A few weeks have passed, it is about the time of year when people are at the make or break point. They either have started to make progress on their resolution or have already given up. And for some reason often times when you don’t do these things you set to accomplish there is a load of guilt attached to them.
Guilt that comes from the voice inside your head that tells you are not enough. “Why do I even try?” Sound familiar?
You need to stop feeling guilty
But there are so many people in your life who think you are enough. For example, randomly the last few days my son, who is four, has told me multiple times that I am a great mom. Is it sad that sometimes I don’t believe him? I think one time I put his shoes on so we could leave and anther time I stopped and gave him the hug he was asking for.
I recently realized feeling guilt might be a more of a woman issue. I’ve always heard it used as mom guilt, but it more than just mom guilt. Maybe the term mom guilt came out of how this guilt we can kind of hide or set aside intensifies once you become a mom. But now I see it as woman guilt. And we need to stop feeling guilty.
We don’t ever think we have done enough
For some reason, we as women don’t think that what we have done is ever enough. We can always find someone who has done what we have done and done it better. That inner voice gets to talking and points out our flaws. She is a better mom because of this and that. That girl you know is more worthy of the title because of this. Or maybe she is more successful because… and on and on it goes.
I was in the Air Force for six years, deployed to Afghanistan and even was shot at. But do you know that sometimes I don’t feel like I did enough to serve my country. I look at my six years and see that I didn’t do 20. I see the fact that I was deployed one time not two, three or four. And I see my one combat experience and say I should have experienced more to be a real combat veteran.
Personally, I don’t like to share these thoughts out loud. I mean, when you write it out on paper it looks like a crazy person is talking. The requirement to be a veteran is serving in the military. All the things you do during your time in the military is dependent on where you are and the choice of when you decide it is time to leave. You don’t have to serve 20 years, just the original commitment you signed up for.
But I know I’m not alone, you know you do it too.
Maybe not in military service, but in other parts of your life. You think you are not enough because you didn’t do it like her. You tried that new venture and it didn’t work. Might as well just stop trying. You are not the mom you imagined you would be. News flash no one is.
How do we stop feeling guilty when life happens and all we see is failure or not being enough?
First, stop and see what is going on right in front of us. Stop dwelling on the past or comparing your life to someone else. Is life passing you by because you are caught up in the unimportant instead of what is right there in front of you?
Second, listen to those around you. If my son says I am doing a good job at being a mom why would I doubt him. He is the person who gets to decide that. Have you met the qualification for something? If yes, you have earned it wear that badge of honor proudly. Don’t get stuck in the comparison game seeing what others have done to make what you have done less valuable.
Lastly, do your best. I sure screw up a lot as a mom. I lose my temper, add to much salt to dinner, I can’t keep up with the chores and the list goes on. But that perfect mom I created isn’t even close to reality. We are just trying to get by. And that perfect woman in your mind, she has flaws too. Don’t put her on a pedestal outside of reality.
Let us be the voices that bring encouragement and hope to the friends around us. And let us listen to the voices that bring us praise.
Let us be the change and let go of the guilt.