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No More Mama Guilt:  Why We Shouldn't Have Mama Guilt

Editor's Corner

No More Mama Guilt:  Why We Shouldn't Have Mama Guilt

Brooke-Sidney Harbour

[Video Transcript]

Hello, my name is Brooke-Sidney and I'm the owner of a company called Bella and the Babe. And I'm also the creator of an amazing planner designed for mamas called the Mama Love Planner™ that's available in daily and weekly editions. Tonight, I wanted to get on and discuss mama guilt. I've been noticing that a lot of times when I'm talking about self-care and self-love - which to me is the whole point of doing self-care - is I'm getting questions centered around the topic of mama guilt. And for those of you that are watching, I would define mama guilt - in the way that it's been talked about in the questions that I received - is feeling guilty for taking time away from our kids or taking time away from our spouses or our families to really do things for ourselves. Right? Really that's, in essence, what mama guilt is. And I just wanted to talk a little bit about why it's important for us to still do the self-care that we need as mothers. And why we want to try to flip the way we think about it.

Stop Thinking the Old Mindset That Motherhood Equals Total Sacrifice All the Time

The first thing when we are talking about mama guilt is really looking at the fact that we as mamas have needs, right! We have needs and when we feel guilty about them, it's at some level us thinking that our needs as a mother, as a parent, or whatever are somehow not on par with our children's needs. Or we feel guilty for putting our needs as women and as mothers at the same level as our family needs. And you know, this is very, very common. Part of it, I think is based in this premise - this old, old premise - that being a mother truly requires sacrifice. And it is not to say that there aren't moments when we're going to sacrifice. We're going to have times when we sacrifice our sleep, our energy, our resources, and most certainly our time. And you know that often results in our energy. But that motherhood is sacrifice. I know that there's a lot of old paradigms where to become a mother means you actually give up your life for your child's life. And I want to challenge that perspective. I want to challenge that thought and say no! That's not only not required. It's also not healthy. We want our children to not only see us as mothers, but also see us as whole people who have needs and emotions and thoughts. And we have our good days. We have mostly good days. We also have some times where we have bad days.

Release Guilt by Acknowledging & Accepting Having Needs Is Ok

And I think part of releasing this guilt is being okay with us as women and us as mothers by acknowledging that we have needs and those needs are ok. And those needs are healthy. Ok, I feel like that is the foundation at which we want to think about mama guilt. Because why are we feeling guilty? We're feeling guilty because we don't want to take time away from our children, our families. We don't want our needs to supersede our family or children. And it's really not about superseding, but I know that's how it can feel. It's more about making our needs on par with our children and on our children's needs, and on par with our spouse or partners’ needs. So, I really want to set that foundation about really having us think about our needs as being on par with our children, our family, our spouses’ needs because those are important as mother and women.

When We Sacrifice & Devalue Our Needs, We Are Teaching Our Children to Do the Same

The second thing I really want us to think about is that if our children constantly watch us sidestep ourselves and sacrifice our needs for those around us, our spouse, or friends, or whomever, they will learn ultimately that it's okay to do devalue themselves in favor of others. Because half, if not all of what being a parent or a mother is about, is about teaching our children not just through what we say, but through who we are. Our children are constantly watching us. Our children are constantly seeing how we interact with them and the world around us. And if our children see us always self-sacrificing, always giving up, always putting everyone else above ourselves, we're in fact teaching them to do the same.

Not Doing Self-Care Is Not Embracing Ourselves & Our Lives

The other thing about it. As we consider mama guilt and we consider our needs, which is ultimately what this conversation is about. If we sacrifice our needs, are we truly embracing our life? I know that's a super-deep way to look at it. But us having needs is a part of being a whole and full human being. And so, when we are hesitant to embrace our needs, we are ultimately hesitant to embrace our lives. However, you view spirituality, whether you believe it's God or universe or you are agnostic about it, we were all created for a purpose. That's what I believe. And, as you know from everyone having different personalities and different ways of thinking about things. We have to embrace that essence of who we are. And part of that is embracing our needs. It's embracing our whole selves. And that is equivalent to embracing our lives, to embracing life, right! And we want to teach our children to do the exact same thing - to embrace who they are, to embrace their needs, to embrace their lives.

