That Mom Life

Mom Guilt and Our Inner Critic

Urban mom crossing the street

If you’re a the kind of mom who doesn’t have it all figured out, this post is for you.

Somewhere along the way, shortly after maternity leave, many of us rejoin the workforce and begin to feel the gravitational pull of guilt.

Mom guilt and our inner critic leads us to believe we are less than, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Mom’s don’t have to have it all figured out.

Every second that we devote to anything but our perfect little humans, we are hit with this overwhelming feeling of inadequacy.

We criticize ourselves for trying to be a parent while living out a career that took years to build.

But let me ask you this.. who said the image in your head is one of motherly perfection?

The image that may resemble something straight out of a 1950’s movie.

Think.. the showered Mom with perfectly curled hair and light makeup.

She’s waltzing around the kitchen whipping up a batter of her home-made pancakes, mixing bowl in hand while kicking up the oven door with her heels behind her.

Husband scurries in and she of course has fresh brewed coffee waiting for him and then the kiddos..

Fast feet coming barreling down the steps and into the kitchen to settle in for the golden fluffy pancakes and fresh milk.

Meanwhile, Mom is already onto prepping the after school snack.. banana bread.

Shortly after she drops the kiddos at school, she rushes home to tidy up the house and organize before after school activities like soccer practice and girl scouts.

The kids come back from activities to complete homework, shower and play.

If you don’t have the energy after all this to play, are you even a Mom?? (insert sarcasm here)

Off to bed they go… you read endless amounts of books and tuck them in, possibly even fit in a lullaby when just like that it’s time to start a new day all over again.

We become so busy managing our home and everyone else’s life that along the way, we forget to manage our own.

Perhaps this is the image we have because most examples of motherhood, especially on TV, don’t portray the working Mom.

The one who went to college or started her own business that took years to build before her precious little ones came along.

Just because we have successful careers doesn’t mean there isn’t room to be a Mom. But most of us don’t know how to do both.

You feel stretched way too thin trying to climb the proverbial corporate ladder while attending every moment of your little ones life.

Which is… unrealistic. And we know this. Yet… when we can’t live up to the image we hold ourselves too, we feel that we have somehow failed.

Honestly… would it be ideal to find some magic “do it all” formula, heck yes.

Mom’s don’t have to have it all figured out.

But, while your children may want to play with you while furiously answering emails and juggling calls, most of the time they’re probably just as happy to get on tech.

Dagger, I know.

Steps I took that helped me..

Despite many downward spirals feeling like the most inadequate mom (pretty sure that’s a prerequisite to parenthood) I also know at my core, love is all they truly need.

“Everything is Figureoutable”

Marie Forleo

If you’re anything like me, you want to simplify the chaos as much as possible and that required me to always be one step ahead since birth.

I didn’t wait until they were screaming to eat, I’d get ready to feed them about 15 min beforehand.

I also followed a pretty strict schedule.

Some days felt repetitive but when children know what to expect it causes less uncertainty and panic, which most often triggers a meltdown.

We had out of the house time; think parks, or activities, even walking through a mall, farmers markets, museums. Routine visits to the local library.

Meal time also gives you the chance to teach them balance and why that’s important for their strong mind and growth.

Snack time always involves one healthy snack and one indulgence. Do they eat ice cream and chips, of course but in moderation.

Knowing how much children thrive on routine I’ve carried this through today, even for my 12 year old.

Staying one step ahead often involves coming up with activities they can pick from while I’m on those endless work calls.

Of course activities vary by age and I stress “activities to pick from”.

Kids like options and love to be in control.

This could be craft time or maybe just coloring. Painting by number.

Game time, which might be something that challenges their brain. Puzzles.

In effort to teach them strong body health, we have “move your body time”.

Yoga or kid workouts, soccer etc.

My boys also love to build magna tile garages for their hot wheels.

And don’t forget about contests. Who can build the most extravagant castle?! You’ll be the judge. You can either be a hero and insist there’s a tie or be the villain and crush their dreams.

No pressure.

At the end of the day the idea of “juggling” or “striving for balance” is mythical.

Everyday with children is unpredictable and some days even work can be a challenge.

So what is the PC recipe for Mom guilt and our inner critic?

Indulge in a daily dose of grit and a splash of grace.

Mom’s don’t have to have it all figured out.

All you can do is stay focused on your goal.

What is the goal for this season of your career and how can you achieve that if you maintain a bit of grit?

What boundaries can you set to ensure you have assigned family time?

And.. what is your goal for this season of motherhood and how can you give yourself some grace to feel assured you were as present as you could be?

Maybe this means creating a deadline that you turn off your computer and say who wants to play?!

Being exhausted after a long day of brain drain isn’t lost on me.

Mom’s don’t have to have it all figured out.

I know it’s so hard to turn one thing off and pivot to another but even if it’s just one uninterrupted hour, that is enough for them.

Also, think of things they can do with you. If you’re doing laundry, ask them to sort the colors or hand you hangers.

Praise them for being good helpers and organizers. Same with meal prep, turn on some music and assign jobs to keep them engaged and learning at the same time.

And if they choose to decline helping out, that’s ok. It’s their choice and you should no longer place guilt on yourself.

Most often, our children are not even thinking about the mom guilt our inner critic creates.

Mom’s don’t have to have it all figured out. Our Mom guilt and inner critic always keeps that in check.

Thats right… we are our own worst enemy. We do not have to be the picture perfect presence but we do have to be present with the time we have.

Meaning.. if you aren’t able or willing to put down the laundry, then ask them to join in and have a sock throwing contest. Just add a bit of fun and you both will benefit.

PS. If you have any ideas on how to juggle motherhood and work, comment below!

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Multi-passionate creative, creator of 2, cocktails-well any time and fashion I cant afford. 

hi, i'm lisa.
your go-to guide  transforming your chaos
to clarity.

What can you expect around here?
         Short posts made for women on the go
         Posts you can read while at the field or on the subway

         Because your time is valuable.. but sometimes you need a breather. 

meet your guide


Work with me

I will guide you through a customized plan so you get the clarity you need to transition your career and meet the phase of life you are currently in.

Don't miss out

get your Freebie


In this guide, we will define your IVP (Individual Value Prop), understand what that means and learn why it's critically important to your career.

Download now

Schedule today

© PerfectedChaos LLC. All rights reserved.
Legal | Design by TONIC




03 | PC BLOG




Based in Philadelphia area | Serving worldwide 

Subscribe to the newsletter! 

The weekly email that you'll want to save for reference!

Get exclusive access to Lifestyle, Career and Advice content straight to your inbox every Sunday. 

@perfectedchaos |