The pressures of family life can make us feel that we are falling short as a parent. Here’s why you shouldn’t let guilt stand in the way of your happiness.
Think you haven’t done enough today? Think again.
When I’ve asked mothers what their biggest stressors are, often the response after ‘not having enough time’ is ‘feeling guilty about not doing enough’.
All parents feel overwhelmed at times. It is no wonder, given the pressures and responsibilities we deal with on a daily basis, both at work and at home. When this occurs, there is the tendency to begin comparing ourselves to others, and inevitably believing that we are falling short as a parent.
The good news is that this perception of lack is only a thought, and thoughts can be transformed.
Try this: For an entire day, every time you have the thought “I am not doing enough for my children/spouse/boss etc.” or “My friend is a much better parent than me. I must be doing something wrong”, replace the thought with an affirmation such as “I am doing the best that I can”. It is helpful both to state affirmations out loud (whenever possible) and to write down specific examples of positive things you have done. They can be as simple as “I reminded Joey to bring his lunch to school” or “I asked Amy about her day and truly listened to her response”. Remember that no action is too small to be acknowledged!
Sound easy? Don’t be surprised if the above task is challenging. It takes practice to let go of our negative thoughts patterns. The trick is not to push thoughts away, but simply to acknowledge them and consciously choose to focus our attention on something more positive.
The Benefits of Letting Go of Guilt and Worry
1. Learning to recognize and let go of your stressful thoughts will help your children to learn this valuable skill.
2. Your stress levels will significantly decrease.
3. Your increased self-awareness can positively affect all relationships in your life, as you will be able to communicate your needs more clearly.
4. You may experience feeling more peaceful, regardless of challenging situations.
5. When mistakes occur you will be more accepting of others and of yourself, rather than being critical and judgmental. (And we all make mistakes!)
There are daily opportunities to choose peace, rather than stress. If you can begin to view some experiences as a positive learning opportunity rather than a burden, you will be well on your way to living a life of ease and contentment.