The Perimenopausal Mamas Podcast
Episode 86: Anxiety, Mom Guilt and Getting Out of Your Head – In Conversation with Kimberly Mueller (previously released as Episode 7 on Feb. 13, 2020)
Here’s another oldie and goodie pre-pandemic episode worth another listen! This episode is packed full of real talk about mom guilt and how your expectations and self-awareness can impact parenting and your attachment to your kids. This conversation between Dr. Toni and registered psychologist, neurofeedback therapist and SheWorth founder Kimberly Mueller was recorded in August 2019 and previously released on Feb 13, 2020.
In this juicy episode, we cover:
* Lessening your egoic attachment to your kids* Awareness of how your experience with your own parents impacts how you parent your kids* The inevitability of mom guilt* Distorted thought patterns women can get stuck in* How mood follows action* How trauma, anxiety, sleep and nervous system patterns can shift with neurofeedback brain training
Powerful Mama Advice from Kimberly:
Are you anxious about what your child is doing or not doing, especially in regard to their grades in school, their behaviour in public or their activities like dance or sports?
Remember that your kids are not yours; they are with you right now for a period of time before they go out into the world. Your kids do not have to define you and your identity doesn’t have to be tied up in them. It can be helpful to loosen your egoic attachment to who your child is, what they are saying or how they are acting. This can lessen some of the stress and anxiety you may feel about who your child is becoming. As a result, this can give your kids the permission they need to be loved and accepted for exactly who they are without conditions and expectations.
This idea can be a shift from previous generations. Growing up, you may have felt the burden that you had to be a particular kind of person or fit into a specific mold and that it wasn’t ok to be different. You may even regress back to feeling that way when you go back to your childhood home now!
As an adult, you might still be healing from the idea that it’s not ok to be yourself or you have to be a certain way. Hopefully, we can all step into a new fluidity and looseness around the rigid belief system we grew up in.
Your experience growing up with your own parents can colour how you parent your own kids.
When you become an adult, there is a lot of value in seeing your parents for who they really are. We can begin to see the inevitable faults in our parents and their parenting choices. With increased self-awareness, you can start to be radically honest with yourself and be willing to see the tendency of your parents in your own parenting. If your mother yelled often when you were growing up, you might be yelling often with your children. If your mother was a disagreeable personality type and your father was an agreeable personality type, you are likely going to think it’s ok for one person to often succumb to another person’s opinion or desires.
By breaking down how your family of origin influenced you, you can see how some of your parents’ faults might be manifesting in your own parenting. Because of that conditioning on your nervous system over the years, changing how you respond to different situations doesn’t happen overnight. This is also the case with your partner, too! Give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them.
Mom Guilt, Anyone?
The idea of the perfect, happy image that can be present on social media doesn’t help with some of the inevitable mom guilt that you can experience. While mom guilt is inevitable, it is manageable. You are knocking on some primitive parts of your brain when you are experiencing mom guilt. You are evolutionarily wired to want to protect your young.