How to Succeed in Life: Stop Self-Sabotaging Yourself with Working Mom Guilt and Get Unstuck

You’re thriving at work. You want to make impact in the world. You’re doing work that lights up your soul, BUT you’re struggling with mommy guilt, and it is keeping you STUCK.

You’ll always win the game you’re playing.  What is possible for your personal and professional life if you choose to play the game that really matters in your life?  The game where you choose to create and live your best life from the inside out.

We live in a world where we constantly doing.  Constantly striving to do what makes us the best.  Doing what keeps us winning at life.  There is nothing wrong with doing.  And it appears to work for us and sustain us in our somewhat busy, complex lives.  Consider, however, what is possible when we choose from another place.

Rather than doing, we choose to be.  For working moms, the self-imposed pressure and drive to be the best at home and at work could be paralyzing.  Another sophisticated way to self-sabotage our own happiness, joy and inner peace. Another way to collect evidence of why we don’t measure up.  More evidence of why we are not enough.  Limiting our lives to the land of “Either – Or.”

Another reason to feel unfulfilled or just plain stuck.

MiMi Dabo Coaching Photo: Tina Krohn

There are limitless versions of guilt out there.  Guilt over leaving the kids in daycare.  Guilt over putting the kids in after-school care because mommy has to work late.  Guilt that daddy has to order pizza for dinner again tonight because mommy has another late night at the office.  Guilt that mommy hasn’t had time to read to her toddler in over 3 weeks because the managing partner of her law firm just assigned her the biggest case of her career.

Guilt that mommy has to travel abroad for work and leave her 10-week-old baby, plus the added guilt of pumping milk and throwing it all away because, well…, you have to pump – and boobs forget to tell the milk to hold off until until you get back home to your baby.  Guilt that the marriage is falling apart because her husband has convinced her and himself that mommy is putting work before the relationship.

And to round out the never-ending loop, guilt that mommy is not holding her own at the office because she is so stressed out by everything going on at home.  There goes the bonus and the promotion.

In the world of Either-Or, everything becomes a competitive sport.  What you decide is a win or a loss depends on your core values, your definition of integrity, whether you’ve discovered your life purpose, and how all of these things align with your current life vision.  The only person who gets to determine the score is you.  After all, you’re the expert on your life.

What is possible if you define what winning looks like to you?  What if your version of winning is just having time to brush your teeth, or just using the bathroom without holding off performing bodily functions until you type that last paragraph, feed the baby or drop the memo on your boss’s desk?

MiMi Dabo Coaching Photo: Tina Krohn

What score will it take for you to create a new story?  What will discovering your purpose, and creating and living a life aligned with your core values look like to you?  What if one part of your scoring matrix looks like the “if today was my last day, what will I want to have done; How will I want to have lived?” question.  What steps can you take to create this?

No decision comes without consequences.  You get to decide if you can live, show up fully and still be everything you were created to be not just because of, but in spite of the decisions you make.  As a mom, every decision you make affects not just you, but your children, your partner, your finances, wellbeing and so much more.

And for single moms, those decisions have even heavier consequences.  You’re the sole bread winner.  You’re the parent.  You’re the glue holding your family together.  You face fear, confusion, negative self-talk, doubt, and sometimes, the overwhelming urge to hide under the covers with ice cream and donuts for a week.

No matter your situation, no matter the circumstances, there are a few ways to kick mommy guilt to the curb and create success in every key area of your life.  Trust that everything you need to make the decision that works for you and your family is right inside of you.  All you have to do is have the faith to be and take action.

Maybe your idea of the perfect life involves working from home, or quitting your job to start your own business.

Maybe your idea of the perfect life involves ending your marriage and moving back home with your parents who will help you raise your kids.

Maybe you just want to win the lottery.

Or Maybe you just want to have five minutes to shower without anyone screaming, “MOOOMMMMMM.”

