I screwed up & the mom guilt is killing me!

A friend of mine recently posted this on her Facebook page….

“I totally screwed up as a mom this morning and the mom guilt is killing me

The pressure of a constantly traveling husband, an upcoming move, and other everyday stuff was building and I didn’t notice how bad it had become. I should have known something was off when I bought ice cream last night. 

That only happens when I’m stressed…I don’t even like ice cream that much!

My son did mess up, but I went into full on lawyer mode which is great as a lawyer and awful as a parent to sweet boys.

In the light of a new day, my mom guilt makes me want to go pick up my boys from school and take them to Disney World. Maybe overkill?”

I can feel her pain and heart break.

I can feel her regret.  Can you relate? I sure can.

I imagine you can because WE have all BEEN THERE!

Even the most peaceful parents occasionally lose their shit.

I know I do. And it feels awful every time. Yep-every time.

So the real question is what to do once you’ve had the melt down, lost your shit, and gone into “attack mode”? Then what?

Disney World? New toy? Favorite treat?

No, no and no! Those are bribes to cover pain and sometimes leave a hangover feeling.

Instead, try my 3 step process for Repair and Recovery

Step 1: Forgive yourself. Really forgive by having empathy and compassion for yourself and this hard job that is parenting! 

Step 2: Tell your child that you are sorry. Explain what happened for you (such as stress got the best of you) so they know it’s on you and not them. When you sincerely apologize, you are modeling responsibility and forgiveness for them. 
(A word of caution: don’t do Step 2 until you have completed Step1; don’t do Step 2 until you are sincere about your apology; and I beg you…don’t launch into explaining what they did wrong. This is about you taking responsibility for your actions. If you want to address their actions, do it at a different time in a separate conversation.)
Step 3: Move on and be fully present with them and in the moment. Maybe seal the deal with a hug, high five or big smile (or all 3).
That’s like Disney World for you AND them! 
Mistakes happen.

We are human and flawed and stressed and often triggered while parenting and therefore we lose it occasionally.

The lesson is in The Repair and Recovery! It teaches our kids so many valuable lessons like accountability, recovery from mistakes, forgiveness, taking responsibility, doing better next time, and communication skills.

So next time you lose it and the parent guilt mounts, try the Repair and Recovery Process….it will feel like Disney World for both of you! I promise!

About the author

Lisa Smith

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