Five Things You Can Stop Feeling Guilty About

 

 

Moms know guilt. We wear it like a tattered old sweater we refuse to part with. We carry it with us like a dark cloud that threatens our happiness. And we reluctantly but faithfully accept it from strangers, causing us second-guess our every move.

Guilt can be helpful if it causes you to be a better person. But, if you’re like me, you take on a lot of guilt that doesn’t do anything but create stress and anxiety. That’s because we feel guilty about things that don’t deserve our attention. Here are five things I’ve decided I no longer need to feel guilty about – and I’m hoping you will join me!

Five Things You Can Stop Feeling Guilty About

1. Your parenting style. Being a mom is a journey comprised of a million decisions. Breastfeed or bottle feed? Vaccinations or not? Homeschool or public school? It seems no matter what you choose, you attract critics and haters. Family, friends and total strangers weigh in on your abilities as a parent. Even your children evaluate your skills and tell you what you’re doing wrong (maybe that’s just my children!). But guess what? It’s your job to make those decisions and you’re not getting fired any time soon. God gave your children to you for a reason – and he will equip you to be the best mom you can be to them. So make your choices based on what you feel is best at the moment and don’t look back.

2. Your work choices. Are you a member of Team LeanIn or Team StayAtHomeMom? A lot of moms feel like they need to take sides. I happen to fall somewhere in the middle, which makes it difficult to have allegiance to either team. But there are some maniacal fans on both sides and they can make you question your choices. One minute you feel guilty for not being home with your children and the next minute you feel guilty for “wasting” your master’s degree. Remember, God created YOU to be unique. He has very specific plans for you – and they don’t involve following the crowd. So, take heart and know that if your choices are in alignment with God’s plan there’s no reason to feel guilty. [Read more…]

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surveyI started this blog and created the International Christian Mompreneur Network as a way to connect with women like you. It’s a place for mom entrepreneurs to get the information, encouragement and support they need to run a business that is in alignment with their values of faith and family. I know it’s helping a lot of women! But is it helpful to you? Could I be doing something better? Something more? I’d really love to know!

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7 Steps to Setting Better Boundaries When You Work From Home

Setting BoundariesMoms who work from home do not lack ambition. We do not lack creativity. We do not lack intelligence, discipline or vision. Some people might say we lack time, although we have the same amount of hours in a day as anyone else. But we are missing something crucial to our success – effective boundaries.

We are in desperate need of a gatekeeper — that wonderful person who protects you from interruptions and distractions and keeps you focused on your most important tasks. I remember being envious of senior level executives in the corporate world who had someone to answer their phones, check their email, schedule appointments and clear their desk so they could solve problems and create solutions. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have that kind of assistant in your home office?

For most of us, that’s a pipe dream. We have to be our own gatekeepers. And it can be particularly challenging when we spend most of our day shifting from “mom” to “business person” and back again. We love both of our jobs and it’s difficult to keep them separated. Our minds are divided and our hearts are torn. But there are some strategies we can put in place to set better boundaries when we work from home.

How to Set Better Boundaries When You Work From Home

1. Establish regular office hours. Even if you have to change them every week, it’s important for everyone to know when you are working and when you are not working. Too many moms try to “squeeze in” a few hours of work when it’s convenient but there never ends up being a good time for it. So be intentional about when you plan to work.

2. Identify dedicated office space. I love those photos of women working on their laptops at the beach but somehow I just don’t think I’d get much accomplished if I took my office to the beach or the pool or the playground. I’m the kind of person who is sensitive to my environment. I like an organized desk and familiar noise-free surroundings. So I do most of my work within the four walls of my home office. It’s the best way for me to set a mental and physical boundary. When I cross the threshold into the foyer, I’m no longer at work. Even if you don’t have a separate office with a door, try establishing a designated space for work – and use that space for nothing else but work.

3. Communicate clearly. It’s not enough for YOU to set boundaries, you also have to make sure those around you know what to expect. Talk with your children about rules for picking up the phone, answering the door, keeping the noise volume down, playing on your computer and entering the office without permission. Discuss your office hours with your husband so he knows when to expect you to be available for him (hint, hint: you might need to have this conversation if he’s upset that you spend every night on the couch with your laptop while he’s trying to enjoy downtime with you). Let your mom know that you can’t chat for an hour every day while you’re working (then give her an alternative time to talk!). Tell the ladies in your small group that you won’t be able to grab coffee spontaneously but that you can’t wait for the next regularly scheduled meeting. And by all means, kindly inform your friends, your sister and your neighbors that while you love their children you are not available to babysit during work hours. [Read more…]