September 16, 2020

Mom Guilt

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
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When you’re feeling like you are barely holding it together, you miss your kids, and you feel like you’re dropping the ball as a mom, as an employee, as a spouse, the typical advice out there for moms just doesn’t cut it.

Listen in to not only discover if you are harboring some mom guilt but also how to overcome it in a way that actually works. You work hard and you can be successful at work and at home without feeling guilty or like you’re not enough.

What You’ll Learn

How to know if you have mom guilt and how it impacts your work and family

Why traditional self-care advice doesn’t work and what to do instead

A simple exercise that will help free you of mom guilt when you’re at work

Featured in This Episode

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Hello!  Welcome!

There is a lot going on right now with virtual learning, working, hitting into the 4th quarter soon, a new season trying to tend to your relationships, your parenting, and yourself.

I’m seeing a lot of ads right now for teaching women and moms how to care for themselves during this time.

I think that can be helpful, but I also think there’s a lot out there that is fluffy (think bubble baths and walks, you know what I’m talking about) and think some of you are thinking – that’s nice, but that’s just one more thing for me to try to do. 

But when you’re feeling like you are barely holding it together, and you miss your kids, and you feel like you’re dropping the ball as a mom, as an employee, as a spouse, then adding a bubble bath doesn’t really seem to fit the bill right?

Also – you may not even be totally in tune with the guilt you are having and acknowledging you need some help in this area may be something you don’t want to do.

How can you manage everything on your plate and feel like you don’t suck?

Feel like you’re giving it your best at work and giving it your best at home?

I was there friends.  I run a business out of my home now, so I have some added flexibility but for the last 20 years until earlier this year, I worked out of the home in a corporate 9-5, sometimes evenings, sometimes weekends career with little to no control over my deadlines.

I remember the kids would have a ton of school party events – you know the math night, international night, welcome back night, and after a long day the last thing that sounded good was cooking dinner or most likely when we attended was grabbing fast food on the way, to make the event so the kids could go and see their friends they had been with all day, so we could be a visible parent and feel good about ourselves…

When we really just wanted to be home, spending time with the family or taking in some down time.

But there is pressure. Pressure from other mom’s, from your family, from your friends, from you comparing yourself to others.

And that added pressure, doesn’t help you.

Then when you think of cuddle time or connecting with your partner, you have to fit that in too, and if your kids are up until 9 or 10pm, you’re likely going to bed then or shortly thereafter, and next thing you know, you aren’t able to connect like you’d like.

Mom Guilt is real and felt by so many. Some ways this can show up is 

Depression and anxiety – feeling down a lot, fatigue, worry, low self-esteem

Negative thoughts – you’re abandoning your family, are selfish – all of this deteriorates your self worth and confidence

Massive focus on social media, maybe you post a ton to try to show you are an amazing mom and look at all the fun things you do, and/or you constantly scroll and compare yourself to others and think other moms are better than you, have it more together

Being overly busy – scheduling yourself so you never have down time, so you’re always busy and can’t be still enough to think about how you’re thinking and feeling, you ignore the guilt

Numbing yourself – whether it be with binging Netflix, shopping, drinking wine, or other ways to avoid feeling badly so you can feel better

Perfectionism – you worry about appearances, wanting everything to look as though you have it together and are perfect to avoid judgement and pain. 

Stopping the running around and trying to be everything to everyone, is I think one of the best ways to really practice self-care.

Not by adding something new but by focusing on the time you have where you have it.

Of course, you can look at your job and see if it is a good fit and make changes if that is the real problem.

But let’s say you love your job or even a different job would have similar hours and requirements.  

What your family needs from you is for you to be present.

You’re providing an excellent example for your kids as a strong working mom.

They don’t need you to quit your job.

The PTA doesn’t need you.  If you WANT to be a part of that, do it.  IF school events are exhausting and not required or really value add – then don’t.

Your partner doesn’t need your attention 10 hours a day.

More time with your kids doesn’t make you a better mom.

More time with your partner doesn’t make you a better partner.

What your family needs from you is your presence when you are with them.

What does this mean?

It means having clear boundaries between work and home.

It means when you are home, you’re present and available.

You are able to play games with them and be engaged, watch a program with them, talk to them about your day.

When you’re with your partner, finding a few minutes where you can connect, ask about their day and be truly interested in their response.  Listen and try to get into their world. Let them into yours.

We so often go through the motions.  We have a routine and days go by and become weeks and months.

We feel guilty like we are always measuring too short.

I ask you treat yourself with compassion.  Give yourself permission to be human.  Brene Brown says the antidote to feeling guilt or shame is to take a few moments and breathe.  Allow the feeling in and accept it.

It’s ok to miss school events, to turn your work phone off in the evening, to work hard at work and give yourself permission to enjoy doing something for you that you like doing.  You don’t have to feel bad for liking working.

You can love your job, love your kids and your partner and know you’re giving them what they need.

A little secret tip – if you’re questioning if you are really meeting their needs, ask the question.

It seems obvious, but we can be afraid for the response. For what it will mean if they don’t say you’re amazing.

We can also think, they won’t’ tell us.

But what if it was that simple. To just ask the question.

I do this. I ask my wife, what she needs from me to feel loved in the next 24 hours.

I ask my kids how they are doing, if they want more 1-1 time, how they are feeling.

When I reported into corporate, I would check in and ask what is a problem you need solving, how can I help?

Sometimes I’d hear my kids wanted more time, I’ve been told I’ve been on my work phone a lot lately while at home. It’s not easy feedback but it is a check in and it can help you see where you can really focus on the presence.

Telling yourself you’re not doing enough, that you are not having enough time with your family, that you are dropping the ball at work, doesn’t serve you.

Think about it – how is guilt helping you? How is focusing on the 1, 2, 3, 4 hours a day of awake time you may have with your family vs.16 serving you?

You’re focusing your brain on what you don’t have.

What if you focused your brain on what you do have?

I promise you will be more engaged at home and at work.

You will likely see a boost in your performance at work when you aren’t so worried about if you’re doing a good enough job at home.

When you’re at home and you leave work at work – you’ll be able to be more engaged.

So, what are the boundaries you need to set for yourself?

If you want to take this work to the next level, here is what I suggest.

Write out all of the ways your job is a benefit to your family.  Why does your career make you a better mom and wife?

What are all the ways that make you an amazing mom?

What makes you an incredible employee at work?  What impact do you have?

What are some ways you want to be more present?

If you want more help on this topic – and other topics facing women like you, I invite you to join my Becoming Fearless Community for Career Women on Facebook.  You get access to free trainings, guides, and workbooks.

To join, see the link in the show notes or go to Facebook and search for Becoming Fearless a Community for Career Women.

That is all for this episode.

Remember – focus your brain on what you do have, practice being present, setting boundaries, and allowing yourself to be human.

I will talk to you soon.

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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