We were excited to be on a panel with Molly Gold and Kim Coleman to listen to you and how Mommy Guilt manifests. This session was great because each of the panelists are so different, that together we provided a range of solutions and perspectives.
We shared our Yoga Parenting tools on how to manage the beast! Of course, the Universe provided ample material!
As I prepared to leave for the conference, in characteristic “Practical Mommy” fashion, I had my T-48 hours to departure To-Do List. Of course, the problem with having everything so perfectly orchestrated is that any one hitch in plans means the wheels go flying off the bus, right? So on the day I was supposed to get on a plane, my daughter had an “emergency” with her homework and my son wets the bed! And as I navigated all this, I chuckled to myself because as Zen Mommy always says, “We teach what we most need to learn.” Balance. Aaaaah.
Linda Sellers, our moderator, started the session with the Webster’s Definition of “Guilt:” a feeling of culpability for offenses.
Where does that feeling of culpability, of having done something wrong stem from? I contend that it comes from our tendency to JUDGE OURSELVES.
For example, I can’t live without my to-do lists. As Practical Mommy and not unlike @MyGoMom, it’s one of my go-to solutions. But it is important to remember that the list is a tool, a means to an end rather than an end in itself. My tendency is to look at the list at the end of the day and evaluate the success of my day by the number of items I got to check off the list. It’s our human nature, er, habit to judge something/everything as either GOOD or BAD. Judgement is the root of Mommy Guilt and really, all guilt.
However, if we can withhold judgement and remember that when things don’t go according to plan, it doesn’t mean #FAIL! It just meant that reality did not match your preconceived vision. Did I mention that Zen Mommy had to cancel at the last minute? Our panel was planned as a panel of FOUR. Instead it was three plus a video post from Zen Mommy on How to Be a Happy (Not Guilty) Mama!
I loved Kim’s response to Mommy Guilt. She explained that she does not fall victim to this very often but when she does, it must mean that something is truly out of balance. Guilt is a red flag that lets her know that something in her life needs to change because the way she’s doing it at the moment, is not working, which led to the next topic.
We asked the audience for their definition of balance and you responded: Peace. Stability.
I happen to agree. I used to think that being balanced meant that all the different “silos” of my life were equal: my house column, my children column, my career column, my personal fulfillment column… if I had devoted equal amounts of time and energy towards each of these in a given period of time, say a day or a week or a month, yay for me! I was “balanced.” I realized that as Molly pointed out, this is “a myth!”
As my life has shifted, I realized that I can tap into feelings of peace and stability at any time. Any moment. Really. By taking a deep breath and getting re-settled in my body, I can be balanced. And when I am balanced, I can more clearly see what priorities need to go on my to-do lists and tackle those to-do’s with intention rather than frenetic energy… which I believe is the experience we are all trying to avoid, right?
My favorite trick is using the breath, Yoga-style of course, to tune and re-center myself. Here’s a quick video demonstration:
Kim also pointed out that everything is constantly changing. There are times when you will spend more time on work and other times you’ll spend more time with your family, depending on what needs attending or even what stage of life your children are in. I loved her takeaway that whatever is happening, nothing lasts for very long — good or bad.
Molly also reminded everyone that it’s important to figure out what works for you because each mom and family is different. What may seem like too much for you (like going to kids’ sporting events endlessly), may be a joy for another mom.
Someone in the audience brought up the challenge of blogging versus family, especially when blogging is not yet contributing to the family financially.
Of course you know me… I am a strong advocate for moms (anyone, really) going after their dreams and passions. A passion infuses happy energy into everything we do, even and especially our parenting. As moms, don’t we want our children to go after their dreams? If we are not willing to allow ourselves our own dreams, how do we expect them to do it?!
If you attended the session and have any more questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments. I would love, love, love for us to share more on mommy guilt and on life balance. We can all learn from each other.
Thank you so much, Molly, Kim and Linda. I’m sure I missed some sage words of advice so if you can remember more from the panel, please add them here.
Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?