Toolkit for Moms
Apply gently to mom-guilt as needed.
Mom-guilt sneaks in at the worst times. When we need our strength, mommy guilt leaves us feeling drained and inadequate. At times like these, I strongly insist that you say a resounding, “No” to those guilt-producing thoughts and reach for some healthy affirmations to redirect your thoughts and feelings.
I insist because growth producing self-reflection requires safety. Gentleness is a must when you’re working to change deeply ingrained thoughts of guilt and self-doubt. Harshness causes defensiveness and a retreat back into the familiar every time. Go gently into the new and unfamiliar because that’s where growth happens.
A word about affirmations because there’s a lot of conflicting ideas about postive thinking and self-affirmations. When I talk about affirmations what I mean is:
“The act and process of confirming, declaring and proclaiming a thing to be true.”
It’s like when you find a painting in your basement and you want to know if it’s valuable. So, you find an art connoisseur with the skill and knowledge to confirm the value of your painting.
When it comes to judging your value as a parent, you’re the expert. You know your value better than anyone else. To access the truth, you must quiet the unkind judgments your guilt and self doubt throw at you.
When I talk about mom affirmations, I’m not talking about a bunch of wild and ridiculously sugar-coated statements that anyone could see are utterly ridiculous. If you can’t believe the statement at some level, it’s not for you.
Affirmations are about affirming what you know to be good and true. Select statements that your sense of self will accept.
Taking a moment to assess your true worth as a mother will help you get grounded in truth in order to make good decisions about what’s best for you and your family. Self-doubt and mom-guilt have a way of getting moms off-balance and believing some really messed up things about themselves. That kind of misguided emotion-ruled thinking can lead to a parent down some dark alleys. Trust me, I’ve explored more than enough dark alleys to know. I can say without a doubt in my mind, “You don’t want to go there.”
Try out some of these affirmations for moms. Choose the ones that your brain will most easily accept as true about you. If you find yourself thinking, “Wow, she sure doesn’t know me if she thinks that’s true,” then that one isn’t the one for you right now. Work up to believing more and more good about yourself. Don’t force it. Take your time.
Select the affirmations that best fit for you.
Say it out loud.
“I am the right mother for my children.”
“I made it through dirty diapers and potty training. I know I can do hard things.”
Focus and Breathe.
“I’m proud that I’ve seen I can do hard things. Moms do hard things daily.”
Say it strong.
“Now is the time to be gentle with myself.”
Decide what's true.
“I grow and mature through each new challenge.”
Train Your Thought Life.
“I look for ways to encourage myself.”
You're doing it.
“There are a million things I appreciate about my kids.”
You've got tools.
“My children are interesting people.”
Say what's true.
“I know my value as a mother and as a woman.”
Feel the difference.
“I survived the pandemic. I can survive parenting.”
“I relax my body and mind.”
Use the tools.
“I’ve done a ton of things right as a mom.”
Choose your thoughts.
“I am becoming more resilient each day.”
Embrace the goodness.
“I am capable of more love for my children than I ever imagined possible.”
Rest in the knowing.
“There are many wonderful things yet to come in my relationship with my child.”
Say it again.
“I’m resourceful. I get the help I need.”
The Story of a mom…
Maybe you know this story, of a mom who was struggling. She was caring, generous, wanting to do right by her kid.
Still, no matter how she tried to reach him, to get him to listen and make good choices, to have a loving relationship, nothing seemed to work.
As you can imagine, it was wearing on her.
She was tired of the arguments. Watching her child struggle left her doubting herself. She was at her wits end not knowing what else to try.
She desperately wanted to be a good mom. What’s more, she wanted her child to be happy, to feel confident and loved.
She was secretly starting to hate being a mother and felt guilty for even thinking it. Though, she loved her kid, being a mom, dealing with all her kid’s behavior and problems, was overwhelming. She wondered if she was burnt out.
I’m Deborah Woods,
National Board-Certified Counselor.
I know that mom’s story. I’m all too familiar. I know, because I was that mom. Until I discovered, the answer was easier than I imagined. What I know now, that I didn’t know then is, this mom thing doesn’t have to be so hard. I didn’t know, what I didn’t know, until I did.
If you’re all too familiar with this mom’s story, stick around and let’s talk about how to fill your home with more joyful days and peaceful nights.