Okay, confession time.
A few days ago I sent out an email about my “someday, maybe” I’ll go back to New York and how it became my “someday soon, absolutely!” If you missed it, check it out right here.
My “it’s gonna happen!” feeling is AH-MAZING. Don’t get me wrong.
But, let’s be real.
I’ve had mom-guilt about the trip.
I’m leaving my babies and flying 3,000 miles away.
My youngest cried the last time I left her at my parent’s house to go out to dinner! And then when I got home she told me how much she missed me.
And I’m leaving for days.
I’ve wondered how hard it might be for the girls and for my husband too.
I’ve wondered how much I might miss them.
I’ve thought about how my mom never took trips like this when I was little. It seems like I always had the comfort of knowing mom was home.
And, I’m going anyway.
And, I’m crazy excited.
And, I’ve worked through my mom-guilt to be leaving feeling guilt-free.
I did it by asking myself two questions whenever I had the guilt-ridden thoughts:
1: “Do I know that to be a fact?”
2: “How might that be perfect?”
It went like this… I’d think, “I’m leaving my babies” and then ask, “How might that be perfect?”
Then, I’d start to think about how my traveling allows them to see their mom following her dreams.
It gives them extra time with dad.
It allows them to see that I can leave and come back and all will be well.
My guilt shifted to ease.
Or, I’d think, “This is going to be hard on the girls” and then ask myself, “Do I know that to be a fact?” Nope. I don’t. It might be spectacular for everyone. That’s what I’m expecting.
Here’s the bottom line:
Mom-guilt is a form of beating yourself up.
And it doesn’t help anyone.
For me, this mom-guilt was sneaky. I didn’t immediately realize I was beating myself up because I was THINKING about how much I love my kids.
The FEELING, however, was beat-up and what I really needed was self-kindness, self-permission, and self-compassion.
If you’re feeling mom-guilt, be kind to yourself. Ask yourself the questions above, or consider the kindest thing you can say to yourself right now.
We don’t need to beat ourselves up for being human, making mistakes, taking trips, being away, or having a damn good time without our kids.
The beat-up helps no one.
It doesn’t say, “I love you.” It says, “I punish me.”
Whereas self-compassion is centered around love. It says, “I love me.”
Is that the message we want to tell?
Regardless of whether or not you’re a mom, if you feel any guilt reach for self-compassion. A dose of kindness toward yourself goes a long way.