Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mojo Mom Chapter 4: Am I Just Being Selfish? Letting Go of Guilt, Worry, and Anxiety

In Chapter 4 of Mojo Mom we explore the emotional landscape of mothers. How did guilt get woven into the fabric of motherhood? I truly believe that we need a shift in consciousness about guilt, worry and anxiety. We can spin our wheels and constantly drain our emotional reserves if we get into the habit of feeling worried, anxious and guilty. When it comes to these destructive emotions, I say that it is important to examine the feeling and the situation and ask whether there is something that truly needs to change. If so, change it. If not, let it go.

The threat of being called a "selfish Mom" also controls us in unhealthy ways, and I turn that around to talk about self care, and developing a centered self. Self-preservation is an important lifelong skill for mothers that will prevent burnout and resentment, and guide us to develop a sustainable parenting style.

Am I Just Being Selfish? Letting Go of Guilt, Worry, and Anxiety takes a look at mindfulness, and learning the difference between true danger signals we should pay attention to, as opposed to the "mental static" of free-floating worry and guilt that distance us from our best selves and genuine concerns.

I loved pulling this bookshelf together (Momma Zen, I imagine that the baby Buddha in the photo is saying a cheeky hello to you). Some of my favorite books are included in this chapter's list of recommended resources:

When You’re Falling, Dive; There Is Nothing Wrong with You; and Time Out for Parents by Cheri Huber

Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Maezen Miller

Mommy Guilt: Learn to Worry Less, Focus on What Matters More, and Raise Happier Kids
by Julie Bort, Aviva Pflock, and Devra Renner

12 Simple Secrets Real Moms Know: Getting Back to Basics and Raising Happy Kids by Michele Borba, Ed.D. I really appreciate Michele Borba's writing. You are in good hands when you read any of her books, but this one is my favorite.

Momfidence: An Oreo Never Killed Anybody and Other Secrets of Happier Parenting by Paula Spencer

Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers

What are the realistic concerns we should have about our children's safety, and just as importantly, what are the SKILLS we need to teach our kids in order for them to develop into independent young adults? Protecting the Gift and Kidpower training provide these vitally important answers.

Protecting the Gift by Gavin de Becker

Kidpower, website of the international organization.

I believe in Kidpower's safety skills training so strongly that I became a Kidpower instructor myself and started a local program, Kidpower North Carolina.

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