Balancing the demands of raising children and striving in a career can be challenging. Doing each successfully can seem virtually impossible at times. Most mothers find that eventually something suffers. The laundry does not always get done, the house ends up a mess or meetings get pushed back. Those things and more are the pitfalls of the busy lifestyle of the parent entrepreneur. But there is one thing that is even worse than what gets left behind or undone. The guilt that we allow ourselves to feel about the things that get neglected and the choices we have to make.
In my work as a Life Coach and Energy Healer I have yet to find one working parent that does not find some complication in their life that they do not feel guilty about. Most of the guilt is on the side of the children: not being able to attend all of their games, keeping up with routine doctor appointments, or missing milestones. If we are striving to be the best we can be in our businesses, chances are we are going to miss something pertaining to the children. And the guilt only gets worse if we allow ourselves to feel judged by the other parents. No wonder we often walk around second guessing the choices that we make.
Guilt has a very negative effect on your energy body. I teach that our energy body puts out an energy broadcast that is attractive, meaning, if you feel guilt and are focused on that feeling, you are asking the universe for more things to feel guilty about and the universe will always answer with a “yes.” Energy is always moving forward. The word “no” doesn’t exist in the energy body. So, if we are focused on what we do not want, energetically we are saying “yes” to it. For example, if you say, “I do not feel guilty for missing Johnny’s soccer game, because he understands I have to work,” but inside you still feel bad about it, energetically you are saying you are feeling guilty for missing Johnny’s soccer game. So, what does the universe do? It gives you more to feel guilty about, because our intent is attractive. Next, people will line up judging you vocally, telling you about the great game you missed and what a shame that you couldn’t be there.
So, what can we do to deal with the guilt? How do we find a balance in competing demands in our lives? At first glance you must recognize that you always have choice and you are in charge of your choice. You can stop working, that is a choice. However, that choice is one that comes with a set of consequences as far as your business goes. So, you know that the best choice is the one that keeps a roof over your head and food on the table. Although, even if you did not need to work for shelter and security, the reasons that you have for working are good enough. You might be working to live a better lifestyle, to grow as a human being, to better the world at large. You have a reason for working and you deserve to say yes to your reason. We feel guilt when our inner self, our higher self or our best self does not believe in a thought we are thinking. Most conflict or negativity is based on this same concept. There is a part of you, the highest part of you, that is in agreement with the choices you are making. But, the lower part of you looks out at the world and listens to it and then feels bad about it. When you feel guilty it is because your higher self knows what you are doing is right or best for you, but your lower mind thinks “I should be doing something different.”
Often, when people feel guilty they do not look at the cause of their guilt. Instead, they simply try to do it all. As we know, it simply does not work. Corners get cut and things end up falling apart. The best thing to do is to look at the thoughts that that are out of alignment with what we want and find a way to think about them that makes us feel better and stronger about the choices we are making. Thoughts are as attractive as energy, so the more you think a thought, the easier it is to reinforce that thought. So, if you think, “I should not be missing my son’s football game for work,” your next thought might be, “I should be able to do both of these things but I have to work.” Your next thought might end up being, “I am a bad parent for missing his game.” At this point, you feel tremendously guilty.
Now, you might think, “but what is so bad about feeling guilty? Isn’t that part of life?” Guilt is a negative feeling. Negativity attracts more negativity. When you allow yourself to feel guilty, you are literally allowing yourself to attract the things that you are trying to avoid. Guilt is a way of beating yourself up to keep yourself feeling bad. The only way to improve the situation is to find a thought in line with your higher mind and think that to the point where you attract more, similar thoughts.
So, a better way could be to think, “I should not be missing my son’s football game for work.” Then your next thought could be, “But my work is important to me and following my goals and keeping my commitments make me a better person.” Then followed by, “When I feel good about myself I make better decisions.” Your next thought might be, “when I make better decisions I use the time I get to spend with my son wisely, and I am able to be really present and appreciative of him when we are together.” You can even follow that thought with something like, “it is good for a child to see a parent keeping commitments. I am teaching him how to honor his commitments no matter how hard it can be.” As you can see, none of these thoughts are lies or wrong. They are just productive ways of looking at a subject.
For all of us, there is no finish line that you can cross in life. Life is always going to hand you another challenge, another chore, something is always going to be in your “pending” file. There are going to be times when you will have to make hard choices and you might have to pick your work over helping your child study for an exam. But, even that can be used as an opportunity to help your child become self-sufficient. If thoughts expand and are contagious, if you see your child as helpless without you, you are in essence creating an energy stream of helplessness that they can step into. If you see your child as someone capable of figuring it out, you create a positive energy stream for them to step into. Of course there are going to be times when it is appropriate to stop working and help them. But, the most important thing to remember is that you are choosing to do so. When you take responsibility for your choice and find a reason to feel good about it, the energy will continue to remain positive.
Finding balance as a working parent is something that requires practice and planning. However, by paying attention to our thoughts, we can always find a way to feel better about our choices. Guilt is a negative choice and by using our mind and our thoughts we can find a way to gain a better perspective and find peace.
The HOW TO with Kim Mazzella is a weekly column featuring Kim's expert life coaching tips for the modern woman navigating entrepreneurship, motherhood, work-life balance, and more!
ABOUT KIM MAZZELLA:
Kim Mazzella, founder of the Life Guidance Center, is a Healer, Teacher, Spiritual Coach and Writer. Her work is based in the belief that our natural state is health and wholeness. Her job is to help those she works with remove the blocks that they have placed in the way of the free flow of energy and healing. She integrates the knowledge from her study of A Course in Miracles and universal laws with her study of massage and understanding of the body’s energy system to create a holistic approach to healing and change.