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StorkNet Home > Parenting Channel > Working Mothers Cubby

Top 10 Guilt Busters
by BlueSuitMom.com, a site for working mothers
We've all had those moments when you get sent on a business trip during the week of your daughter's dance recital or a night out with some friends causes you to miss your son's first steps. The guilt hits you like a brick.

Guilt is a great waste of emotional energy. It causes us to become immobilized in the present because we are dwelling on the past. Guilt can be very debilitating. It often brings productive thoughts and actions to a standstill. Introducing logic helps counter-balance guilt and helps us stay on course. A key point about guilt is that it is a condition and not a feeling. Using guilt as a feeling masks deeper emotions and the identity of a problem.

Here are 10 guilt busters from Work/Life Balance Coach Natalie Gahrmann:

  1. Live in the Here and Now
    Make the present perfect. Do not expend your energy dwelling on what you should've, could've, might've done in the past. The present is a gift; enjoy it!

  2. Say 'No' More Often
    Establish a list of what's absolutely important to you. Do very few things you resent or strongly prefer not to do. Refer to this list as a reminder of your priorities.

  3. Realize You Can't Do It All
    If you try to live up to the Super Mom ideal, you'll end up exhausted. So, delegate more often. Stop trying to be everything to everybody. Avoid the perfectionism attitude.

  4. Put Things in Perspective
    Determine whose standards you're trying to live up to.

  5. Be Secure with What's Important to You
    Taking action is almost always a better choice than doing nothing. Be aligned with "who" you are and base your decisions on that.

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  6. Take Good Care of Yourself
    Do at least one thing each day just because you want to or feel like it. If necessary, write yourself a permission slip that permits you to do something special just for you.

  7. Identify the Real Problem
    Take a close look at why you feel guilty and work toward resolving the problem vs. a symptom.

  8. Learn to Let Go
    Stop beating yourself up about something that happened in the past. Once it's over let it be over and don't keep reliving it and stressing/worrying about how it could've been different.

  9. Set Yourself Up for Success
    Rather than establishing many far-reaching goals, set small attainable goals that lead to a larger 'stretch' goal. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way. Try, also, to take just one project at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and guilty because you messed up on something.

  10. Lighten Up! Have Fun!
    Stop taking yourself (and others) so seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself more freely. Smile more often. Find joy in simple activities.

Natalie Gahrmann is a success coach and owner of N-R-G Coaching Associates, a private coaching company that specializes in helping working parents achieve mastery of work and life. She is a work/life balance expert for BlueSuitMom.com. Natalie can be reached at natalie@nrgcoaching.com.

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