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Hey, this is Mandy and Kim with nextTalk, where we are passionate about keeping kids safe in the digital world.
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0:00:32 – Speaker 1
More than cyber parenting conversations to connect.
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Today’s show is about something I think we can all relate to at some time or another mom guilt.
0:00:43 – Speaker 1
Dun, dun, dun. Yeah, i think this is going to. I don’t know, is it going to sting a little or is it going to help?
0:00:51 – Speaker 2
I think it’s going to resonate with everyone. We’ve all had that feeling like oh gosh.
0:00:56 – Speaker 1
So, yeah, i know, i just had it really recently. You’re living it. I just lived this out and actually this is why we’re doing this show. So let me set this up for you. My daughter comes home from school and she’s like homecoming dance And the minute she said the date I completely froze in the kitchen because I knew I was going to be out of the state on that date And I kind of welled up with tears. I was trying not to cry in front of her And she noticed something was wrong and she was like what’s wrong with you? Yay, homecoming. What’s wrong?
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with you, mom. Why are you looking so?
0:01:36 – Speaker 1
sad And I’m like, oh baby, i’m going to be out of town. I’m so, so sorry. We’ve had a contract in place for months. This has been on my calendar for over half a year. I’ve got to follow. I’ve given my word to this church that I’m going to be there and I’m going to be speaking. and I got to go And she said, okay, it’s not ideal.
it’s not ideal, mom, but you know what? Just don’t miss prom. That was like her immediate reaction. So that made me feel okay, but she didn’t really know the backstory about how much this kind of meant to me. So I kind of want to give our listeners and this is part of our nextTalk core philosophy.
One of our core values is family And we do a really good job on our team of like. we always say to each other family first. Like if somebody has to miss an event, or I can’t go to this thing, or I can’t lead this type of group because you know my kid schedule or whatever, we’re always like family first. we completely understand you have to take care of your family And so it’s one of those things that is like ingrained in me. When I first started speaking and traveling, i talked to a pastor and one of the things that he said to me was don’t lose your family while saving others. Yeah, like, don’t lose your kids while saving others, and it’s something that has always gone through my mind. Every time I have to leave town for an event or whatever, like am I making sure that my family is coming first. And so for me, in my mind, i’m going to be the first person to leave town. I’m Miss Homecoming. I’m not putting my family first, like I immediately went there, you went there.
I immediately went there, mm-hmm.
0:03:07 – Speaker 2
Well, and I know that we have some older team members who have always said at every meeting and everything that we’ve ever done, that you have to protect April and May for senior year because there’s going to be all the stuff going on, and so you probably had that in the back of your mind too.
0:03:22 – Speaker 1
Well, we’ve been talking about it for a year. You know, this is my daughter’s senior year and our heads up mamas have been telling me these are the months you need to protect. So I’ve been really careful to schedule a lot of events during those months. There’s a couple big conferences that I have to go to, but I’m being really careful And so, yeah, it’s always been on the forefront of my mind. So here I am like, oh my gosh, i’m missing senior homecoming.
0:03:44 – Speaker 2
Out of the gate. School just starts, traveling just begins. Isn’t that how it always goes?
0:03:49 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and so I’m not going to lie I went into my bedroom and I told my husband and I literally just started crying Like I was, like I’m the worst mother, like I can’t even. It is her senior year, she wants to have friends over here to get ready. Like I’m not going to be here for pictures, like I can’t like have fun with her friends. You know, all of that started piling on And my sweet husband, he was like listen to me, you are a great mother. This is one dance, calm down, you know. But in my mind I am like you’re not a mom. You don’t understand. You don’t understand this. How do you? Uh-huh, no.
0:04:25 – Speaker 2
I immediately go there Because I’m in my big part.
0:04:27 – Speaker 1
No, you don’t, i’m in the mom pity party.
0:04:31 – Speaker 2
Yeah, you know, we go right to that place of mom guilt really easily. It takes over And, like you said, we’re in our pity party. We start to spiral And then it just becomes all about us.
0:04:42 – Speaker 1
Yeah, so you know my husband. he’s trying to console me. In my mind I’m thinking you’re not a mom. I need to reach out to my moms.
0:04:48 – Speaker 2
I need some women.
0:04:49 – Speaker 1
Yeah, And so I texted our team and I told them what happened And I was like I cannot believe I’m missing senior homecoming. This is something I promised I would never do is miss these big moments. You guys, help me, Help me process this, you know.
0:05:04 – Speaker 2
0:05:05 – Speaker 1
And I’m so glad I did that, because what came out of that group text is the show. There was so much wisdom, so much good advice. Some hurt, like some. I had to kind of look in the mirror and be like, oh my gosh, i’m doing this. I need to not do this, you know. And so at the end of all this text that we’re going back and forth and back and forth, everybody was like this is a show. This is a show. And I love that When sometimes in our group threads, i literally want to say OK, i want to share all this with the world because it’s such a good window into moms supporting moms and pouring into each other and helping them through all these things like mom guilt.
