“Life ain’t a track meet, it’s a marathon.”
It’s true. So often throughout the day, I’ll remind myself of these lyrics. (Yes, I do sing it — in my head or aloud. It’s also fun to serenade myself in the mirror.) Pre-motherhood, it was simply about life. Now, I apply the metaphor to motherhood.
Mom life is a marathon, not a sprint.
You see, every mom I’ve ever known, near and far, experiences mom guilt to some degree, at some point in their journey of motherhood. And typically, it doesn’t serve us, especially when it leads us to say no to the things that fill us up.
So here are a few ways I’ve found to kick mom guilt to the curb and live my #momlife marathon to the fullest:
- Remember your why. Whether it’s a reason for going to work every day or a night away from the family, taking time to invest in ourselves usually has a greater “why” than the feelings that may come up from time to time. For example, I currently work part time outside of the home as a therapist, and I’m building a life coaching business. These are things that allow me to use my gifts, bring in money for the family, do something good in the world, and feel a sense of meaning and purpose.
- Practice saying no. “No” is one of the most valuable words in the English language, especially during the busy seasons of our lives. Last holiday season I decided to ignore the mom guilt and say no to the craziness/business/stress. During your next busy season, make a list of the memories and events or activities that give you and your family joy. Then say no to the rest.
- Reach out to a favorite person for a pick-me-up. Bonus points if she also happens to be a mom. Chances are, she’s had mom guilt before and will have some tips for you. Or if nothing else, she can remind you that mom guilt is normal to feel, but it’s also OK — and, in fact, wonderful — to ignore it. Put it away. Focus on things that serve you.
How have you kicked mom guilt to the curb? Please do let me know. Motherhood is a long journey, and we’ve got to tend to our hearts, souls, and selves along the way.