Guilt is aversive and—like shame, embarrassment, or pride—has been described as a self-conscious emotion, involving reflection on oneself. And this guilt, comes in all forms.
Somewhere along the line, instead of making choices for our life that are based on our identity, we started making choices based on one teeny tiny word and it has the ability to cripple us, silence us, suppress us, and also to render us ineffective. Not only in our day to day lives but also in our careers. That word is “should.” Right, mama? You know you say it. We make A LOT of our choices based off “should.”
- “I should get up early in the morning and have my quiet time.”
- “I should do a better job of getting off my phone.”
- “I should workout.”
- “I should say yes to that coffee date.”
- “I should be more present with my children.”
The list goes on and on. I’m here to tell you, STOP “shoulding” yourself. When we use the word “should” frequently, it does not bring growth. It sets false expectations we have for ourselves and when we don’t follow through with the things we said we should do, that’s when guilt creeps in.
Mamas, there is not going to be this beautifully balanced, perfectly curated, calendar slotted, reality. Hello! We’re in motherhood, here! None of us are like this in every aspect of life. But the thing of it is, we think it is reality because we see it. We see it on social media, we hear about it through podcasts or books. However, those, are just appearances. It is a SUPER small glimpse of that fellow mom’s full day. Every day we see the appearance of things, not the reality of it.
The reality is-motherhood is hard. And it is hard in so many different ways for different families.
- It is hard to sit at home, homeschooling and virtually schooling your kids in between piles of laundry and unloaded dishwashers.
- It is hard to work 2 jobs and be a single mama trying to provide financial stability for your family.
- It is hard to be emotionally stable after all you’ve done all nurse that newborn (feeling like some animal on a Discovery channel documentary) and change diapers.
And at the end of the day, we crawl into bed and we are tired. We are exhausted. It’s different than physical exhaustion, it’s soul tired. We’re crawling into bed with the guilt that we lost our patience. We feel guilty because we suppressed all of our natural strengths and talents and creative abilities because we were too busy just trying to survive today.
Remember, there are different flavors of guilt: guilt and remorse. Guilt and remorse are two very different things. If you were on your phone too much and that little knife feeling that says “I can do better” …. I cannot check Instagram 75 times a day….is poking at your gut, that is remorse. Remorse pokes you and prods you upward and higher to do more and to be more.
Guilt on the other hand is suppressive. Guilt drags you lower and says there is nothing you can do about this. There is nothing about this scenario that will ever change. You will never be more than you are right now. Your child will grow up and resent you. You will raise broken people. You are stuck. And guilt = lies. So, reject the lies in your head that are telling you you’re not a good enough mom. Reject the lies in your head that are telling you, you are not an awesome wife; that you cannot be successful in your job and be a good mom. REJECT THOSE LIES! STOP THE GUILT!
You will not have room for life in your life if you are too busy holding tight to guilt. Guilt tells us to justify. All day long up and down we hold tight to guilt as justification for the choices we continue to make. If we are so busy trying to make everyone happy, there is no way we can silence the voices of the “shoulds” and guilt long enough to hear the truth.
If you are wrapped up in guilt, you will not be able to be the best mama you can be. So, who’s committed to giving up the guilt and making room for more?