It is entirely common to hide negative thoughts about motherhood from other moms. In my experience with Postpartum Depression, I had a lot of ugly, scary, terrible thoughts, and I couldn’t tell if what I was thinking was normal or unhealthy. It wasn’t until I started opening up, and looked closer at what I was saying to myself on a regular basis that I realized I wasn’t alone in thinking some very negative thoughts. Along the way, I also discovered the power my inner voice had over my mindset. Here is a list of phrases to ditch immediately, and positive phrases to replace them with.
Toxic Phrase: “I’m a Failure”
When you forget to a pay a bill, show up late to pick up your kids, or know more about the cashier’s day at Starbucks than your husband’s, it easy to chalk it all up to being a “failure.” The truth is, us moms measure success and failure by the “perfect” mom rules. It did me a world of good to break those rules, and make my own. Instead: “The only real failure is not trying at all.”
“I’m going to ruin my kids.”
I thought that once I became a mom I would have it all together: all my flaws would be managed, my communication would be perfect, I would eat breakfast every morning, the whole thing. When I had my first son, I struggled with who I thought I was supposed to be and who I actually was. It was exhausting, and unhealthy. Once I realized I’m not perfect, I won’t ever be perfect, and that it’s OK to be imperfect, I realized there was no way around passing down imperfections to my kids. Plus, I can’t keep my kids sheltered from every negative thing that comes their way … so I changed my perspective. Instead: “My kids will learn the beauty of imperfection from me.”
“What is wrong with me — good mothers don’t have the same terrible thoughts as me.”
Yes they do. Repressing thoughts, however terrible, only makes them come back full force … sometimes more vividly than the first time. Thoughts come for a reason, and instead of judging or repressing them, search for the root emotion attached to them. If you are experiencing distress, anxiety, depression or something else, than these emotions can evoke powerful, and often disturbing, thoughts. Instead: “All my thoughts are valid, all my thoughts and emotions deserve to be expressed.”
While I cannot attribute changing my language to my full transformation, being more mindful of my inner voice did change how I looked at myself … I hope these tips help you like they helped me. If you are struggling with mom guilt, and need more help managing these thoughts, download my free guide, Ditch The Mom Guilt For Good.
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