Remember What You Want to Mirror to Your Children About Needs

When you start thinking about mama guilt and not valuing your needs as a mother, I want to encourage you to think about the deeper, deeper meanings of what we are mirroring to our children. I could talk about this today. But I'm going to talk about one more point because I think this is going to be a bigger conversation centered around mama guilt. And I don't want to talk for 20 minutes. I'd rather do bite-sized pieces. 

Doing Self-Care Properly Takes Care of Our Emotions & Refuels

The last thing I want to share for contemplation and reflection on this topic is that we do our children a spiritual service, right! A parenting lesson when we develop our ability to fulfill ourselves and take care of our emotions.  And ultimately, self-care makes us feel better. Because at some level, the whole point of self-care, it's not about a massage. It's not about getting our nails done even though those are things that could be a self-care experience for you. it's ultimately about doing things that refresh and refuel and nourish us. And ultimately make us feel better right. Make us feel better. Make us feel able to take on the world. Make us feel able to have another sleepless night, to deal with another tantrum, to deal with the continuous “Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? For those of you that have preschoolers you know what I'm talking about. Or you have a teenager that comes home and is rebellious. That is why we do self-care. To take care of ourselves so that we they can then take care of others. When we are able to fully embrace, and develop our ability to take care of ourselves and our emotions. And fully take care of ourselves and fully love ourselves, we are showing our children, not only is it important but that they should do it too.

Join My Deeper Discussion on Self-Care as Soul-Care

I hope that this has been helpful as we continue this conversation on mama guilt. And as I continue to explore topics around self-care. I feel like if you haven't listened to my other recent Facebook lives or periscopes, I'm taking this self-care conversation deeper in 2017 and 2018. Right now, self-care is being overused. And it's basically being talked about and discussed as if it's all about pampering which is fine. We, as mamas, need pampering. But what I am speaking of is a deeper level of self-care, a soul care, a spiritual care. A deepening, nourishing, restorative activities and experiences that truly rejuvenate us as mothers and us as women. That bring ultimately greater self-love and self-knowledge. That's where I'm coming from in terms of my self-care, self-love discussion. I hope that you join me and share these messages out as we continue to explore and as I continue to discuss the more deeper elements of self-care and self-love.

Try the Mama Love Planner

And for those of you that don't know, I am the creator of the Mama Love Planner™ which I've mentioned. And the 2018 is available now. I would love for you to try the planner and experience it because it is a great tool. In fact, it is the only tool out there that is developed and designed for mothers to help them plan and figure out the self-care tools and experiences that they need to be refreshed and restored. It also is a gratitude journal. It asks you to give at least three items of gratitude daily. And it's an intentional planner. It's an intentional planning system. So, I encourage you to check it out. It's the Mama Love Planner. For a limited time, I'm offering 20% off. I would love to get the planner into more mama’s hands. Check it out. The information is in the title of this Facebook Live. And if you have any questions on self-care or the Mama Love Planner™, please put them in the comments. I will do my best to address them.

I've enjoyed this conversation. Look out for another mama guilt in self-care discussion as I continue to go deeper into this topic. I think it's so, so important that we, as mamas, are able to shed that guilt and be able to fully take care of ourselves and in the best way possible.

Have an amazing evening and I will talk with you soon.


For the past three years, the Mama Love Planner has supported mamas and mamas-to-be in developing and implementing self-care goals, as well as creating and sustaining a daily gratitude practice. Each planner - daily or weekly version - gives a gentle daily reminder to write down at least 3 things you are grateful for. This gratitude journal, self-care tool and planner are designed to help mamas have lives filled with more joy, appreciation and self-care! For more information, check out the video below or learn more about the Daily and Weekly versions!