“I don’t care what others think, I care how I feel.” How to let go of expectations, including your own conditioned ones (aka mom guilt).
Mom guilt is a difficult topic for many women to dig into. The idea that “what you feel is much more important than what others think” is not the norm. We are bombarded with expectations of how to be the perfect parent, partner, friend, be amazing in our careers (because you know— we should feel lucky to have one!). But the truth is – we are living up to an unrealistic expectation that is based on the perception of the other – and they are doing the same thing. But because we all have our own conditioning, we can never please everyone, and it can be even more difficult to meet our own expectations of ourselves.
How many things do you do in your day to please others or to meet societal expectations?
Maybe you even feel guilty no matter what choice you end up making in regards to these topics:
- What you should feed your kids
- What you should eat
- Whether your house is clean (and if it’s not – you judge yourself)
- What clothes you wear
- Putting your kids in lots of activities because it’s what everyone is doing
- Doing more at work to keep up with the men (or other women)
- Posting the perfect life on social media
- Being jealous of other’s perfect (but probably not real) social media life
- Judging others because of your own conditioned judgements
- And so on and so on…
Moms are basically asked to be superhuman just to be acknowledged or to hold their place in the world. We are part of a hyper productive society and it’s hurting us.
We are also losing tons of time feeling guilty. According to Psychology Today, there was a study that showed if you add up all the micro moments in a day we feel guilty, it adds up to 5 HOURS A WEEK that we are feeling guilty. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201411/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-guilt)
It’s true, for me, mom guilt often sneaks in during micro moments. I have the idea that you are supposed to do something a certain way, but if I don’t feel like it’s right for me – or maybe I just don’t have the energy for it in that moment— I still feel guilty. What the *bleep* is that? Okay, I know what it is. It’s conditioning. Passed down from generation to generation of women.
So, what’s the problem with caring what others think?
- You create a mask to wear and the weight of it will burn you out, or make you sick.
- You will never measure up because everyone has their own set of expectations and judgement – and they all differ.
- Little by little you become less and less aligned to what’s right for you.
- You may surround yourself with the wrong people.
- You waste your precious energy.
- You are showing your kids how to care too. Ugh.
Guilt that comes from trying to be something for others makes us reluctant to enjoy life.
On the flip side, when you care more about how you feel, what’s that like?
What does it look like to be guided by how you feel?
- You listen to your body and how it feels
- You embody your Human Design authority
- You might have to develop a thick skin
- It will be uncomfortable at first but it’s worth it. And you can use essential oils and other tools to help you through!
What does it feel like to be liberated?
- Decisions feel good
- At peace with your decisions
- It feels safe to speak your truth
I really love the “Bad Mom” movies. The characters are the truth for me. I’m working on no longer caring what others think. I want to be like the characters at the end of the movie. I do believe in being there for my kids and supporting their school or interests, etc. – but I must do it in a way that FEELS good to me. Not just what is expected of me. Just remember, what feels good differs for everyone.
Where does the guilt come from?
The reason you have guilt at all is because our bodies create an emotional signal that shows you have caused distress to another. But “mom guilt” here is more about the guilt that comes from conditioned beliefs (that may not even be real to you or the other person) and are not causing harm to others.
Most of us feel guilty because of conditioning – expectations or even perceived expectations from outside of ourselves become part of our beliefs. We collect ideas, beliefs and ways of doing things, or “being” so that we can fit the ideas of being a good mom. The reason we feel guilty is because they don’t align with what our core is saying. Otherwise, if we were doing things we really believed in for ourselves, we would have peace in our decision making.
Why do we need to ditch guilt?
Guilt vibrates at a low frequency. It feels yucky and it lowers our overall vibration and it wastes your time and energy. It ends up hurting you and not the others who put the beliefs in your head in the first place.
Masking what you really want is energy draining. It’s more work to mask it then to just be authentic. And eventually you become someone that you are not. As a result, you don’t have the energy to do what you really love, and you feel disconnected from Self. Don’t let society/conditioning define you or what’s right for you. You must do that for yourself.
Do you want to stop feeling guilty? Then stop making this common mistake.
Caring what other people think is the biggest mistake when it comes to being a mom. You will always know what’s best for your kids. It’s hard-wired into you. It’s time to stop judging yourself and others.
I want you to know that your inner gut – your body— knows what is right for your life and your well-being. It’s not the outer perceptions that are correct, but that is what we are led to believe. It’s time to peel back the layers of conditioning, shed what no longer serves you, dissolve any lingering yucky feelings and let go of what’s not yours.
I want to tell you a story about what it’s like to clear your energy and then be able to tune into the feeling of adding something back in. Before you clear it, here’s what happens— you live on autopilot, so overwhelmed that your body just accepts all the things you add, and you move through life in this overtaxed, sluggish energy state. You think nothing of it because it just “is what it is.” But I have learned it can be different.
