Shout out to all the mamas out there! This post is for you, and by that I mean for me, too, because when I write, I’m processing through my thoughts and emotions on various life situations. The icing on the cake is hopefully by sharing some of my experiences you can relate, and we can connect and be encouraged by the fact we are all figuring things out together.
Being a single parent widow is interesting because, unlike some divorce scenarios where Ellie might spend part of the time with her dad and part of the time with me, it’s just me. Gratefully, I live close to my family, who can help when I need it, and although Andrew’s family doesn’t live as close, they are helpful, too. As much as I love my Ellie Grace (and I do, to the moon and back) sometimes a mama needs a break. The kind of break I am referring to is the kind of break where I can work (I use the word “work” as a positive because I truly love what I get to do for a living) all day long without being asked to wipe a behind, get the crayons down from the closet, grab a popsicle from the fridge, or play pet shop where I always get to be the pet owner who adopts the adorable dog whose name is usually Sparkle Sunshine (aka Ellie ).
This summer, Andrew’s family has been beyond generous by keeping Ellie for several weeks throughout the summer so I can get some uninterrupted work done. I’ve been so excited about getting this focused time, as my coaching and speaking opportunities have really been picking up. What I did not anticipate was the amount of “mommy guilt” I would experience. I know Ellie is in the best hands possible, but just knowing she misses me is really difficult. Here are some ways I’m combating the “mommy guilt” in order to make the time I have away from El as productive as possible. This way, I accomplish my goals and rejuvenate my mind, body, and soul so I can be refreshed and present when my El Bug gets home
Set clear and realistic goals– I wanted this time away to get specific tasks done around the house, in my business, and for myself that are usually a challenge when Ellie is with me. I set some specific goals in each of those categories and gave myself until the end of the summer to accomplish them. I’ve broken each of those goals up into smaller daily to-do’s and each day I stick to working through each of those tasks. Knowing I’m clear about each activity and how it relates to my overall goals keeps me more motivated and feeling less guilty. I know by sticking to my daily plan, I make my life simpler and more organized. In this way, I can maximize my time at home and work, which will allow me to be more fully present when I’m spending time with Ellie.
Think good thoughts– It really doesn’t help me make the most of my focused time when I’m telling myself I’m not a good mom for not being with my daughter right now or creating an image of her sitting on her bed crying because she misses me so much. Those thoughts do not support me in reaching my goals. I consciously shift my thinking to thoughts of her getting quality time with her grandparents, getting to experience a piece of her dad because the apple does not fall far from the tree, and her having fun and making friends at her science and art camps. Then I’m able to focus on the task at hand and be more productive.
Revive your mind, body, and soul– I know in order for me to be at full capacity as a person and as a mom I need to invest in myself, so amidst getting ahead in my home life and my biz, I am also doing my best trying to make conscious food choices that will make me feel energized, getting my sweat on (just ordered a new Tracy Anderson DVD), and making time for prayer, meditation, reading, and visualization first thing in the morning(The Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod). These things (and an occasional deep tissue massage) make me feel like a new woman!
Ok, now I want to hear from you! What do you do to reduce the “mommy guilt” when you are away from the kids and set on getting specific things accomplished? I seriously want to hear your advice because I still have half the summer left! It’s not easy having so many roles and responsibilities, but know you are doing the best you can and that it’s beyond okay (for me, it’s necessary) to take some time for yourself in order to recharge. Thank you so much for hanging out with me today! Looking forward to hearing your words of wisdom! Blessings, sweet mama.
P.S. I’m excited to be doing my first book signing for The Ellie Project at the Public Library in Cuero, TX on Thursday, July 2, 2015, from 11:00 AM -1:00 PM. If you are in the area I would love to see you there!
P.S.S. I will also be back in Cuero, TX on July 23rd doing a book signing from 7:00 PM-9:00 PM at Lakeview Knoll before Movie Night! If you’re local I hope you can come!