to speak at my first-ever Business Boutique 1-day event.

This was an event, by the way, that I was so excited about! I absolutely love the work that I get to do. I am in my sweet spot using my strengths and making a difference. So why was I crying? That day wasn’t just any day. It was my son’s second birthday.

At that exact moment, my husband was putting on Carter’s little hoody to go out and get pancakes and at that exact moment, I was putting on my earpiece mic to go out and speak to 1,200 women. And I sat there in my room with a tight throat and burning eyes, trying to fight back the tears with everything I had in me.

That is just one example of the thousands that I have where I was overwhelmed with guilt. Regardless of your stage of life, number of children, type of work, or personality style, I think guilt is one of those things that we women will battle at some level for the rest of our lives.

You know that feeling, don’t you? It’s that feeling in the back of your mind that you’ve done something wrong, you’re not doing enough, and you could have done it better. The feeling that all of the thousands of choices you have to make that affect these little lives that God has entrusted you with are wrong. It’s feeling that everyone else has this parenting thing figured out and you don’t. It’s the feeling that you should be somewhere but you’re not.

And the guilt gets you regardless of the path you choose. If you work outside the home, you feel guilty for not staying with your kids. If you stay home with your kids, you feel guilty for not working outside the home. If you’re present in one place, you feel guilty for being absent in another.

But I’ll tell you one thing I’ve learned in my few years of experience of being a mom that has helped me shake the guilt thing, at least a little bit. One day, when I was feeling discouraged about leaving my son at daycare one day, I had this thought:

“Remember that what you’re doing is important.”

I exhaled with relief at that truth.

What I am doing is important. The work that I do, the messages that I share and the lives that I get to impact are important.

But focusing on the importance of what you are doing in the moment goes the other way too. 

So when I don’t answer emails at night because I am being present with my family, leave the office on time to go for a run, or take time off to go on vacation and rest, I remind myself again: What I am doing is important. My family, my exercise, my rest, my hobbies, my values—those things are important.

I love how my friend Tony explains it. He says, “I’m always driving to somewhere I love. When I’m driving to work, I’m driving to a place that I love. When I’m driving home, I am driving to a place that I love.”

It’s the difference of looking through the front windshield of where you’re going, rather than the rearview mirror of what you’re momentarily leaving behind.

That’s one way that I try to be fully present and guilt-free at work, and again fully present and guilt-free at home as well. It’s a daily struggle for me so I know how hard this is but give it a try. Don’t look at what you’re leaving behind. Focus on the importance of what you’re going to.

Wherever you are, be all there.

So the next time you’ve got guilt nagging at you no matter what choice you make, remind yourself that what you’re doing is important. It may just be the reminder you need to shake the guilt and get back in the moment.

 

About Christy Wright

Christy Wright is the creator of Business Boutique, a Certified Business Coach and a Ramsey Personality with a passion for equipping women with the knowledge and steps they need to successfully run and grow a business. Since joining Ramsey Solutions in 2009, she has spoken to thousands across the country at women’s conferences, national business conferences, Fortune 500 companies and her own sellout live events. She is the host of the Business Boutique Podcast and her new book, Business Boutique, releases April 2017. You can follow Wright on Twitter and Instagram @ChristyBWright and online at christywright.com or facebook.com/OfficialChristyWright.

 

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Posted in: Happiness, Parental Wisdom

Comments (1)

  1. Tracy Bradshaw

    This is a great article to help mom’s let go of guilt. I sometimes think guilt is an extra sense we obtain the moment we get pregnant, and what an “important” thing being pregnant is! As the mother of a child who was murdered at nineteen, guilt is very heavy at times. The questions repeatedly asked in my mind can be overwhelming. Why did I encourage him to go to college? Why did I let him get an apartment with friends? Why didn’t I meet him for dinner that night instead of leaving to meet my new editor? What I was doing was important, but he was more important. It has been five and a half years, and I still struggle with guilt. Now, I am writing children’s books with a young bear (made out of my son’s Tshirts) and he just happens to have Sawyer’s personality. I think keeping his spirit alive in Sawbear helps with the guilt as it is very important to me.