Tell me if this sounds familiar: After a long day, I finally get the last kid down for bed. They’ve all been fed, hopefully teeth-brushed, read to, sung to, rocked, bounced, nursed, probably re-nursed, and the house is quiet. I’ve been looking forward to this all day! I can finally get the dishes or laundry done while I Netflix or maybe work on the podcast or Facebook or whatever I want because this is MY time. But as I’m about to take a big sigh of relief, my chest constricts, my stomach flips and my mind fills with all the things I did wrong all day. I should have been more patient with the kids at jammies time, I snapped at my son in the kitchen when he was just trying to help. I realize a boy was trying to talk to me all throughout the night to tell me something that was important to him and I never got around to listening. I. Am. The. Worst. Mom. EVER!!!! Crushing Mom guilt all night long… It rarely fails.
I invited Tatiana Daughtry Coffman, LMSW, IBCLC to the show to share her thoughts on why we parents do this to ourselves and what we might be able to do to change this process.
The bottom line:
“Stop should-ing all over yourself.”
We have expectations of ourselves and all the things we should be doing and providing for our children. There is a lot of pressure to show up in a certain way for our children and a huge mental and emotional load.
This results in lots of “should”s coming up.
We can’t change something we are not aware of. First, observe and notice the thoughts and patterns that are leading to guilt feelings.
2. Challenge your thoughts
When a should bubbles up, (I should have…, Should not have…) ask yourself: Says who??? Where did that belief or expectation come from? Is this belief helpful? Is it useful?
Give yourself credit for what you’re doing right. Be realistic about what you have to offer and what’s reasonable to expect of yourself. It’s okay to model real life for your kids and to make mistakes. They see that you are a human being too and learn that people can grow and change.
4. Changing our language
Be kind to yourself. We are all just doing the best that we can. What motivates you? What inspires you? That is good language to use with yourself. Nix the all or nothing thinking. Multiple (even contradictory) things can exist at the same time. You can want more for your kids and recognize you have nothing left to give at the same time. It’s not this thing or that thing… it can be both… both are valid.
Listen in for more great information!!!
You can find Tatiana at her website: https://northstarwellnessaz.com/
Don’t forget to share this episode with a friend and tell me about your experience with parent guilt in the comments below or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org