Transcript: What Is Moms Guilt and Why It Plagues You
Nearly all of the moms that I speak with feel guilty that they are either not doing enough as a parent or that they aren’t getting things right with their little one.
Guilt can be very destructive when left untreated and it’s important to learn to eliminate guilt and shame in your life so you can be fully present to take care of your little one and move on!
In this week’s podcast I speak with Alysia Lyons who is a mom’s support coach. Alysia talks all about guilt and encourages you to examine your beliefs and how they might not be serving you. You’ll hear some great tips and examples from Alysia in this episode.
Helen Thompson: Welcome Alysia and it’s lovely to have you on first-time mum’s chat. I’m delighted to have you here.
Alysia Lyons: Yeah thank you for having me, I’m excited.
Helen Thompson: First of all, can you start by telling my listeners a little bit more about you and what you’re passionate about?
Alysia Lyons: Absolutely. So I am the mom’s support coach. I help moms through the struggles that moms deal with. Mostly, I talk a lot about guilt because I’ve only met two moms that ever said that they don’t have any guilt. And I didn’t try to pick it apart or anything. I don’t want to create guilt inside of somebody, but for the most part, every other mom that I’ve ever talked to at least understands mom guilt if they don’t resonate with it in the moment.
Helen Thompson: It sounds very interesting what you do and I know you’ve written a book called ‘Good Moms Don’t’. I just sort of wondered what inspired you to write that book and also, why did you name it that, because it’s a really interesting title after what you’ve just shared.
Alysia Lyons: Yeah. So a little bit about my story and how I kinda got into this. I actually, wasn’t looking to be a life coach when I became certified. I was actually looking to help me in a direct sales business that I’ve been in for 10 years and they said if I take this life coaching course, that it’ll help me with my direct sales business.
And I was so committed to the business that I was literally willing to try anything. And when I showed up into this room, it was not what I was anticipating. It wasn’t what I was expecting in any way, shape or form. The first day I was there, someone said something, I don’t even remember what she said, but all of a sudden she got pulled to the front of the class and had to cry her ancestors’ tears.
And I was like, under no circumstances, is that allowed to happen to me? I will not speak for the rest of the time here, because that was just so uncomfortable to me at that time and the only reason I came back to do the course again, was because I had FOMO (fear of missing out). I had made some really great friends while I was there, even though I was trying not to participate in this course, I still had this shift in my body where I felt different and I wanted more of that and I wanted to see my friends again and so I came back a second time and then I was hooked. So, in between my second time going to the course and my third time, I have now been six times, but I said I was addicted, I’m not exaggerating.
So the third time that I went, right before I came, I went to the doctor with my son because he was complaining about an issue and I mentioned, that a couple of years prior, his babysitter had been inappropriate with him and I had done all the things that you’re supposed to do that a good mom does, right!
I filed a child protective service report, I filed a police report and I got my son into counseling and I did everything that I thought you were supposed to do in this situation. And nothing really came of it, but he was fine. And we didn’t really talk about it after all of that and it had been two years.
So just in case I brought it up to the doctor in case it was related and the doctor wanted to file a police report and file the child protective services report. And I was like, no, I’m not doing this again. In my opinion, I felt like I was being irrationally angry about the situation. And I walked out of the doctor’s office.
I know it was their job, which is why I felt like it was irrationally angry. And so I texted my life coach at the time and I said, I think I might feel guilty about something. And so when I showed up at the event, she asked everyone in the room, raise your hand, if you feel guilty about anything and what do you feel guilty about?
And everyone in the room raised their hand, except for me, because I had already forgotten that I felt guilty about this. And then I heard a couple of people talking and it triggered that thought that, oh right, I felt guilty and I said I let someone hurt my son. And I remember watching her. And she almost fell over at the way that I described that incident, just saying I let someone hurt my son.
And so she walked me through a process called eliminating guilt and shame. And I went from, I let someone hurt my son to essentially. It’s not my fault. You know, that I was doing the best that I could with the tools and awareness of the time. If I had known that something would have happened, then obviously I wouldn’t have done that.
I wouldn’t have taken him there. I wouldn’t have let her watch him. And you know, it, it kind of boiled down to, I didn’t have a crystal ball and so it was like I had lifted just 50 pounds off of my shoulders and when I had decided I wanted to be a life coach, I knew that I wanted to work with moms.
So I am a mom, I have a mom. You know, it was like, I understand a little bit of how moms think but I didn’t know specifically who or what, or what issue that I wanted to help with until I did this this eliminating guilt and shame exercise and the feeling and the shift that I had and I thought every mom needs to experience this because every mom experiences guilt. And so I was interviewing some moms and everything that I would hear coming out of their mouth was guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt. So I started writing these chapters and they kind of evolved. It was how they worded it.
