Guilt is a form of self-criticism that can beat your ego like a toddler beats a saucepan with a wooden spoon.
You may not have realised this, but…when you become a mother, you also give birth to a ‘gremlin.’
And this gremlin can be very annoying.
When you feel like you’re failing or falling short of the expectations of others, the gremlin is at work…lurking very close to you.
When your home looks a mess…toys left out, towels on the floor, stuff on the stairs that never gets taken up (unless you do it), dirty pots and pans piling up by the sink and washing up still to be done, it’s YOU that feels guilty for not keeping on top of the household jobs.
When stuff comes up that stops you in your tracks, you can sometimes over-analyse what’s going on and this can make you feel like you’ve fallen short of being a mum…and that’s when the guilt gremlin creeps in.
Then…If you add into the mix, social media’s apparent need for mums to be perfect at just about everything, is there any wonder then why you feel exhausted by feeling you’re simply not good enough all the time?
I used to feel guilty as a mum returning to my job after maternity leave and actually wanting to leave my kids behind! No one ever shared this same feeling with me so I thought I was the only one. I now realise I wasn’t alone…but because it wasn’t talked about…it was taboo to even think it, let alone voice it out loud…I felt alone, ashamed and the amount of guilt I put on myself haunted me.
This kind of guilt for mothers and fathers returning to work after taking time off is normal. You may feel guilty for all sorts of reasons…but that burden of guilt weighs heavy. And if there’s no outlet to share those dark and depressing thoughts…it’s gets heavier. I know this from my own experience.
That’s the little guilt gremlin’s doings.
Working out how to eliminate this guilt gremlin begins when you realise you can actually embrace it…yep…I know…but imagine picking up the little gremlin off the floor, looking him square in the eyes and acknowledge what he’s doing, because ignoring him, or shaking him away from you isn’t working. He always comes back.
By embracing the little fella, you can come up with ways you might change your routine when you feel the guilt gremlin is showing up.
When your gremlin is hanging around and you can feel his power taking over….focus and remember your accomplishments. Don’t allow yourself to compare you to anyone else because you are unique. What you have accomplished and what you’ll go onwards to achieve will be different to every other mother. Playing the comparison game is not embracing the guilt gremlin.
When you stand proud of your accomplishments and you make bold decisions in your life with confidence and with no need to explain yourself, others will notice the change in you. It will become infectious. Only then, will you be able to offer compassion and empathy to others too…without judgement.
I managed to get back in control of my guilt gremlin with the right help and support and now this is one of the unique challenges I offer to help other women with. I take great pleasure in seeing my clients weaken their guilt gremlins and empowering them to embrace their guilt gremlin and own that little sh!t.
It’s a great feeling to feel that heavy burden of guilt finally left off…