Are you struggling with divorced mom guilt? With all the emotions surrounding the break up of your family unit, guilt is not a welcomed feeling to add.
Thankfully, there are ways we can recognize the guilt and learn to combat it so it doesn’t take over our minds – and our lives.
This Divorced Mom Guilt Series in written in 3 posts so you can easily digest all the content. It’s important you read through everything so you know what guilt is, its effects on your life, how to identify the triggers, and how to get rid of the guilt to live your best life.
Read on for part one now…
What is Divorced Mom Guilt?
We can define guilt as “a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined“.
In this case, it would be the divorce. The separation of the family. Placing your children into two different homes. No longer being present every single day of their lives. Possibly needing to find work in order to help care for them.
On top of that, many mothers already suffer from “mom guilt,” or doing things wrong when it comes to parenting their children.
This can be anything from working and feeling guilty that you don’t spend as much time with your children as you should, or staying home and feeling guilty that you don’t provide for the family in a monetary manner.
It could even be as simple as reflecting on a day when they had too much screen time and didn’t read a single book. Guilt manifests in several different ways for moms, but almost every single one has felt it before.
With all the possible triggers, it’s easy to see why a mom that has gone through a divorce would be riddled with guilt!
Is Guilt Good or Bad?
Sometimes, guilt can be a good thing. Our guilty conscious can keep us in check so we don’t do things we shouldn’t. It helps us do the right thing.
Guilt Can Keep you in Check
Think about your own childhood. Not doing your homework and lying about it to your teacher or parents likely made you feel guilty.
That, in turn, ensured that you completed your homework each night and kept doing it going forward. That was a good thing for your academic career – and probably kept you from getting grounded.
Even now you have likely conditioned yourself to do things you may not want to in order to prevent guilt over them. You may not want to pick up extra hours at work, but you know your co-worker is sick and the additional money would be nice at home.
There are other times when guilt, especially divorced mom guilt, can be a bad thing. It can be an unfounded sense of responsibility for things outside of your control, such as the marital separation, limited time with your kids, or the need for more income.
Related Reading: 20 Simple Ideas to Practice for Emotional Self Care
Guilt Can Hold You Back
It can actually hold us back from doing the things we want. Living the life we dream about. Also, guilt can spill over from one area of our lives to the other. If you are already feel mom guilt, you create a breeding ground for guilt over your health or career too.
Guilt can also affect your performance in any area of your life. If you feel bad about missing dinner with the family, you’re not going to be fully present in the client meeting. Missing a baseball game may leave you distracted during a college exam.
The guilt you’re feeling is keeping you from committing fully and giving it your all.
Guilt Sucks the Joy out of Life
Guilt also takes the joy out of whatever it is you are doing. This may not seem like a big deal at first glance, but it takes a lot of the positive energy and drive out of your sails. It’s that energy that makes you push a little harder, try a little longer, and do all the little, seemingly insignificant things that make all the difference in the end.
Feeling guilty over things can be an easy excuse to give up. Life isn’t easy and any goal worth reaching takes work and effort. Sometimes it’s easier to give up than to keep pushing hard, solve problems, or resolve conflicts we’d rather avoid. That guilty feeling may be just the excuse you were looking for to justify giving up.
By addressing these feelings of guilt and working through them, you can greatly improve your chances of reaching those goals and crafting the life you really want for yourself and your loved ones.
In short, guilt can be a positive thing – something that motivates you and gets you to work towards your goals and things you want to get done. On the flip side, however, it can be the thing that’s holding you back.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your feelings of guilt and ask yourself if it’s productive or if it’s keeping you from things you want in life.
The next post in this series is dedicated to identifying divorced mom guilt and its sources for you. Without knowing exactly what’s causing it in yourself, it will be hard to let it all go!
Read Part Two – How to Identify Divorced Mom Guilt