You know, I work outside the home and so I feel guilty or I’ve left the father of my child, I feel guilty about that. And so I sat down and I wrote response to the guilt that I had heard from these interviews and I noticed the pattern that was emerging inside.
Basically, I wrote down what the belief was and so mine was a good mom doesn’t let someone hurt their kid. Right. And so I took all of these beliefs and some of them were a good mom doesn’t and some of them were good moms do. And so I just reworded them so that they were all good moms don’t and that was how I came up with the title.
Most of the chapters are the common beliefs that moms have, especially new moms. It’s not exclusive to new moms, but there’s a lot of different beliefs that we have, and it explains where guilt comes from.
And it explains where it comes from and what it is. And the rest of the book is somewhat specific examples of, this is the belief, and this is a way around the beliefs. But the thing about guilt is that it is pretty specific to the person. Yeah. So it’s very common that moms feel guilty working outside of the home.
And so one mom’s relief to that might be that I want to work out of the home and my child is taken care of and I’m passionate and I’m showing my child how about pursuing their dreams and taking care of their family. And so that could help one mom and then I talked to another mom post writing the book and she was saying she felt guilty for putting her son in daycare and it really boiled down to, she felt guilty that she wasn’t the one taking care of her son. And so, we did this reframe of that thought that I’m taking care of these needs while someone else is taking care of those needs?
Helen Thompson: Yes, so you’re giving them the opportunity to do what they want to do. You’re supporting them to give them what they want to do. Is that the gist of it.
Alysia Lyons: Exactly. So taking the belief that you have and figuring it out, and that might take someone, helping you with it and pulling out of you and it might be very clear of, well, my mom was a stay at home mom and so good moms stay at home, which means that good moms don’t work outside the home.
If you’re a single mom, I’m a single mom. It’d be really hard to provide for my, myself and for my son, if I didn’t work outside the home or if I didn’t have a job, right.
Helen Thompson: Yeah but if you think about it in a different angle, you don’t necessarily have to be a single mum to want to work outside of the home. I mean, your husband or your partner could be the breadwinner but you might also want to go out and be passionate about what you want to do and what you were saying earlier is by doing that, you’re encouraging your child, you’re giving your child the independence to know that they can thrive and do whatever they choose to do.
Alysia Lyons: Right and I really believe that our, our soul chooses our parents. And one of the things that has since continued to give me, a little bit of peace about the situation that happened is that my son chose me to be his mom flaws and all and so that was part of his path that he chose. And I really believe that his purpose in my life in a lot of ways is to redirect me and to put me back on my path.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, I actually believe in that too. I think everybody’s soul chooses to be where they want to be.
Alysia Lyons: There’s a lesson that we have to learn in order to fulfill our purpose. And then we look at these bad things and label them as bad and decide that they shouldn’t have happened. But I really wish that it hadn’t happened.
So we wish that these things didn’t happen, but they all ultimately fulfill a purpose in our life.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, I think that belief, that’s a very strong and powerful belief to have. So what magical advice would you give to a mom who had a similar experience to you, or just any sort of experience relating to what you do with your self coaching business?
Alysia Lyons: One of the things that I I told myself when I first became a mom, I don’t know why, but I remember just realizing that nobody gets through life unscathed and most of us don’t get through childhood unscathed. And for the most part, we all survive. And I think what mom guilt boils down to, we love our children so much and we want absolutely nothing bad to happen to them.
We think that the way to raise happy and healthy children is to protect them from all bad things. But the human spirit is so strong that we actually build more character by overcoming things then by having everything handed to us easily. Cause let’s say that in this perfect world, you’re able to protect your child from every harmful thought or any negative feelings whatsoever, the rest of the world is not going to treat your child the way that you want them to.
Helen Thompson: But that’s not guilt though, really? It’s just being what a natural mum would be. Moms want to protect their children no matter what. They’ve been inside your womb for nine months and you’ve carried them for nine months and when they’re born a lot of the time, that baby is just so special to you because you’ve carried it all that time. You want to protect it no matter what happens. But that’s not always the case, but generally speaking, that’s the case.
Alysia Lyons: For sure and what creates the guilt in that situation is that something that we didn’t plan on happening happens, or we want to do something or give our children something that we can’t and we think that, if I was a good mom, I would be able to do that thing. Or if I was a good mom, I wouldn’t have done that thing.
So that’s the thing that creates the guilt. So just understanding that this is why that my belief of we’re choosing our parents is so beautiful because they chose us. And they know they have the bigger picture. Our souls have the bigger picture when we make this choice, that, that are the flaws of the mom and dad and whoever in their life is part of their path.
And so everything that happens was supposed to happen because if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t have happened. And it’s really hard to think about that because there’s a lot of horrible, evil things that happen in this world. And when we learn the lesson from that awful thing, we can go then and help others with it.
