I was working with a patient earlier this week that was upset and struggling during her pelvic floor physical therapy session. She was mad at herself for being inconsistent with her Physical therapy and wasn’t happy with where she was health wise. She was feeling overworked and stressed. The thoughts of not being a good mom and feeling guilty that her new baby and toddler were in daycare now added to the stress. She felt like she should truly be the one raising her kids and with them every day. But then some days on the way to daycare she was excited to drop them off and go to work. There was nothing rational about these thoughts but this is what would cross her mind. She then would have thoughts of “what’s the point of having kids if I wasn’t going to be the one to be with them during the day.” All of this also just stressed her out about managing her selfcare, her work and her new baby. Oh and she has a husband too.
The responsibilities of being a mom are long. We may not even fully understand what we sign up for until we actually experience it.
But all of these thoughts can be categorized into one overarching theme; Guilt.
We call it mom guilt because many of us experience it.
I can’t help but remember when I was plagued with these exact same thoughts. When I heard her and was listening, I was tearing up inside just knowing the EXACT place she was at. I was there too. When I was there I was not healthy and not happy with myself. I had lost some confidence and self belief. I didn’t want to be away from my babies but then I knew I had to work too. After my first two kids (now 6 and 4) the mom guilt was real. It sucked. I felt pulled in two directions, pursuing my career and my lifelong desire to be a stay at home mom. The thing was, being a stay at home mom wasn’t an option for my family. So I really couldn’t let myself ponder that. And I still had to find a way to combat this guilt. And I want to make a note that regardless of your employment status you can experience guilt. For working moms it tends to be they don’t have enough time at home with kids but for stay at home moms it can be that they feel they should be working or playing more with their kids. It’s all the same, I only give the working guilt as an example because that is what this patient was experiencing.
Okay, I love the guilt conversations. Guilt is a mindset. It’s almost ego to a certain extent.
This was my thought as I started to hear her speak.
She has to know that she is important enough to matter. The conversation from me needed to be an empowerment one. Guilt in general sucks and I can 100% empathize with her but at the end of the day, she has guilt because she does not believe she is important enough to take care of herself. To believe that what she wants in life matters. To believe that above all else her health is the most important thing (if she doesn’t have that, she could deteriorate and then really not be there for her kids).
It has taken me three kids to absolutely nail the mom guilt. I truly and honestly can say I don’t have it anymore. Was it initially sad to detach from Jayla my 9 month old and bring her to daycare, yes absolutely. But it doesn’t take away our connection. And if anything it makes our time together that much better.
I absolutely know without a doubt that I am a better human and mom because I have a passion and job that fulfills me and drives me. I have a mission that holds me accountable. That mission is to grow a business to help millions of women but it’s also a mission to be the best version of myself and the healthiest version of myself. Why? Because when I lead my team and my patients by example, it shows that taking care of yourself is possible and that alone can help empower women to have the belief that they are worthy to do the absolute same thing for themselves. And to do all those things while having a family.
When I am checking these boxes and striving for my goals, I’m fulfilled in ways that make me connect and peaceful and allow me to feel free with my children and allow me to show up as the best mom, even if that is sometimes a yelling mom.
Do all working moms get to have the fulfillment of the best career, like me? No, some just grind it out, but that doesn’t take away that they can find fulfillment in other ways, that could be hobbies, that could be taking care of their health and wellness or creating their own businesses. The list in this day and age is endless.
When they are striving for health, physical or mental you automatically just feel freaking better.
Now is it a balance, yes. And of course there are periods where you are on 24/7 due to sickness ect.
But the reality is, when you prioritize you for you and for no one else. Then you are free from guilt. Because then you have the self belief that you are enough and worthy to take care of you, what you need and want and desire to do.
When we start to live from this mindset, you are the best parent and mom that you could be.
When you suffer from guilt, you’re never happy. You’re stressed when with your babies that you’re not doing something else like working or laundry or dishes. Or feeling like you need to take care of other shit. And then you’re stressed when you’re away because you think that you need to be with them and they miss you and you’re not taking care of them like you should be.
Our society is plagued with guilt and the level of thinking that traps us into guilt. Break the mold of these thoughts and go take care of yourself and in turn you will ultimately be the best human and parent possible.
When I go back to this conversation, she was already starting to make strides to take care of her health. She was in Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy. The single most important thing any mom should ever do for herself. So she had that on her side. She was just a few simple mindset shifts away from freeing herself from guilt. Her healing and wellness will elevate to the next level because she has already started to do the physical work to get there.
The mind is a powerful tool when used the right way. Take control of these thoughts and free yourself up to the possibilities of creating the absolute best life for you and your family.