When was the last time that you felt guilty? I bet it wasn’t that long ago.
We ladies are pretty good at letting ourselves feel guilty about the little things. The things that don’t really matter in the greater scheme of life. We are consumed by the fact that our best isn’t good enough and our standards for ourselves are so high that we feel immense guilt when we feel we have ‘slipped up’.
That guilt goes next level when you become a mum. The pressure of being responsible for one or more little souls can weigh heavily on your mind. If you let it, the feelings might consume you completely.
So, what causes these constantly guilty thoughts, and what can you do about them?
Why Do You Feel So Guilty?
As young girls we are taught that we are equal, powerful and that we can do anything we set our minds to. But somewhere along the way, we also learn about the ‘perfect woman’. The one that has it all together. She has a great career, a happy family, she looks amazing, she is fit, she earns buckets of money, she has a perfectly clean home and makes it to every event involving her children.
Do you know why we can’t live up to that ideal woman?
Because it is so unrealistic and she doesn’t exist! There is no possible way that we can tick every box on that list. We can certainly tick some, but in order to tick some, others must be sacrificed.
And you know what?
Often, we beat ourselves up about not exercising enough, not putting the right foods in our bodies, not having the right clothes, leaving work early for the family, staying at work late and neglecting the family, wearing too much makeup, not wearing enough makeup, and that isn’t even half of it!
Here’s what it boils down to. We feel constant pressure to live up to a fictional ideal. Somehow, we feel like we have failed for not achieving the impossible.
But it is time to stop losing sleep as a result of guilt and do something about it!
How You Can Stop the Feelings of Guilt…
There is no reason to feel guilty all the time, so here are my tips for squashing those negative feelings down…
Own Your Decisions: If you want to have a slice of cake or a glass of wine, do it, in moderation of course.
But to borrow the Nike phrase…
Just Do It!
And enjoy doing it.
Make a conscious decision to enjoy that cheesecake or chocolate bar as a treat. Then return to your normal routine without guilt. Remember, it’s the 80/20 rule, 80% of the time we make healthy choices and 20% of the time we can make the not so healthy choices.
Look for The Positives: Celebrate the small wins that you have instead of focusing on what you haven’t achieved yet. Looking at the positives will put you in a far better frame of mind than if you dwell on the negative aspects!
Stop Trying to Be Perfect: Who even knows what perfect is? Don’t give yourself impossible standards to live up to. Realise that your best is more than enough.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Live your life the way you are comfortable doing and the way that works best for your family. Never compare yourself to anyone else, simply just focus on yourself instead. You never know, you might be feeling guilty about how you’re being as a parent or that fact you never get out to exercise, yet the person next door admires and envy’s you for reasons you don’t know. We are always so much harder on ourselves so this goes back to the point above, look for the positives!
Embrace Mistakes: You will make mistakes, everyone does. The important thing is not the mistake itself, but how you handle it and what you learn from it. Be honest with your loved ones if you drop the ball, be honest and open about it and start afresh tomorrow!
Realise Guilt Isn’t All Bad: Feeling guilty proves that you care about yourself and your emotions. Accept that fact, acknowledge the emotions and move forward. It also makes you aware of what you want and if someone else has it, you know it’s achievable so a great way to turn it into a goal for yourself.
Surround Yourself with Support: You are not alone in your feelings. In fact, every woman feels the same at one time or another. Which is why it is important for us to support each other. Surround yourself with empowering friends, or a great community.
If you’d like to join an empowering group of mothers who are all on the in the same boat, trying to do the best we can and feeding our families as healthy as possible, join my Healthy Eating Made Easy with Wick closed Facebook group – it’s an encouraging and supportive environment for us all to share this crazy journey together!