Dear Mom Guilt,
I am feeling feisty today--so watch out. Emily Ley told me in her book Grace Not Perfection that you are a liar, and today I decided to believe her. And so, like any true break up, I know this will be a process--but it is time for me to say a much overdue goodbye.
No longer will I endure your abuse. No longer will I tolerate your gaslighting and manipulations. No longer will I let you activate old stories and patterns.
Get out of the driver’s seat because no longer will you drive my bus.
We have been together since 2014 when my daughter was born. You swooped in like a bad dream and made me question all that I thought I knew about the world. I felt like a victim under your power. I felt like I was never doing enough. Being enough. Good enough.
If the baby wasn’t napping, I had done something wrong. If I saw another mom doing something different, she was automatically doing it better than me. When my husband would ask me to do something, I assumed it was because I had done it wrong the first time.
You stole my voice. You stole my confidence.
You left me full of shoulds and took me out of the present moment.
I should have spent more time sleep training
I should have held onto breastfeeding a little longer.
I shouldn’t have gone out and left my kids with a babysitter.
I should have signed up for swimming lessons.
I should have read those parenting articles.
And you manipulated me into doing things that didn’t feel good and having unrealistic expectations for myself.
I had to sign up to volunteer in my daughter’s classroom.
I had to go to take her to all the birthday parties.
I had to make my own baby food and use cloth diapers and be some sort of parenting expert.
You set a bar for me that it was unobtainable to achieve and then allowed me to wallow in self pity and self sabotage.
You dominated my intuition and activated my inner critic.
I thought we were through but somehow you are rearing your ugly head again, and so Mom Guilt it is time that I made this formal.
You will no longer steal my joy. They say that comparison is the thief of joy--well I want to add that you, Guilt, are also a burglar.
You do not serve me at all. You are a pointless emotion. At least anger drives me to action. Sadness informs me of my feelings. Joy brings me to alignment. But you--you tell lies. And keep me down. And in the past. Full of regret and negativity. And quite frankly Mom Guilt, I do not see your purpose anymore.
Today Mom Guilt, I am choosing me. And joy. And compassion. And intuition. I am choosing to be the expert of my own journey. I am choosing to stop the comparison game. And stop doing things from a place of desperation and obligation. But instead I will do things from a place of inspiration and let joy be my compass. My intuition and sense of alignment will now drive my bus.
Mom Guilt--here’s what I want you to know. I am doing the best damn job that I know how to do. And that knowing may change at any given moment but I have permission to evolve with the times. Life isn’t perfect and neither am I. When we focus on the past, we are robbed of the present moment and that is where the true joy lies--in the journey--amid the chaos. I am tired--exhausted really--of the Negative Nancy who lives in my head on repeat. My inner mean girl can take a backseat with you.
You’re welcome on my bus because you’re a version of me and I want to be where I am and love where I’ve been--and while I was harsh earlier, I do acknowledge and appreciate the role you have played. If nothing else your role is a reminder of how far I have come. I no longer need to be a victim. It’s time that I get into a space of empowerment. Knowing my power--unwaveringly and unapologetically. Knowing that at the end of the day no one else can give my children a happy and present mama but me. And from this moment on, that is my commitment and dedication--that is what I intend to do.
And so Mom Guilt--today as we break up I want to say that I forgive you and that I am setting you free and in doing so I am activating all parts of my potential. As I said before like any true breakup, I know you will try to come back to me. And quite frankly I can’t blame you--because I am awesome--but I will put up my boundaries. Because I love myself, I no longer need your low vibey, fear based self in my life.
Peace out Mom Guilt. And good riddance. May the next mom that you try to leach on to know her own worth and find her own voice as well. And if she has a hard time, do me a favor and send her my way. Because we are in this thing called life together and we are all warriors. And you don’t get to have a place in our ride if we don’t let you.