Helen Thompson: Yes and you said at the very beginning about common beliefs. There are a lot of common beliefs that moms have, but is there any particular common belief that you would think a mum would have?
Alysia Lyons: A couple of common ones is working out of the home or wishing that you could work out of the home because some stay at home moms really wish that they could work outside the home and a lot of work from home or work out of the home moms wish that they could be home. That’s really common. Another really common one breastfeeding for moms I want to, I don’t want to, I can, I can’t!
I talked to another mom on a podcast where she really, really wanted to try to breastfeed and she just couldn’t and her doctor basically said, if you tried harder, you could, when in reality, her mom couldn’t breastfeed either. So there’s a lot of things that people say that, that they’re really trying to be helpful but it doesn’t come out that way and the most important thing in that situation is that your child is fed.
If your child has enough nutrients to grow, whether you’re giving him or her that nutrients or formula is, the most important thing is that your baby is growing and healthy.
Helen Thompson: And not putting pressure on their mum. I mean, some mums love breastfeeding and it works. And then I think it’s good to encourage them to try, but not to force them. There’s a difference between saying, you’ve got to breastfeed because it’s the done thing to saying okay, well, let’s see if we can work out a way to support you to breastfeed and give you some extra tips or help. And if that doesn’t work then let’s move on to the formula.
And I think from what you were saying, your doctor said, well, you’ve got to try, but you don’t want to force that mum into that because if you force them, you’re encouraging the guilt. You’re making them feel guilty, but you’re not supporting them, you’re just making them feel more guilty.
Alysia Lyons: To answer your question a little less specifically, but more specifically at the same time, is that the common thing that creates the guilt is believing that you are doing or not doing something that a good mum does or doesn’t do. That’s the core of it?
Yeah. But the core is I’m doing something that good moms don’t do, or I’m not doing something that good moms do. Yelling at your children is another really common one, and I’m using air quotes here, but a good mom doesn’t yell at their kids. Except when kids annoy the crap out of you! They know the button to push, right?
And I’m not excusing it or saying it’s okay, I’m saying I’ve done it when I’m overwhelmed when I’m under self cared when he’s asking me a hundred thousand times. I’ve told him a hundred times, don’t ask me questions during podcasts. It’s not the time. And every single time without fail, he comes and ask me a question during the podcast and, you know, it’s, it’s part of being a mom and I love that.
And then I gently remind him after the podcast, please don’t interrupt during the podcast. And just once I’ve been doing podcast interviews for probably about six months and one time semi-recently I lost my ever loving mind. Because I told him ahead of time, I wasn’t feeling good. I forgot about the podcast.
It was the second time we were already recording it. They’re being noisy. They being my son and my boyfriend and everybody got their head bit off. And then everybody got an apology because I’m human and I love them and I don’t want to bite their head off and give yourself grace in every situation.
Helen Thompson: And give yourself the acknowledgement that you’re not perfect, but you’ve got to respect yourself and give yourself that self care and encouraging your parent or your child or your partner to respect that self care if that makes sense.
Alysia Lyons: Even in that situation, we, we talked it out. I talked it out with my boyfriend, as much as I talked it out with my son, I explained to both of them how I was feeling and what created that reaction because, the day before my boyfriend was filling his ice container in the kitchen, which is directly behind me, and so loud and what it all boiled down to once he and I had that conversation was that he has no idea when I’m recording a podcast.
And if he knew he would have been more quiet. He would have not gotten ice right then. He would have waited till I was done. And so, before you hit record, I sent him a text because he’s not home. I’m starting a podcast. And when we’re done, I’m going to text him. I’m ending a podcast.
You know, when we’re armed with the information, we can make different choices. And that’s the same with guilt. And one thing too, that I, I came up with somewhat recently about guilt is that it’s a notification that the emotion is notifying you, that you are doing or not doing actions that are out of alignment with your values. And I’m driving my boyfriend’s car the other day, and somebody pulls in front of me and the car, starts beep, beep, beep and I yelled at the car somewhat jokingly and I said, it’s not my fault. He pulled in front of me and my boyfriend said it’s a notification, it wasn’t assigning blame. And that’s how we take our emotions as, as they’re wrong or that we should punish ourselves. But it’s really just letting you know, it’s a notification to tell you that there’s something out of alignment. Now, in the example of yelling at your children, that is something you can stop doing.
It might take a lot of work. It might take a lot of self-reflection. It might take hiring a coach to figure out why do I yell at my kid? Right. And it might just be something you can make a decision to stop.
Helen Thompson: There’s a lot of reasons why you might yell at a kid you, you’ve got to be able to take that step back and say, breathe and relax and count to 10 or whatever it is you need to do, or just walk away for 10 minutes or five minutes and then come back and deal with it. And that way you’d be more calm so that therefore it would be a much easier way to talk to your child and, and get them to sort of understand how you’re feeling.
