I’m sure you’ve heard of the term self sabotage before, and maybe you’re lucky that you haven’t experienced it before – more often than not, it is referred to within relationships. However, in this post I’m going to cover six ways in which you’re self sabotaging as a mom.
What is self sabotage?
Before we begin, i think it’s important we cover the term self sabotage so that you can get a clear idea of whether it applies to you.
According to psychology today, ‘Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in daily life and interferes with long-standing goals’
What that means is that you’re not fulfilling your purpose, not walking your own path, possibly even dimming your light. Oftentimes this happens because of the sacrifice you’re giving in your role as a mother.
When you think of the image of ‘mother’ in your mind – what is the first thing that crops up? I bet it includes a lot of giving, selflessness and pleasing.
While of course your kids need a happy and healthy environment, they can’t have that at the expense of your own needs. So, here we go with the signs of self sabotage:
1. You’re putting everyone else first.
This means that you come as an afterthought. You make your plans around what is best for your family, what will make your partner content, and planning everything around your kids.
If you think back to before you became a mother, how did you make decisions? If you were already a people pleaser, chances are those decisions came from a deep-rooted need to please your parents, then your friends and so on.
The people who please have the hardest time putting themselves first because they see it as ‘selfish’. Match this with influences they might have had that don’t help them create boundaries, and you’ve got a catastrophe waiting to happen.
When you put everyone else before you, you’re giving yourself the message that you aren’t important, which leads to self-sabotaging behaviours.
2. You’re overthinking
A completely normal response for someone trying to juggle all the hats, overthinking happens when the mind starts to weigh out numerous different options. As a mom, you’ll be familiar with decision fatigue – what to cook for dinner, whether to put your toddler down for a nap, what time you should go out the house.
The cycle of overthinking however, isn’t helping you in your decision process, because there is no one right way of doing things. Someone might parent in a way that is different from yours – and that’s okay too.
Overthinking is future-orientated, when you’re grounded in the present your mind doesn’t have the opportunity to enter the vicious cycle.
3. You’re not valuing yourself
One of the biggest problems I see with mothers today is the lack of credit they give themselves for all they do.
Love – you are out there killing it! In between shopping, housework, cleaning, and organising there is not much space for you already. And now with that little space you do have, you’re filling it with doubt about yourself.
It’s a myth you have to do it all, built by a consumerist society that doesn’t allow you to rest. Give yourself permission to feel good about yourself.
Do you want to feel better about how you decide to manage your time and deal with mom guilt once and for all? Week four of my upcoming group program does just that, you can sign up to the waitlist right on the link below:
4. You’re letting others decide
From small to life-changing decisions, you’re handing over your power every time you ask for an external opinion.
I know that sometimes you need some expert advice, don’t get me wrong – but when you can’t make any decision because you don’t feel that you will get it right, you’re not trusting yourself.
You have an innate wisdom in your heart and body that you only need to tap into, but to allow this to happen you have to first stop yourself in the moments where you find yourself asking for advice. Do you really need advice or do you know deep down what you really need?
Are you making decisions for others or for yourself? What are your real needs?
5. You’re putting yourself down
Similar to when you don’t give yourself credit, this one applies to when you have the internal bully reminding yourself of all that you didn’t get done. When this happens, what I like to do is write a list of all that I did get done – anything and everything goes on that list.
Had a shower? On the list. Fed myself and others? On the list. Changed my wrangling toddler? On the list. When you start to reframe what productivity means to you, things will turn around for you.
Having a sense of priority is also important to feel good about how you use your time. When you narrow down your basic needs to shelter, food and rest and you’ve already covered those needs – you’re doing good.
If you have big goals, then of course those needs are going to feel small to you. But you can’t reach for the stars until you have those needs covered.
That means, eating a proper meal (yes I’m looking at you, finishing off your kids leftovers!)
6. You’re striving for perfect
Again, perfectionists enter in the people-pleaser category because you’re aiming to satisfy an internal goal you’ve set with yourself and usually an unrealistic standard of motherhood.
Believe it or not, the people you see on instagram with a perfect family have their fights too. The health food freak eats junk food from time to time, and the yoga teacher swears.
Instagram and social media is a highlight reel of people’s lives and not a real reflection. If you’re trying to live up to that, then you’ll always feel disappointed.
What is valuable and worthy for you in your life?
If you’re struggling to answer that question, can deeply relate to anything in this article and want to work on how you prioritise your own needs, then my upcoming group program is for you. You can click on the link below to get on the waitlist and snag up a free ebook.