0:05:43 – Speaker 2
Well, and I think it’s a healthy version of what true friendship looks like, because it would have been easy for us to join your pity party, you know, put on the sad faces and be like, oh yes, it’s the worst, But that’s not what got intended for real iron, sharpened iron relationships, you know. Sometimes we got to say the hard stuff.
0:06:03 – Speaker 1
And these friends said the hard stuff to me, and so I kind of want to tell you what they said, because I think it’s good for us all to hear. So the first thing that was written in the group text was this mom, guilt is a choice. Yes, it’s sad, you’ll miss a moment. Yes, it’s absolutely hard. But when it is not a dismissive, mindless, thoughtless action, it is easier for your kid to understand. Your kid feels seen and heard, not dismissed. That’s what’s important.
0:06:31 – Speaker 2
Wisdom right there.
0:06:33 – Speaker 1
So I thought that was so good, because what if I had responded like I didn’t care that I was missing or it wasn’t a big deal that I was missing? Okay, that would be the problem. I think that is what they’re trying to point out for me. So I’m picking up all this mom guilt and I’m going into this pity party mode And, yes, it’s okay to be disappointed for a minute. Right, That’s okay. Those are real feelings and valid. But going into this place of I’m not a good mother, I’m throwing my family under the bus for speaking Like that’s extreme, That’s radical thought And I needed my friends to remind me of that.
0:07:08 – Speaker 2
So in this example we’re talking about homecoming. It’s a big dance and I can see how the mom guilt could set in really quickly And it’s not probably as natural to go to a dismissive place. But I want to apply it to an example that I walked through with my first grader in a Valentine’s Day party And I couldn’t make it because of work And I sat in the car and I wept when she cried when I left the room And my first reaction was I wanted to be dismissive, like it’s just one little Valentine’s party, all your friends are here, it’s not a big deal, but to her it was a really big deal. And so in that moment saying I’m so sorry that I’m missing this, i know this is important to you, mommy will be at the next one Not even dismissing the little things because we don’t know what value our kids have placed on it. So I think that’s really good advice for any age and stage Not dismissing what could be important to your kid, but also not getting stuck in the mom guilt moment.
0:08:02 – Speaker 1
So good Such wisdom there. The next thing they said, and this one stung the most don’t over apologize. This makes her event more about you than her. She can and will have amazing moments without you. This is hard to accept, but it’s very true. We are there for what we can be, And sometimes we will miss some things.
0:08:26 – Speaker 2
Whew, that’s when I texted you on the side and I was like, are you okay?
0:08:33 – Speaker 1
And I was like, girl, i needed to hear it Because I was having a pity party. And I caught myself later on that day. She had some friends over or something and they were talking about homecoming and I wanted to be like, yeah, i’m not going to be there. And I didn’t, because I was like that’s making it about me, like they’re talking about dresses and they’re talking about the fun they’re going to have, like why would I take the attention away from that and put it on me? And so, had this wisdom not be spoken into me, i think I would have said something. And this is why Because I was feeling guilty and I wanted to make sure the whole world knew oh my gosh, i’m so sorry I can’t make that dance. You know, i’m so sorry I can’t be there for you. This is not about me, this is just about my kid having a great moment.
0:09:18 – Speaker 2
Well and you’ve apologized, you’ve not been dismissive, you’ve said your piece. it’s time to move on. And sometimes we struggle with that and we feel like we need to say sorry 10 different ways over and over throughout the day and maybe a week later. And that’s really not the case. And I’ll even go a step further now that you’re not in sensitive mode, i can say hard part. How many times have you been in a scenario with someone and they have said something or done something and apologized and you’re like okay, and you’re ready to move on, and they keep apologizing. Sometimes it’s just annoying And I feel like, for teenagers and kids especially, they’re like okay, mom, i got it, you’re sorry, can we move on now? So just on that real base level emotion, we don’t need to be annoying, let’s move on with the show.
0:10:05 – Speaker 1
Absolutely, and we have moved on. She went dress shopping and she went dress shopping with her friends and she was texting me pictures and wanting my advice on the dresses. not once in the text thread Did I be like I can’t believe I’m missing.
It was just all about the dress, all about oh, i like that fit, i like that color on you. I stayed true to what was really important, because I had let go of the guilt. I’m so proud of you, but I did it because I have this amazing group of women that can hold me accountable And I think this point right here. I also want to say you need women in your life who are willing to say the hard things to you. If they’re always agreeing with you, if your friend group is always agreeing with you. I got to challenge you on that. This is scriptural, just like you mentioned before, the iron sharpens iron first. That’s a verse from Proverbs 27, 17. And it says, as iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend. You want friends who are going to challenge you, not in a way to make you feel bad, but in a way to make you a better mom and a better wife and a better person.
0:11:10 – Speaker 2
That’s true friendship, that’s true marriage, that’s true relationship.
0:11:13 – Speaker 1
Well, and I do think Satan uses mom guilt as one way to make it all about us, and it really takes the focus off of our kids. I see it a lot, and I can see it when other people are doing it, but it’s harder to see it when I’m doing it, and so that’s why you have to have a trusted group of friends. Okay, so the next thing they said I thought this one was really good too Conviction is from the Holy Spirit, never guilt. Guilt is the enemy, super fleshy and stirred up by the world to make us feel less than You are, not less than. She texted that in the group thread.
