How to shift from guilt to gratitude
Mom guilt is real! It is something that I have dealt with in various capacities throughout my motherhood journey. I also find that mothers who are juggling a number competing priorities such as career, business, ministry, and other associations, on top of mom duties experience mom guilt the most. This is just my observation, and I can see why this would be the case. In today’s post, let’s have an open conversation around mindset shifts needed to help moms overcome mom guilt this holiday season.
The holiday season is referred to as a “hustle and bustle” time of year because its full of activities, shopping, and obligations. The abundance of activity, regardless of how fun and festive they are, can lead to stress and even guilt.
What is mom guilt?
Mom guilt is caused by a number of factors. I’ve read a number of articles to better understand mom guilt beyond my own personal experiences. Simply put, mom guilt is a feeling of inadequacy as a parent and that you’re just not doing enough.
Causes of mom guilt during the holidays…
During the holidays these feelings can amplify due to a number of demands. Between shopping for gifts (if you do), working, being festive, and being present pulls on our time and can cause conflicts. Particularly for moms who already struggle with planning and prioritizing, mom guilt can be more intense.
I remember how I felt when my three children started making their gifts wish list. In our family, we prefer experiences over things. I was already a bit surprised that they’d make a list so long. But to them, it was only “a few small things”. Since when was an iPhone considered small, lol.
This experience made me start to question if I am shortchanging them and cheating them out of a magical Christmas. I can only imagine how parents who struggle financially must feel during this time of year.
Mom guilt can be triggered in a variety of ways based on your own personal situation. It’s up to us to recognize our triggers and start to shift our mindset from guilt to gratitude. If left unchecked, mom guilt can lead to depression and spill over into our everyday lives.
The thoughts that we think guides our emotions and foreshadow our actions. It’s important to approach motherhood with the right perspective and mindset.
The motto of Career Mom Community is, “Career Moms are ambitious women who rely on proper planning, strategy, and grace”. Grace speaks to the mindset we need to overcome the challenges we encounter on our motherhood journey.
5 Mindset Shifts to Overcome Mom Guilt this Holiday Season
To summarize, you will need to shift your mindset from guilt to:
- Embracing the moment
- Healthy living
The first mindset shift that is needed is grace. Grace can be defined as unmerited favor. Even when you don’t feel deserving show yourself grace. Be gracious in how you think and feel about yourself and your family.
The second is a mindset of gratitude. If you focus on what you have as opposed to what you don’t have, it will help to mitigate feelings of mom guilt. At the end of the day, we all have something to be grateful for.
Next is giving. I know your probably thinking, “I’m so exhausted… I’m financial struggling… I’m overwhelmed… what do I have to give?” I assure you can get creative and find ways to give more freely of your time. In doing so, you can focus on more meaningful moments that will leave a lasting impression on your children.
Like to giving, when you focus on embracing each moment as a gift, there’s little room for guilt. As a person of faith, my motto is
“Life is a gift, and the giver, God, is good”– Unknown
The last mindset shift is to focus on healthy living. At the end of the day, it’s not healthy to think poorly of ourselves or our efforts. Nor is it healthy to try to be all things to all people. This approach leads to burnout or worse. Always ask yourself:
- Is this approach healthy
- Are these thoughts healthy
Start to shift…
Once you start to shift your mindset from guilt to gratitude or to something more beneficial, you will notice the difference. You will see changes in both your mood and your perspective. I invite you to focus on one small change at a time if you are dealing with mom guilt. You can further overwhelm yourself if you try to tackle multiple mindsets shifts all at once. Start where you can and move forward from there.
As you are working on your mindset, I also encourage you to take time for selfcare. Selfcare does not have to be anything over the top, but can include some simple yet effective practices to ease your mind and refuel your soul.
Check this post with 12 Festive Holiday Selfcare Ideas for Moms!