Where’s the balance? How do you find time and space to unwind, be fully present for your family, and move through mom guilt?
I’ve found it starts with permission and focused attention on modeling healthy behaviors for my kids.
Give yourself permission to unwind.
As a working mom, it’s easy to get caught up in the feeling that you have to do it all, all the time, for all the people at work and at home and rarely for you. But, how present can you be when you are always doing for others and never taking a small moment to unwind for yourself?
Mom guilt starts with these often self-imposed expectations – the way we talk to ourselves, the should’s that exist in our minds, the endless list of things we are ‘supposed’ to accomplish in our day.
The first step to moving through mom guilt is awareness. What expectations do you have for yourself and what expectations do others have for you? Take a moment to consider this, discuss it with your partner, and see if the two truly align.
Chances are, there are a few moments to spare somewhere in the day where your partner, your work, and your kids expect nothing of you. If not, consider what it would feel like to communicate with your partner and kids the need to unwind for 5 or 10 minutes.
How would you choose to spend that time unwinding and centering? With a glass of wine, a few moments to just sit and breathe, 5 minutes of gentle stretching? Consider what you would need from your partner during these few moments and communicate!
Then, give yourself permission to try. Gently remind yourself the kids will be tended to, the dishes will get washed 5 minutes later, and the laundry will be folded eventually.
Give yourself permission to let go of the list and the expectations for just 5 to 10 minutes. Test it out and notice the difference when you allow yourself to invest in you. How does it change how you can invest in your kids? How does it change the time you spend with your partner?
Give yourself permission to notice how investing in yourself changes how you interact with you.
Consider what you believe is model behavior.
Wine for moms and modeling healthy behaviors may seem counterintuitive at first. But consider the power in showing your kids from an early age how to enjoy wine and alcohol responsibly.
Keep an open door about what you’re drinking, answer questions, and talk to your kids. As they grow, it will help them be more likely to talk to you if they know alcohol is not a taboo subject.
And maybe wine isn’t your go-to for unwinding. Maybe you enjoy a bit of chocolate or your favorite dessert in the evenings. Or maybe you savor those 30 to 60 minutes when you get to exercise in peaceful solitude.
However you unwind and invest in yourself, you are modeling self-care and productive mental health habits for your kids. The challenge is modeling self-care without modeling the mom guilt!
Take a moment to consider how it would feel to engage in your unwinding routine without talking about seemingly negative consequences.
To drink a glass of wine with true enjoyment.
To eat your favorite comfort food and savor it – without talking about the extra calories.
To exercise for strength and stamina – without talking about losing weight or working off food.
To meditate to maintain peace and balance – without apologizing for being in your sacred space for 10 minutes alone.
To model self-care as a practice in maintaining mental health. To model self-care as an investment in yourself that pays dividends for your relationship with your kids and partner.
What would that do to your mom guilt?
Mom guilt is real. But, you have the power to work through it.
Choose just a day or two and give yourself permission to unwind in spite of the guilt that may come. Your kids see you and, remember, mama, you get to choose what you model. Teach them self care – everyone’s mental health will benefit.