Words by Psychotherapist Jane Faulkner
Motherhood is a journey of constant learning, letting go and creatively adjusting to what life brings you. As my children have grown, I have watched myself become consumed by guilt – guilt about choices I have made, the time I didn’t have to spend with them, problems they have, all kinds of crazy things that I used to beat myself up with.
At times, this guilt could be crippling and it would really get in the road of my clear judgement about what the situation and my kids needed. I remember realising that my guilt was actually obscuring my view and also my connection with them. When I felt really guilty, it was all about me! I felt disconnected and not present to them or their needs. My guilt was also keeping me captive and I didn’t feel free in my parenting. I set expectations for myself and my family way too high and I noticed that we were fighting a lot, so I was only noticing the negatives.
I was miserable and so was my family, so I explored relaxing, handing over more responsibility to my kids, trusting and letting go of some of the guilt.
Here are 8 strategies that helped me.
To implement these strategies I had to let go of a lot of old ways of thinking that didn’t serve my family or me. I had to be open to walking a new path and allowing myself to make mistakes along the way, to remind myself that I was learning and human too! So go gently with yourself, park your guilt and remind yourself that being guilty doesn’t help anyone.
Jane Faulkner is a Reg. Nurse with a Masters Degree in Gestalt Psychotherapy, a certificate in Initiatic Art Therapy and A Certificate in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy; she is also a yoga teacher. She works in private practice as well as in a local health retreat; she has worked in the Wellness industry for the past 20 years.
Thanks, Jane, I know I certainly need to take this on board. Now over to you…are you a sufferer of ‘mother guilt’ – I know I’m certainly guilty as charged (though now committed to being mindful not to be)? Share what works for you and inspire others, or post a question for Jane in the comments below.
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