My all-day morning sickness for five months, plus my beliefs about a healthy pregnancy led me to cut out caffeine during my pregnancies. So, my body cleared out the need to have caffeine every morning.
One morning after I ended breast feeling, I was out with some friends at a coffee shop. I deeply desired a latte that someone else made for me, with my hands wrapped around the warmth of the cup, and I wanted a boost. So, I ordered a caffeinated latte and for several minutes I felt like myself and I felt like I was in heaven. But, within the hour I felt jittery.
At first, I couldn’t identify what was going on. But eventually I figured out that it had come from the coffee I drank. I still didn’t think much of it. So, a few days later I had another coffee. It happened again.
I didn’t quit drinking caffeine because of this. I am not trying to throw guilt on coffee drinkers, that’s not my point. My ‘aha’ from this experience was that pregnancy was what drove me to commit to the removal of things that were not good for my pregnant energy. So,in essence, my energy field was cleared of those things. Once I added something back in, I was aware, I could feel, and I was sensitive to the addition. In the past, I would have just been so overloaded that I wouldn’t have even noticed.
This is what you can do with many things in your life. You must want to increase your well-being in this area to be able to commit to some changes – some removal of things that you no longer need. Then you will be more sensitive to what’s going on and be able “feel” what things you do want to let in…or the things you want to block.
The mantra above is what you must have inside your mind. It’s not that you really don’t care about others or what they think…but how you feel about something must be number one— not what you think others might think about it! That thinking can get you all twisted up and you end up, once again, with that guilt. You must liberate the guilt and that comes from the confidence in what we are doing and deciding because we know it’s right for you. You will know what’s right because it just feels right. Liberated guilt feels like freedom.
Where do you start?
- The next time you feel guilty, write it down. It’s going to be a process that happens one by one for a while.
- The next time you find yourself judging your action because you are comparing it to someone else’s experience, write it down.
- The next time someone places their judgement/opinion on you and it doesn’t feel right, write it down.
Each time, ask yourself: Is this right for me? If you aren’t like, “hell yes!” rip it up and try to let it go.
Eventually you will get to a point where you can identify things more quickly in the moment. Right now, you are working on the awareness of where you get trapped by conditioning and the guilt getting stuck in your being.
If you want to try an experiment: Say “no, thank you” to everything for a 2-week period and see what you actually wish you had said yes to. See where you judged yourself for saying no. Or have them ask you again in 2-weeks. See if you can feel where you let guilt override your decisions, or how you can “feel” the answer more in the moment— that clarity of what’s right for you. Guilt (and emotions in general) is a signal and it can be used for good. It can guide you to alignment, but you don’t want it to pile up and get stuck and just become part of who you are.
When you know what you’re doing is right for you, but you have lingering feelings of guilt, try putting marjoram essential oil on your chest. It has washed away the yucky residue for me in minutes.
What does it mean for your life to liberate guilt?
You will: (Or at least you can)
- Feel better
- Accept who you are and where you are
- Make decisions more easily and be at peace with the decisions you make
- Get 5 hours a week back by not having micro guilt creep in all the time
- Be able to feel when something’s “off”
The solution is to feel inside and not let your choices be dictated by your perception of what others think. I use Human Design as a tool to peel back the layers of conditioning so I can figure out what I really do want or believe. I get to the root of the guilt. I start to align my beliefs with my decisions and become more and more at peace with them. The simplest tool is your Human Design Authority. It is basically a way to talk to your body about what’s right for you when you are making decisions.
Here are a few things you can do right away.
- Watch the movie “Bad Moms” and give yourself a break.
- Write down your judgements/guilt and clear it, using the questions/process above.
- Stop caring what others think, and even what your own mind thinks. Start listening to your body. Don’t say yes to things right away if you don’t know that instant. (Check out your Human Design Authority to learn how to embody your decisions.)
- Ask yourself a few questions to ponder, or journal about them:
- What role does guilt play in driving and/or motivating you?
- What would you choose if you could remove guilt?
- Do you have non-negotiable values? What are they?
- How do you handle people who share different values from you?
Here’s the recap:
- Why do we have guilt? Conditioning in our beliefs that don’t align with our truth.
- Why do we care? It keeps us in a low vibe state, leading to low energy or burnout.
- What do we need to learn? Listen to your body – not others and not your mind.
- What do we do next? Start looking at what you do want.
It’s totally normal to feel guilt. It’s totally doable to be free from it.
If we don’t take the time to liberate guilt, we don’t have room for peaceful choices.
Did you have any ‘ahas’ where you might be holding onto guilt that isn’t helpful? What lessons have you learned about guilt? Do you want to share? I invite you to comment below!