Are you already running around like crazy keeping multiple to do lists, not sleeping well, and already feeling some anxiety around the holidays. If so, I want you to pause and take a deep breath. It’s going to be a great holiday season.
I’m Dr. Charryse Johnson, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Therapist and founder of Jade Integrative Counseling and Wellness. And let’s talk mom guilt and the holidays.
I don’t think it matters how old your children are, there is just innately this part of us as a parent that has a desire to make the moment magical to have our kids experience, the things we experienced, or the things we envision. And sometimes it can make us feel really bad, if we don’t feel like are going to be able to accomplish that.
So first thing I want you to do is I want you to think back to holidays for you. What do you remember, and part of me having you work through that process is what you experience is going to play a lot into the pressure that you’re placing on yourself.
So here are four ways for you to consider your experience.
And really think about how that’s impacting the way that you’re moving through right now. And if there’s a possibility of allowing this to be an incredible season, and keeping the guilt at bay.
So number one, what’s your motivation? Are you doing things because you truly want to? Or you feel like you have to? Are you telling yourself things like I should, this is what I’ve always done? When I was a child we did or when I was a child we didn’t?
Mom guilt comes from parenting through guilt around the season. You don’t have to match what was the real kind of treasure and things is for you to decide each year as a family, which gets me to number two…
What do you want to experience and what’s possible, based on your current context, your current financial situation, the number of children you now have? A lot of things can change from one holiday season to the next.
The third thing that I want you to consider is how can you put the plan that you have in place and still feel like you haven’t lost yourself.
So if you’re doing something at a rate that you’re not able to take care of yourself, mom guilt is going to ensue, because mom guilt and sleep deprivation are like best friends. And we want you to really consider, how can I create this moment, but also take care of myself?
And number four, live in the moment. Can I be really honest with you? One of the regrets that I have as a parent is that there were some moments that I didn’t really soak in. Because I was so busy trying to make it all right that I was like, I’m just so glad that that’s done that I didn’t really enjoy it.
So find that simplicity. That way of living in the moment where you don’t lose yourself where you understand your motivation for things. But also give yourself the room to be flexible and know it’s going to be great. And the thing that your children want most, I promise, is time with you.
So don’t even think about making moments and the list of all the things that they’ve asked for that they’re not going to remember. Make memories!
Dr. Charryse Johnson is an experienced licensed clinical mental health therapist offering over 20 years of experience serving as a counselor, consultant, and educator. She holds a B.A. in Human Development, an M.A. in Professional Counseling, and a PhD in Counseling Psychology. She is a strong community advocate and has been a contributor on local radio, social media, local news outlets, and documentaries and is passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health. She is founder and owner of Jade Integrative Counseling and Wellness and author of Expired Mindsets.
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