Alysia Lyons: And in my book, I talked about spanking because that’s another thing that moms feel guilty about. And I used to spank my son and one day I decided I am not going to spank my son anymore. And I have not spanked him since. And so there’s certain things that we can draw a line in the sand and say, I’m not going to do that anymore.
And there’s other things that we need support with. And so you can stop doing the thing and that’ll stop the guilt. But sometimes we feel guilty about things that happened in the past. And I still haven’t figured out how to create the time machine that’ll take me back to get me to stop doing the thing that I did in the past, so that means that if there’s a thing that you did in the past that you feel guilty about, then it takes changing your mindset around the thing.
And that’s how it’ll alleviate the guilt.
And so this time, number one, I realized that in that moment I was spanking him to get out my anger. And my hand hurt and he wasn’t crying. And I thought I’m going to have to break my hand in order for him to feel this.
And that’s why I don’t like the blanket don’t spank your child or do spank your child.
So it drives me crazy when people are like, well, I was spanked and I did fine. Okay great but not everyone is that way. No one should spank their kid and not everybody shouldn’t spank their kid, it’s not black and white, but as, as a mom listening to this, when you’re a new mom and your thinking about how you’re going to discipline, I highly recommend a book by Dr. Daniel Siegel called ‘No-Drama Discipline’. Have you read that book? So he’s like the father of modern parenting and he has a book called ‘The Whole Brain Child’. He has a book called ‘Parenting From the Inside Out’, and then he has another book. These are just three, he’s got lots of books, but the third one is ‘No-Drama Discipline’.
And that’s the book that I found him from and it gives you another perspective of the purpose of discipline and alternative ways to spanking and timeout. When I read it, I resonated so much with it and I have a friend that I told her to read it and she didn’t resonate with it, which is great , to each their own.
I love the book, but I recommend reading that book when you’re thinking about discipline, because the purpose of discipline is, is really to teach your child a new lesson or to get them to learn the lesson. And when if my son gives me an attitude and I say to him, don’t you talk to me like that, the only thing that he’s learned in that moment is that mom’s a little crazy when you talk to her rudely. That’s the only thing.
But if I say, Hey, I don’t understand why you’re talking to me like this. Then he says back to me, you know what, mom, I’m in a bad mood right now. I’m really sorry that I talked to you like that. And I’m not joking when I say that this is a real life conversation. I was parented, don’t you give me that attitude, but with my son, I say, hey, why are you talking to me like that?
Helen Thompson: I was brought up that way too. I was brought up as a positive approach because my parents were very much like that and as you say the positive, you turn it around and make it more positive because that way you’ll get more of a reaction from your child. If you say, don’t do that, the last thing they hear is do that, because they only hear the last two words of what you’re saying.
Alysia Lyons: And you also haven’t told them what they can do.
Helen Thompson: Yes, absolutely
Alysia Lyons: They’re left with don’t do that, but, okay, but what, what can I do? I was living with my parents and he used to get in trouble for touching buttons. But all of his buttons like the TV remote, he would get in trouble for touching that and all of his toys had buttons on them. So if I had known better at the time, I could’ve just grabbed one of his toys and handed them to him and he would have pushed those buttons. He just liked to push buttons.
He didn’t care what they did. And these ones are more fun because they make noise. Like if I had known that’s what I would have done, I didn’t know that at the time. So I didn’t do that.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, it’s just a matter of learning what or calling him ‘Mr Fiddle-dee-dee’, that’s what my father used to call me.
Cause every time I went to the shops, I used to like touching things and dad never reprimanded me for it, he just said, you’re being a Fiddle-dee-dee again and I sort of thought, oh, okay. So I stopped doing it.
So thank you for being here and I’ve really, really appreciated having you and I’ve enjoyed chatting with you. If any first time mums wanted to find out about you or do coaching with you or find out about your book, how would they do that?
Alysia Lyons: Yeah. So the easiest way to find me is AlysiaLyons.com and then I’m at mom’s support coach on pretty much all the platforms. My book is about to be re-released on September 14th. I’ve given it a new subtitle that resonates a little bit more with me and a new cover. And it’ll be available on September 14th, 2021.
Helen Thompson: I look forward to reading it and is it on Amazon. Can you get it on Amazon.
Alysia Lyons: Yeah. It’s it’s published through Amazon or Kindle direct publishing. So it’ll be physical copy will be available as well as Kindle version.
Helen Thompson: Okay. Well, thank you so much Alysia, it’s been a pleasure talking to you.
Alysia shared some great tips on how to lessen the role that guilt plays in your life and to be free. You’ll find the links to Alysia’s website where you can purchase her book ‘Good Moms Don’t’ and get a free chapter from the book in the show notes which can be accessed at mybabymassage.net/podcast/037.