I feel extremely qualified to speak on the topic of mom guilt. And it’s not because I’m a mom (I’m not a mom to humans, but I am a proud dog & plant mom.)
However, I am a daughter to an incredible woman who was a single mom for most of my life, and who has big dreams.
(Side note: My mom is now my business partner!)
A lot of our clients are moms, so mom guilt a conversation that I’m frequently in. Often the root of mom guilt is wanting the very best for their children.
I can relate to this. My mom certainly wants the best for her children, and did everything that she could to make it happen for us.
And there’s also a few things that she did that really supported us to live great lives, things that aren’t usually highlighted in the how to be a great mom handbooks. Things like are often tied with mom guilt.
When I hear the fear of mom guilt coming up I get that the woman I’m speaking with really wants to be available and present for her child. I’d like to offer my perspective and experience as the child.
It’s important to note that I’m just sharing my personal experience. So even with the things I share my mom may recall her own feelings of guilt, or not, about them.
My aim is to demonstrate some anecdotal evidence of how 1) guilt is a choice, 2) there is nothing to feel guilty for.
My parents were married until I was 8 years old. I can remember a few times when they went on vacation together leaving my brother and I home with our grandparents. I am grateful for this experience. I love that my mom demonstrated for me how we get to go on vacation, how life is to be enjoyed.
I also remember my mom going to cosmetology school when I was young, and then starting a job at a salon. My dad would bring me in to visit. I loved the memory that was planted for me watching my mom choose something that she loved. Something that was for her.
After she had my brother she stayed home for a few years, then starting a Mary Kay business. I learned so much by her choosing this. My second grade teacher often referred to me as “Miss Mary Kay.” I loved watching my mom build a business, it was here that I saw the beauty of entrepreneurism.
Once a year she would go to the Mary Kay Seminar in Texas. Before she went we’d get to go shopping for fancy gowns. I was in heaven. I loved the unspoken message that we could dress up and have fun. When she traveled for the seminar we’d stay home with dad. What she was modeling to me was that we can travel. We can follow our dreams. We can go where our heart calls.
After her divorce and my brother and I were both in school she returned to full time work. Salon hours often mean nights and weekends. I was a competitive dancer with practice every night of the week and competitions around the county. Then in high school with games sometimes multiple times per week. My brother was playing hockey with a practice and travel schedule that looked much the same.
My mom wasn’t at every single game like some parents, but I don’t remember ever feeling like she wasn’t fully present. I watched while my mom worked in her career, making a living to provide for us, and also was a hands on mom.
I’m sure that she wanted to be at every event, and I’m glad that she wasn’t. I am grateful for the way that she modeled independence for us. I’m grateful that my mom continued to choose a career that made her happy instead of settling for a desk job just so she could have different hours.
Which isn’t to say that this is the “right” way to mom. I also hail to the stay at home moms who are living out their dreams.
I watched my mom have a dream of owning her own salon, and then build it to a staff of 30 and a seven figure business. There were long days and a lot of frozen meals. It wasn’t perfect, and I hope my mom has no guilt. For the lessons that I was getting were far more meaningful for me.
I watched my mom trust herself, follow her dreams, take risks, pivot when it didn’t work out. I saw as she rallied in the tough times and celebrated in the highs.
I can’t think of a single thing that my mom would have to feel guilty for.
Being herself and modeling the way that she did helped shape who I am. And the way that I trust myself.
My success has been paved by hers. My dreams accessible because she went first, and now we go together.
To all of the moms dreaming of building a business, creating financial abundance, and being an incredible mom: remember that you are incredible because you are. That won’t change.
If the guilt of not being around 24/7 for your kids is keeping you from spreading your wings I invite you to consider that there is nothing to feel guilty for. While they watch you shine they’ll learn that they get to shine too, no guilt necessary.
And if you feel this call, if you hear your soul’s desire whispering (or demanding!) that you choose yourself fully in service of you being the incredible mom that you are for your kids, I invite you to join us for the 2 day WE Rise Virtual Retreat April 30- May 1. Register here: riseleadershipcircle.com/we-rise