I asked my mums recently how many of them felt guilty about the amount of times their kids had been on electronics over lockdown. All of them felt guilty – 100%.
Guilt can be such a good stick to beat ourselves with and stop us from implementing changes that actually make a difference to our lives. It’s so good at keeping us stuck, activating that internal critic and making us feel pretty rubbish.
Yet, what is that guilt actually telling us? Fundamentally it’s telling us that we care so deeply for our kids. In fact, I’d be much more concerned with a mum who didn’t feel guilty.
I know we’re often quick to say ‘you have nothing to feel guilty about’, or ‘drop the guilt’ but it’s easier said than done.
I thought I’d share some ways to work WITH guilt rather than against it.
- When guilt appears – notice what is it that you feel guilty about? Is it that you feel that you’re neglecting your children? That you’re being selfish? That’s it’s bad to work? Notice what the feeling is.
- Be curious – why is it that you’re feeling that way? What’s the discomfort?
- Is there a belief being triggered? A belief maybe that you shouldn’t work? That kids should have perfect home cooked meals? That by not spending every moment with them that you’re neglecting them?
- Identify why you’re in that situation. Maybe it’s because you prefer to spend time with your kids or on you, than cooking the perfect home-made meal? May it’s because you have no childcare and you want/need to work?
- What’s the truth about the situation – is it true that you are REALLY neglecting your children? What’s the rational side to this?
- What’s the benefit to the situation – ie. if they’re happy – does that mean you can work in peace and get things done rather than feel stressed? Or if you get a chance to do something for you does that mean that you’ll be a better mum because you feel happier? Or that working is giving an important message to the kids about gender roles?
- Start reframing – “If the kids are happy with TV this morning and it allows me to work for a morning with minimal interruptions then it’s a win win and this guilt just means I’m a good mum because I care”
If you’re ready to start feeling better, you may be interested in booking in to my 3 month coaching programme.
Much love, Tricia xxx