As moms, we tend to put the needs of others before our own. After all, we are responsible for the health, safety and well-being of the little people we love so much…our children!
But if you find yourself continually sacrificing your self-care or happiness, your life might be out of balance. Refocus and try putting yourself first a little more often. Baby steps is all it takes.
Baby Step # 1 – Don’t be Afraid – Believe it or not, when you’ve conditioned yourself to be ‘essential’ in your children’s lives during every available moment it’s scary to step back and let go of control. Don’t let fear paralyze your actions. Trust that like many other women mastering their lives, you too can find a balance and all will be okay. The children will survive just fine during the time you require to tend to yourself. Better yet, your children will witness you give needed attention to yourself and that is an important lesson to teach. Moms are people too. Moms need a break. Moms love their children, but also love themselves.
Baby Step # 2 – Ditch the Selflessness – Being a good mom doesn’t mean you must become a martyr and agree to a life of selflessness and sacrifice. It’s not selfish to do something that makes only you happy; it is merely essential to ‘self-care’. Give yourself permission to prioritize yourself.
Baby Step # 3 – Set a Goal – The first step to conquering ‘mom guilt’ is to set a goal for yourself. No goal is too small. Don’t hold back either. Spotting a goal is easy. Finish the sentence “I wish I could ______, but I can’t because I have to care for the kids, I have no time, I have no help”. It may be getting your hair highlighted, getting that gel manicure, joining the gym, taking a class, shopping for new clothes, or going out with friends. Write down your goal. Take note of it often. Envision yourself meeting that goal. Tell yourself that failure is not an option.
Baby Step # 4 – Find the time – Finding time for anything outside of the daily grind can be tough for a mom. If you can’t find the time, make the time. Call on your resources. Your partner, your family, a babysitter…there are often resources all around if you look. Drop the kids for a play date if you need an hour. Join the gym that has child care. Think outside the box and you will find a way.
Baby Step # 5 – Make Your Own Rules – Don’t be afraid to break from the norm and don’t muddy yourself with what other people will think. Yeah, I missed my son’s baseball game last night because I went to the gym. I know what you’re thinking “How could a mother choose to do something so selfish such as ‘go to the gym’ when their precious little leaguer is batter up on the field?”. For the record, I am and always will be my son’s biggest fan. I’ve been to plenty of games and I will attend many more. We’re looking for balance in life. Break the rules if you need to in order to find balance. Accept that it’s okay to make your own rules.
Baby Step # 6 – Meet the Goal – If you’ve set yourself up right, you will be in position to turn your goal into a reality. Congratulations! You deserve it. Be proud of yourself.
Baby Step # 7 – Acknowledge Your Emotions – Now that you’ve met your goal, how does it feel to have accomplished something for yourself? Spoiler alert…it feels GREAT! Acknowledge this feeling and recognize it’s essential to your happiness and well-being. It is vital to feel good about yourself and your accomplishments! You are important.
Baby Step # 8 – Observe the Aftermath – Take a look around. Are your children safe and happy? Did the house burn down? Has life completely fallen apart in your absence? Of course not! It can be done ladies! Seek balance, direct some focus on your self-care, and happiness will follow for yourself that you can share with your loved ones. A happy mom makes a great mom.
Baby Step # 9 – Set Reminders – If you need the extra help, set reminders to trigger yourself to act for yourself. If you want to hit the gym three times per week, mark the calendar and secure the resources. If you need highlights every three months, put it on schedule now and arrange childcare. Do the work today to help you meet your goals tomorrow.
Baby Step # 10 – Focus on NOW – Focus on what you can accomplish today big or small for yourself to make yourself a little extra happy.
Free yourself of mom guilt and go chase some dreams.
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