Sometimes, the only action you need to take is to just Breathe.

Whatever you desire, remember that there is no such place as Perfect.  We all just move along the continuum, striving to the be the best versions of ourselves while we still can.  Perfect is a place you’re not even sure you want to go.  Life is all about your mindset.  What you think and who you are being about what you want determines what you do or how you get it.

Moving from a place of Either-Or to “How can I create what I want?” creates room for possibilities.  It leaves room for the impossible to happen.  It leaves room for growth and miracles to happen, and for dreams to come true.  It’s not just “the job or my family,” OR “my marriage or my career” conversation.  It’s deeper than transitioning from one thing to the other.  It’s about transforming how you see things and who you choose to be during that transformation.

So, how does this work?

Here are five simple ways from the inside out.  A new way to face your fears and get unstuck, coming from a transformative place of who you are being rather than what you are doing.

  1. Show Gratitude – What is possible for you if you shift your relationship to the all the things you believe you could be doing, should have done, or should be doing with or for your family, and give thanks instead?  What will be possible for you, your child(ren), your partner if you gave thanks for having all of them in your life?  Being grateful for having people in your life that you want to love more, support more and spend more time enjoying. Grateful for your feelings of love and support.
  2. Be Kind – What is possible if you shift the feelings of inadequacy or guilt to self-compassion for trying to hold things together; to forgiveness for doing your best; to self-love for taking a moment to stop and think about how to make things work; to inner peace for knowing life is not perfect; to courage for facing your fears; to joy for knowing that you do have a choice; and to faith for believing that anything is possible.  Give yourself permission to just BE so you can DO what you need to CREATE what you want.
  3. Create Boundaries – Empower yourself to create boundaries.  Boundaries about who you listen to, what you choose to do or not do…. Because you say so.  Boundaries that serve you and nurture you and your family.
  4. Communicate – Talk to your partner.  Talk to the person in your life that your decisions have the most impact on. Discuss know how you feel.  Discuss what you want. For yourself, for your career. For your marriage. For your relationship.
  5. Say Yes to Support – You’re not super woman, even if you think you are.  Showing vulnerability and accepting support is a super power.  Exercise that muscle.

MiMi Dabo Coaching Photo: Tina Krohn

Give yourself the gift of serenity and spend some time alone, reflecting on a vision for your life.  Not just your professional life and career goals.   But all the key areas of your life.  Be honest and specific with your responses.

  1. Who do I want to be as a mom?  What will being ____________ mean in my life?  What will be possible in my life?  How will this feel?  How will this affect my relationships?  What can I do to create this?  What do I need to create it?  Who can support me and hold me accountable?  What steps can I take?  How can I reward myself for each step I take?  What self-care practices can I put in place to make sure I create the environment I need to succeed?
  2. Who do I want to be as a wife?  Repeat the questions.  Again, be very specific.
  3. What do I want to do?  What type of work?  What is my purpose?  Do the work to discover your purpose.  Knowing your Why goes a long way to shifting your relationship to doubt, fear, guilt and any of the other self-limiting beliefs, negative self-talk and inner critic stories and conversations we have with ourselves.

In each step, what obstacles did you identify that could be in the way of making this transformation happen?  What plan to do you have for dealing with them?  What do you need?  Be specific.

Now that you have done this transformative work, you are well on your way to creating your life vision in these three areas, and all the other key areas of your life.

How will you complete the next sentence?  I AM _____________________________________.

What does shifting your relationship to Mommy Guilt mean for YOUR life?

I love hearing from you! Comment below and share your thoughts.

Want to connect? Email me at mimidabo@lifecoachforwomen to share your story, your perspective, your comments or your questions.

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Peace and Love,
Your Life and Business Coach
MiMi Dabo, MBA, CPA, JD
I work with women business owners, life coaches and entrepreneurs to create soul-happy 6-figure+ businesses, while working less hours, and living the life of their dreams.

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