Sometimes I wonder if guilt loves moms more than any other human beings because I have never experienced so much guilt at any stage in my life as I do as a mom. We feel guilty for spending little time with our kids, so do we when we spend too much time with them. Mom guilt strikes when we do not take time for ourselves to rest and to pursue our passions. Similarly, when we feel like we are taking too much time for ourselves. Mom guilt can be a hindrance when it comes to pursuing your dreams as a mom. If you are wondering what to do if you want to pursue your dreams nonetheless, here is how to overcome mom guilt while pursuing your dreams.
Revisit what is Meaningful to your family
If everything is necessary, then nothing is. ― Unknown
You cannot make everything a priority! Hence it is imperative to look at what is essential to your family and make your decisions based on that. Our values play a significant role in our decision-making, and they influence the way we live and work. If growth and investing in yourself are meaningful to your family, it should not matter if they mean nothing to my family. Don’t compare your family to the next. Believing that the grass is greener on the other side and trying to live up to unrealistic expectations leads to feelings of inadequacy. We tend to experience mom guilt when our lives are out of alignment with our values. Revisiting the things that matter to your family helps you to stay aligned. You might have to identify them first if you have not done so and stay true to them.
Permit Yourself to pursue your dreams
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you have imagined– Henry David Thoreau.
It is so easy to believe that pursuing your dreams is a distraction from focusing on your kids and your family. I think that you have been given those desires for a specific reason, therefore own them! Be it a dream career, a higher income, a happy home, or a toned body! I say this because we often let social norms make our dreams complicated. Consequently, we wait for permission to come from the outside. Permit yourself to live according to your values and not according to those of someone else. The doors to living more authentically open when you do this.
Get that help!!
You are a mom, not a Wonder woman!
When you overcommit yourself, it is natural to feel guilty when you cannot keep all your promises. However, you cannot be everything to everybody; remember that! Again, I will refer to your values:
- Focus on what is important to you and your family
- Get clear on the tasks at hand.
- Separate those that you can do yourself from those that you need help doing
- Brainstorm ways in which you can get the help and seek it.
Moms feel guilty for not doing it all. However, as my 10th grade, English teacher would always say, You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Your life in all its glory is a blessing that is worth living but, you cannot enjoy it while trying to be a wonder woman! Communicate your difficulties with your loved ones and get all the help that you can get. You will feel less guilty taking the time to pursue your dreams when you know that other responsibilities are taken care of.
Remember that you are still a good mother.
Most of us set high expectations for ourselves as moms, and mom guilt perpetuates when we cannot keep up with our unrealistic expectations. This is why I want to take this time to remind you that you are a good mother, and pursuing your dreams will not make you a bad one. I would suggest that you make a list of all the things that make you a good mom and of the things that you can still do to be a better one – Like putting your phone away during mommy and kid time so that you can be fully present. (I can almost hear you say Busie, I know that I am a good mom, it is enough that I am worried about). You are enough, not perfect but, enough! You cannot do everything and shouldn’t be striving to.
Know that you are setting an example for your kids
Children do not do what you say, they do what you do! I want my daughter to follow her dreams and live out her God-given gifts and talents to serve humanity at any given stage in her life. However, I realized that how we live our lives will influence her decisions in the future. I do not ever want to find myself telling my daughter to do something that I never decided to do for myself. Pursuing your dreams in and beyond motherhood teaches your children that it can be done; that they can do it too. Therefore stop feeling guilty about it. Like Marianne Williamson said “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Therefore do not let mom guilt stop you!!
Being a mom is such a beautiful blessing, yet a big responsibility!! Almost all the moms I have spoken to about mom guilt have experienced it. I have written these 5 Tips intending to help you overcome mom guilt while pursuing your dreams. I would like to know though, how you are currently navigating mom guilt while you try to chase your dreams.