I have been sitting at my computer like I always do while researching how to help myself and other single moms. I found this video on YouTube called “Unleash the Mom Guilt” By Tiffany N. Stallings, and tears welled in my eyes. I felt everything she was saying, and it made me reflect on my own personal “mom guilt”.
I don’t talk about these times very much. But there were days when the heat was shut off and I had to use space heaters. Having to call off work again, because my daughter was sick and I didn’t have a babysitter. Missing all the field trips because I had to work and couldn’t afford to take time off. Guilt for having a bad day and snapping at them for being kids. So many countless things that run through my head daily that I feel guilty about.
Looking back, I was raising my girls like I had all the time in the world to watch them grow up, but we don’t. The biggest lesson this journey made me realize is that we do not have all the time in the world, they grow up way too fast. So after reflecting back on my 14-year journey of being a mom here are five ways I have unleashed the mom guilt in my life.
Like in the video, I had to first realize and accept that no mom is perfect. This is such a difficult lesson for mothers (and women in general) to come to terms with because we ALL want to be that super mom, but the truth is there is no such thing as a perfect mother; and single or not, you are enough.
In the social media age all we see are the good things, and from the outside looking in so many moms can look perfect. The Pinterest mom who sends her kids to school with heart-shaped sandwiches, the mom who always has her hair done, and makeup on when dropping off her kids to school. I bet we all have other moms looking at us and thinking, “Man, she is a great mom” like we do others. We’re not exposed to the day-to-day struggles that they face. We all at one point or another screw up.
2. Creating More Intentional Time
As moms, we know that our days are long but the years of raising our kids go so fast. I am a single mom and I had to work a lot (at one point I had 3 jobs) where I never saw my daughters. Then I became an Entrepreneur thinking I was going to have all the time in the world but realized it takes effort into building a business. I worked from home, but I still was spending all my time in front of the computer or phone.
What works for me is having intentional time where I put everything away and give my daughters my undivided attention. In the mornings when I drive my youngest to school, we either talk about what she is looking forward to most or we play songs and dance. When they come home from school I step away (for the most part, I am not perfect) and talk about their day. We cook dinner together and have started eating dinner together every night. We have story time before bed and we laugh over books. Creating more intentional time is the most impactful thing that has helped my “mom guilt”.
I won’t lie, this has been by far the hardest one for me. This is where accepting we are not perfect comes into play, for me anyway. There are days where I have a million things to do for work, my house is dirty, the laundry that needs to be folded, and I snapped at the girls again because they won’t listen. I am a naturally impatient person (I thank my ADHD for that) and I have had to work on increasing my patience level.
One thing I do is use CBD, I notice a huge difference in my anxiety/patience level without it. I use a tincture twice a day that has helped me create a more centered me. Another thing that has helped is meditation. I tried to dive in and 15 minute long ones, and I failed miserably. It was hard for me to sit and concentrate for that long. The short 1-5 minutes are perfect for me when I am feeling overwhelmed. I lock myself in the bathroom and will play a short guided meditation.
4. Habit Stacking
When I hired a mentor for the first time, I met one of my business partners, Amanda. She was the accountability coach in the program I was in and taught us about Habit Stacking. Habit stacking is when you try to make a new habit. You do the thing you want after another habit you already have. An example of that is when I drive my daughter to school and I ask her what she is looking forward to most. At first, I had to remind myself to ask her, but now it is just a habit.
Habits become stronger with repetition. If you start a new habit at the same time as an old one, it will be easier than if you were trying to do two separate things. I do this with any change I want to make for myself or with my daughters. Some things I do daily now: reading on a daily basis, taking care of myself, and doing personal development.
Let’s see what the word unleash means first. Google says that it is a verb and means to release someone from a leash or restraint. “Mom guilt” is holding us moms back from being the empowered moms we all should be to our kids, and ourselves. When we are feeling guilty, we should think of how we can take that guilt and do something about it. Let’s take that feeling and empower, uplift, and motive our kids.
To the working single mamas who are comparing themselves to the stay-at-home married moms, let go of the mom guilt. You are doing amazing, this is your reminder to keep going. I had to finally come to a realization that I deserve to be happy, I deserve to raise my kids and I had to unleash the mom guilt to be empowered enough to make those changes.
As a single mother, you may have found yourself feeling guilty for not being present with your children. The guilt can be overwhelming and make it difficult to enjoy time away from the kids or even relax at home. That is why Amanda and I have put together a 5-Day Workshop called Ditch The “Bad Mom” Thoughts & Embrace Balance.
Join us in our Facebook Group as we discuss how to let go of the “mom guilt” and we will work together to remove all of those “I am a bad mom” thoughts!
I hope that this article was helpful. Thank you for reading! Please comment below if you liked this article or have any more specific questions about why unleashing the mom guilt is important. I will do my best to answer your question asap.