Mom-guilt has a negative and positive component!
We will start with the negative since it’s the most obvious.
Mom-guilt leads us to slip down a negative spiral of guilt, shame, and fear.
The fear causes us to react in ways we normally wouldn’t.
Like give in to our kids or do extra for them to try and prove we really do love them even if we don’t act like it…
“Sure, kiddo, you can have the extra scoop of ice cream.” Since I just screamed at you in the car 5 minutes ago, hopefully, this will make up for the shame I feel.
Yet, somehow, doing extra, spending extra, and giving more doesn’t make us feel better.
We will also beat ourselves up mentally, telling ourselves why we are such a bad mom.
It’s as if we have to punish ourselves for the bad behavior we show our kids.
It also drives us to focus on ourselves; we end up in a self-serving pity party.
We use our guilt to complain, justify our actions, and stay in our comfort zone of not having to change, and we end up feeling stuck.
Change is scary; getting out of our comfort zone to take care of ourselves and our kids in a healthy way can feel exhausting and like “one more thing.” It feels easier to scream at our kids and plop an extra scoop of ice cream on their cone to make them feel better and alleviate our guilt.
That’s the negative part of the mom-guilt.
The positive of mom-guilt is that it presses our consciousness.
Mom guilt, when used productivity is a powerful tool to help us work through challenges, re-build our relationships with our kids, and create a better life experience.
Mom-guilt can be used as a trigger to take three deep breaths, tune into why we are feeling the way we are feeling, recover with our kids, and make a productive choice on how to work through the situation we are feeling guilty about.
Guilt, anger, sadness, fear, disgust, all of these negative feelings are meant to stop us, to check IN, not check out.
One of the best ways to begin learning to slow down and check-in is to reflect on past experiences. I like to use the Trigger Tracker to build awareness around feelings of anger, guilt, and shame. You can use it too; CLICK HERE to get your free tracker today!