Kids & Family · Uncategorized

Case: Mothers vs Guilt. How do you plead?

4 Steps to rid the guilt!

Have you ever felt torn in two directions?  Meaning your body and energy focused on taking care of the kids, meanwhile you’re feeling “guilty” for not cleaning, or doing laundry, or “work”, or vice versa!!!

While I do work (my photography business, editing photos, writing these blogs, etc.), I feel guilty about not spending that time with my girls.  While I play with the girls I find myself feeling anxiety about not getting “work” done, or cleaning, or whatever!

Crazy right?

Never really just BEING in the moment…always thinking about something else.

Anxiety, frustration, depression, overwhelm, confusion, doubt, and GUILT!    I feel these emotions on a daily basis, to varying degrees of course.

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Being aware of my mindset is the first step to changing it (I get to this later :)). 

We all have our ups and downs… sometimes more downs than ups.  It is FRKN hard! 

So don’t feel guilty, be amazed at how strong you are!  One step at a time. 

And you don’t have to do it alone!!!!!

Sometimes I think I must have a third arm or something cause somehow I managed to get it done! What a balancing act right?

….but to what expense?  Like SO MANY of us out there, you may feel totally physically, mentally and emotionally drained.

Does any of this feel familiar?:

  • Some mornings I don`t want to get out of bed!
  • Little things seem incredibly hard, and it feels like the walls are collapsing in on me.
  • I feel depressed and lonely and want to get out of the house. To interact with ADULTS, and feel the sun on my skin. CABIN FEVER!
  • …..But the other part of me feels like having to shower, dress, get the kids ready, is just too overwhelming.  Not to mention I am in no mood to do `pretend happy chit chat` with other moms cause that is NOT how I really feel.

 

Well ladies it is OK. 

Many of those other moms are also doing alot of `pretend chit chat with forced smiles`. 

Take home point: You are NOT ALONE!

 

What makes all of these feelings worse of course, is the added GUILT we put on ourselves for this or that, ….or for even feeling guilty in the first place! 

What a ridiculous and horrible cycle!

My mamma always said: “Guilt is a waste of energy!”

…and she is right, but it is not as easy as just acknowledging this logically.  Our emotion centers are much more complex.  At the same time as knowing our feelings are illogical, we still feel them!

So what CAN we do?

How have you dealt with emotions like this: the balancing act of being a mother with all of it’s roles and responsibility… and the Guilt!????  HOW???

There is no easy answer to this, nor one that works for everyone, but as a mother of two myself who suffers from anxiety/depression and a related epilepsy condition, I want to share what helps me.

This is not revolutionary, and you have likely heard it all before.   This is not a cure all either, just simple things that can make a BIG difference.

*AM TIP: Start with ONE thing from this list, just ONE! 

Taking action will make you feel SO good and lead you out of inaction! I promise 🙂

 

1-Plan your week in detail!

Actually write it out or type it up, whatever works for you.

Think of each thing you want to do or find yourself wishing you had “time” to do and write it all down. Now schedule it out on your weekly schedule.  Make the time for what is most important!

i.e.-Playtime with kids, cleaning, cooking, laundry, outings, kids clubs, meetings with friends, gym/exercise, work…

etc etc etc….  Schedule it in!  This allows you a visual and time to prioritize!

And remember to put your own oxygen mask on first! 

If you don’t how are you supposed to be there for your family? So schedule some YOU time….exercise, a walk, reading, yoga, watching your favourite show, a nice bath, whatever it is!

This is of PRIME IMPORTANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT SKIP ON THIS. 

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2-PLAN YOUR WEEKLY meals and write your grocery list!

Schedule this in too: both the time to look up recipes and write it all down, and your shopping trip itself!

If you are like me….cooking at the end of the day is the last thing I feel like doing. Not to mention this is the most challenging time of day with my toddler.  It feels like all of my energy is being used to stay calm, parent, and keep it together!

Sitting there wondering “what am I going to make for dinner”, especially last minute, causes me to stress out!  I guess I am not a huge fan of cooking.  Just not.

 

Having my weekly meals planned out and all of the ingredients in the house ready to go before the work week starts is a HUGE help!  No more wondering and scrambling last minute, going to get take out and then MORE GUILT for eating take out.  Gah!

 

I made myself a little chalk board that I have propped up on the kitchen table on a little photo stand and I used pretty chalk board markers to write the menu out for the week.  I find this a great reminder and also peace of mind knowing what the plan is.