0:11:48 – Speaker 2
You are not less than I feel like I need that on a coffee mug.
0:11:52 – Speaker 1
Right, like I need to see that every morning.
0:11:54 – Speaker 2
It’s so good.
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It’s a shirt.
0:11:56 – Speaker 2
Yeah, well, and it’s a show. We’ve talked about this so many times and we’re going to be doing a show coming up called Conviction versus Shame and Guilt, because it’s imperative that we know the difference, because the enemy loves to meet us there and push our buttons. Yeah.
0:12:11 – Speaker 1
Another point that they brought up. As parents, we have to realize we won’t be there for everything, and if we choose guilt every time, we’re going to live there and that’s not good for anyone. Like we are going to be in a continuous pity party of I’m not good enough, i’m failing as a mom, and then it’s just a whole weird dynamic in our home because it’s really all about us.
0:12:35 – Speaker 2
Yeah, when you function from a place of guilt and martyrdom, it affects the whole tone of your household And none of us really want that. We get there sometimes and hopefully we notice it or we have a friend who helps point it out, but that’s not the kind of household we want to run. One and two. It affects our kids And we don’t want that for them either. We don’t want to set that example.
0:12:56 – Speaker 1
We have a team member and her husband is an airline pilot, So, of course, very demanding job, traveling a lot And she said one of the practical things that they did was they would talk to their kids and be like, OK, you have this, this and this coming up. Dad can be here for this one or this one. He cannot be here for both because of his work schedule. What do you prefer? So the way they brought their kids into this conversation again, they’re not being dismissive and being like, oh, we’re missing, duh, duh, duh, duh. They’re saying to their kids OK, this is important, But you have to pick what is most important for dad to be there for. And I loved this just practical advice. If you have a traveling parent who has gone a lot and you do need to make choices about who gets to be there for what, having this conversation, I think, shows your kid that it’s important and it’s giving them a voice.
0:13:49 – Speaker 2
A lot of people see that my husband’s in education.
He has been for my kids’ entire lives And that’s awesome in that we have the same breaks, like summer and stuff, but it also means he has the same schedule as kids do, so he has to be at all the games, he has to be at all the recitals, all the ceremonies, all the different things that happen in a school, and so a lot of times those things are happening in our life at the same time And he can’t make it to our kids’ events, and so we’ve had to have from day one these type of conversations like dad can’t be at this and this, but mom, he’s going to record it and we’ll watch it together later.
But he will be at this, and he’s been very straightforward and honest with them And because of that I think they’ve received it well. They’ve always. I mean, we share disappointment or like, oh, but they understand and we move on, and so it’s always really worked to be practical, straightforward and honest with our kids about those schedule conflicts and then find a way to make it better. We watch it later with popcorn and we celebrate in our own way.
0:14:48 – Speaker 1
Kim, one of the things that you included in this conversation was that disappointment and learning to cope and adjust with change are part of the real world, and I think it’s because you have lived this out, with your husband having conflicts with your kids’ activities.
0:15:05 – Speaker 2
Yeah, when we can’t do or be your, go somewhere. That results in disappointing our kids. If I can set the mom guilt aside, it really has become a great opportunity to talk to them through what they’re feeling. I want them to feel like it’s OK to be disappointed but not to stay there and to find healthy coping mechanisms to move on. Because if we don’t imagine them in adult relationships I mean we have all been disappointed, whether at work or in friendships or in romantic relationships, and learning healthy ways to cope when they’re young, it’s like giving them a gift for their adult relationships And that’s part of what I want to teach them before they fly from my house. That’s awesome.
0:15:43 – Speaker 1
One last piece of advice that really helped me and was this will you have longing and sadness, yes, that’s OK, but guilt it’s not of God. Dude, that was in our text thread. That’s like a story in our text thread. Precious Guilt question mark, not of God. I loved how she put that And you know what It helped me identify my emotions, because I was like you know what I am sad, i am a little frustrated that I’m going to miss this, but I don’t have to go and spiral to the point of mom guilt. That’s on the other side of the spectrum And I’m not going there.
0:16:22 – Speaker 2
Yeah, i’m so proud of you. I think this is just a great example of how we experience emotions and we can really spiral quickly and going to this whole mom guilt thing or whatever the situation is. But, man, if we can stop identify our emotions, reach out to people who are a whole disaccountable, it can be such a totally different outcome, and I love that you share this example because I think we can all learn from it.
0:16:44 – Speaker 1
Well, and I just want to speak to any kind of mom, even if dads are carrying guilt around, listen, missing an event, missing a field trip, missing whatever, it does not mean that you’re not putting your family first, and I think that’s what I’ve learned through all of this and this conversation, like God, has reminded me of that.
0:17:02 – Speaker 2
I think the bottom line of what we’re trying to say here is let it go let it go. Can hope. No, I’m just kidding.
0:17:10 – Speaker 1
But yeah, we do need to let it go. Let it go, girl.
0:17:12 – Speaker 2
Let it go.
Transcribed by https://podium.page