By now, you know what divorced mom guilt is as well as its positive and negative affects on your life. You’ve learned how to seek out the triggers inside your own mind.
The next step to getting rid of the guilt is to work towards forgiveness and self-acceptance.
Here’s the thing that most people don’t realize. You have to love the real you before you can start to make the small changes that lead to big success. Read that again! If you’re ready to start crafting and molding the life of your dreams, start by loving yourself first.
Forgiving Yourself to Erase the Guilt
We are all human beings. We make mistakes, we mess up, and we don’t do what we set out to do. When we learn to forgive ourselves and love enough to try again, we learn and get better.
That’s why this step of forgiveness and love is so important. Start by examining what you feel guilty about. And here’s how to do it…
- Embrace the good stuff and feel proud about what you’ve already accomplished.
- Acknowledge where you messed up and didn’t follow through.
- Forgive yourself for it and accept it.
- Learn from past mistakes, or view them as practice for future successes.
Forgiving yourself can be easier said than done. However, it is essential if you want to see your life in a more positive light. Every day, try to find something you aren’t proud of and forgive yourself for it.
Here’s a great example:
Today, you only washed, dried and folded one load of laundry. You should have done 3 to catch up. Forgive yourself for the lack of work, and think about what you can learn from the experience.
Maybe in the future you can set a timer on your phone to remind you to move the clothes over in a timely fashion so more gets done in a single day.
Reading over these situations will remind you of the positive steps you took in the past. Build on that positive outlook and use the energy to do it again, and again, and again.
When you actively work on loving yourself and forgiving yourself, amazing things start to happen. Most importantly, you start to build a positive habit that will help propel you forward.
Related Reading: 20 Powerful Physical Self Care Ideas for Divorced Moms
Preventing the Guilt from Returning
One of the worst things about mom guilt is that can return even after you’ve been proactive in letting things go. In forgiving yourself every single day.
You’ll notice those little negative thoughts popping back in your head after the first excitement of making progress and going for it dies down. That’s when you have to be prepared so these feelings of guilt or self-doubt don’t derail you.
So what can you do to keep it away so it doesn’t thwart your future goals and plans?
Continue to Journal
We have already discussed how journaling can be beneficial in identifying your sources of divorced mom guilt. It can also help you keep your feelings in check every day. This includes those guilty feelings that can be detrimental to your life.
If you get yourself to journal regularly about your feelings and progress, you have something to look back on. You have a record of what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. You can then look through your daily entries and find those instances of guilt quickly.
As we’ve discussed before, it’s easier to get over the guilt, and in this case prevent it from taking hold, when we know what it is and that it’s coming. When you know what you’re feeling bad about, you can find arguments and proof against it. Reminding yourself of the positive impact the changes you’re making will have on your life also helps you stay the course.
That second piece of cake is tempting you, and you may feel guilty for not eating it because your aunt took the time to make it from scratch. However, by reminding yourself that your health will be much better and that you’re able to run around the park with the kids, you can quickly overcome these feelings of guilt.
Here’s another scenario…
Your child wants the new $150 shoes that many of his friends are wearing. You feel guilty because he’s angry with you. But then you remind yourself that being financially responsible – and teaching him that material things aren’t important – is far better than giving in to the expensive price tag.
Do you see how this works?
Boosting your Confidence to Fight the Guilt
Having a high level of self confidence makes it easier to keep mom guilt at bay. It’s basically a secret weapon that helps eliminate the second guessing or doubt you may feel when a situation arises – especially a situation where you may have given into guilt before.
Recognize your Progress
Making progress toward your goals and the life you dream of is a great confidence booster. This is yet another reason why journaling is so important. It acts as a visual representation of how far you’ve come.
By reading back through your journal often, you can see how you overcame guilt in the past. How you worked through problems and made good decisions. This will increase your self-esteem and make you feel stronger in the future.
Setting and reaching milestone goals are another great way to break it down and boost your confidence in yourself. If your goal is to lose a large amount of weight, break it down into 10 pound increments and focus all your energy on reaching that next 10-pound loss.
The same works when you’re paying off debt. Start with one credit card or account, for example, and get it paid off. Reaching those smaller goals are a great confidence booster that keep you moving forward.
Track Overall Progress
This isn’t just about journaling and reflecting on your thoughts and actions. This is more about seeing your day to day progress in a larger format – one you can quickly glance at as often as you need without sitting down and reading and reflect.
Chart your progress on a calendar, a large graph hanging on your fridge, in a document on your computer, or even in an app on your phone. Look at how far you’ve come with your specific goals whenever you feel like giving up.
It’s nice to have a visual reminder that what you’re doing is working and giving you the results you want and need.
Recruit some cheerleaders to cheer you on and tell you how well you’re doing. This could be a close friend or family member. Someone you can chat with often to share your successes and as well as any setbacks.
You can also find a group of like-minded people that you connect with locally or online. The beautiful thing about the internet is that we can find people with the same or similar goals in lots of groups and forums.
Hopefully this series on Divorced Mom Guilt has been helpful in alleviating negative thoughts, boosting your self confidence, and acquiring the life you’ve always dreaming of living!