Here is this week:

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Also I find we waste alot less food! Thus saving $$$, and no guilt cause I have planned out my healthy meals for the week 🙂  AND we make sure to have left overs for hubby’s lunch the next day so we can also meet our health and fitness goals!

IT WORKS

Remember that you will not always follow your schedule, or meal plan exactly, and allow room for the FUDGE FACTOR!
Yummy, now I want fudge….OK back to the topic;)

Shit happens. Go with it.  Your plan is a guideline!

 

3-Support Without Comparison Hangovers

When I feel myself needing support I am so glad I have my husband and a handful of really close friends, and an counselor I can rely on.  A quick facebook message, text, or call is all it takes.

You must have a support network!  Do not go it alone….it does not make you stronger, better, or whatever….it makes you tired and worn.

It takes strength to reach out to others and to realize your need for support! Don’t let “pride” get in the way…..throw that way of thinking out the window right now, or don’t bother reading any further!

Here’s a BIG one!: DO NOT COMPARE YOUR LIFE TO OTHERS ON FACEBOOK!!

In fact  this is toxic.  Repeatedly reading about all these great things “every one else” is doing, expensive vacations, events, and how “amazing their lives are”….. will only make you feel like your life is crappy….and it’s not!!!

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“Do not compare your life’s work to another person’s highlight reel!”

I Believe I got this from either Marie Forleo, or one of my Photography Mentors.

 

4-Calm, Gratitude, and Conscious Mindfulness

You know that feeling when you are starting to get overwhelmed, the nerves, the blood pressure, the worry, the restlessness…..yeah that one.  STOP, SIT, BREATHE!

I am also a yoga instructor, go figure, but need to meditate more! 

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Part 1: Find your Breath

Breathe in, long slow breaths, exhale long slow breaths.  Slowing down your breathing and heart rate.

Just be.

Your “stressors” will still be there to think about when you are done, so for this time, focus on your breath, give yourself this time because you deserve it and because you NEED it, and the rest can wait 5 min! 

Count your breaths and try your best to focus only on the breath moving into your body.

Feel it move in, ribs and chest expand, belly rise, and then exhale releasing all stress and tension, still focusing on the breath and your body.

Do this at least 10 times or until you feel calmer

***Try this visualization***

Fill your imaginary bubble with all of your guild and negative thoughts, and then visualize yourself blowing it away, floating further and further away in the wind until it is gone!

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Part 2: Gratitude

Think of 3 SPECIFIC things, in detail, that you are grateful for (ANYTHING AT ALL, like the coffee you are sipping, or the awesome jeans you are wearing, or no red lights on your way to work, the smile your children give you in the morning when you first go in their rooms).

Take a couple minutes to VISUALIZE each one individually, and most importantly to FEEL!

*** It has been scientifically shown that connecting emotion to thoughts creates a neurological transformation in your brain! ***

Do this DAILY. In the shower, while sipping your coffee, before bed, whenever!

<3<3<3

 

If you want to take it one step further, write these things down and post them somewhere visible for you, or several places.  I have notes posted on the fridge, on my bathroom mirror, in my bedroom, and on my computer desk!

 

Part 3: Conscious Mindfulness

Pay attention to your thoughts.  Notice them and reflect back.

What are they.  Are they negative?  If so, how can you turn it around to something positive.

You may notice just how often you are beating yourself up!  You are likely your own worst enemy!

You need to tackle that before you can allow your true, deeper, wiser, inner self find alignment and happiness in your life 🙂

 

Notice, listen, accept the thought, and then rephrase it, change it, and add emotion to it.

It might be hard work.  You might not feel like you really mean it at first……AT FIRST, but do this over and over again every day and you will mean it.

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If you have to, repeat a mantra, phrase, something that makes you feel better even if it feels a little forced, but done repeatedly, your brain will come to believe it.

The magic comes when your mind is calm and free of worry or negative thoughts.  The brain is astounding and will come up  with solutions on it’s own.  You will likely begin finding clarity and peace.

This is NOT an easy process and not a quick fix either but for goodness sake, just DO IT! What have you got to lose?

 

At the end of the day remind yourself that your children love you with every fiber of their being, flaws and all!  They rely on you, look up to you, they don’t judge you.  You are their Hero!

Now keep being amazing ladies, you are strong as hell and doing a GREAT job!

❤ Hugs and support! 

Anne-Marie

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