Mom guilt is so pervasive in our culture. Why? Why do we not feel that we are worthy of the investment of time and money. And when we think that we’re not worthy of time and money… is that what we really want to teach our sons and our daughters?
Do we want them to grow up to become parents who are burnt out? How can we show them the inherent dignity of a person and that parents are indeed worth the investment of time and money? Come listen to find out!
TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW
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Hi, and welcome to episode 17 of the Made For Greatness podcast. I’m Sterling Jay, and today we’re talking about why mamas do not invest in themselves. So this has come up. You know, it’s funny. I wanted to do a podcast on this topic, but it just came up so much this week with my clients and in my personal life. And then I just knew this was the week. This is the week we had to talk about it. And I think I was shying away from doing this because I didn’t want you guys to feel bad. I didn’t want you to feel bad, but it just got to the point where I had to say this, I had to talk about how damaging it is that women do not invest in themselves. And I’m sure there are dads who don’t either, but this is a Cod cast for moms.
So that’s who I’m talking to. So there are three main reasons why women don’t invest in themselves and I’m going to talk about them. And then I’m going to talk about the important reasons why we must and why in the end, we are investing in ourselves anyway, but we’re just doing it poorly and from a really toxic place. So I love you. I’m giving you a big hug. I am going to say some things that are going to be difficult to hear, but I want you to imagine that you could go back and tell your 15 year old self or your 20 year old self something.
And if we could do that, there’s so much, I would tell myself at that age, don’t sleep with that guy. Don’t take these classes. Don’t focus so much on getting these people to like you, you won’t even know them in five years, just eat healthy foods. The way that you’re eating right now is weird and it’s totally fine. No one taught you, but let me teach you right. There’s so much. I wish I could tell my younger self and I wouldn’t do it from a place of making her feel bad because I am her. So I would do it with so much love and compassion, but I would say it forcefully because I would want her to listen. I don’t know if we can get 15 year olds or 20 year olds to listen to us and to make better choices, but you are not that young.
And so this is me reaching from future to you and saying, making time for yourself, investing in yourself is very important.
And I’m going to tell you why today. Okay. So the first three things we do not invest in ourselves because we perceive that we do not have enough time. We perceive that we do not have enough money, or we are wracked with guilt over sending the wrong message to our kids. So I’m going to break each one of those down. So first
We don’t have enough time. And I understand this thought, which is just a thought, by the way, you guys, all our thoughts around time are completely optional. Okay? We believe that we do not have enough time, which is called a scarcity of time.
We think, Oh no, there isn’t enough of it. And it makes us feel anxious. There’s a tightness in our chest.
And then when we think there isn’t enough time then and we start to feel stressed and overwhelmed panicky. And I guarantee you that the way that we show up in our lives from those feelings, it’s not very helpful. It’s certainly not our best.
And today as I’m recording this, I actually had a more full than usual and I had even forgotten to put something on the calendar. So I added this extra hour. Long thing to the calendar was already pretty full and old me would have been like, Oh no, I’m the today is so busy. It’s going to be terrible. My husband’s going to be stressed. The kids are going to feel pushed aside. And then I might’ve even beaten myself up for forgetting that appointment. Why didn’t you put it on there? You’re so bad at managing your time. You always do this. It causes so much pain to everyone around you,
All of this is coming from a scarcity of time because if somebody came down and said, Oh, you know what, today you get two extra hours. Today is a 26 hour day. And they just like gave you two extra hours. Then you think, Oh, okay. Wow. That’s so nice. Now I have plenty of time to get done what I need to do, but we don’t really need the extra two hours. What we need is to leave and to be actively thinking, I have plenty of time to get everything I want to get done
Done. And isn’t that the truth. We always get the really important things done. And so that’s what I told myself this morning. I was like, woo. Look at that day full. We’re going to get everything important done though. I may not get some of the, what I would call C-level stuff done to A-level stuff is the things like absolutely have to get done, like taking the kids to the dentist. There’s an appointment. You have to do it. I would add breastfeeding the baby, right? Like these things where they’re non-negotiable that you would do on your worst day, even if you didn’t feel like it. And then B level things are the things that you want to do. You don’t necessarily have to, but you want to, for example, even just feeding your kids, food out of the refrigerator, instead of buying a pizza, that’s a B-level thing. And you’re probably doing that every day, most of the time,
But the C-level stuff is the stuff that we really, you know, we have in our mind that we want to do that. But a lot of times it doesn’t get done and I’m making no judgment about what things go on the list or not. We can figure that out in a different podcast. Right. But we always get the things that are important, done. We always get the alias stuff.
That’s why it’s in the list. So if you get to the end of the day and you think, ah, shoot, I really wanted to minimalize my closet and I didn’t get to it. You didn’t get to it because it wasn’t a non-legal
What are you making that mean? Now?
A lot of time talking about time, because this is probably the number one reason. I think moms do not invest in themselves. They perceive that there isn’t enough time,
But here’s the thing. You’re taking the time anyway. Right? You’re just caring for everyone in your family. You’re getting frazzled and then you’re getting burnt out and then you’re still taking time for you. But it’s a warped version of self-care. It’s like at the end of the day, and now you’re watching Netflix or you’re reading a book, but feeling guilty about it.
You are taking the time or maybe you really struggle with this. You haven’t taken time in six months and then you start to have mental health problems. Well, that takes a lot of time when we get to the point where we have mental health problems. Now, all of a sudden we’re like, well, I got to make an appointment to go see the doctor. I have to have a counselor. I have to figure this out. And I think that’s wonderful, but I’m just wondering,
Could we save that time by using time every week to invest in ourselves? Why is it so difficult to make the time to do that?
What if we started treating it like an, a level activity? Because when you’re a little, two and a half year old hugs your leg, as you’re on the way out the door to take someone to the dentist, we have any drama about that. We’re like, honey, I love you got to go to the dentist. It’s a non-negotiable. Okay.
We don’t feel bad about that, but why do we have this sinking feeling in our stomach? When that same little kid is hugging our leg and we’re leaving just to go sit at a coffee shop by ourselves for two hours or like, Oh, such a bad mom. Oh gosh. That just makes me so sad That we think that about ourselves. That’s touching a little bit on the guilt piece, but the first hurdle is time. We have plenty of time. We always get the important things done. If I sat down with you and your calendar, I would find five hours, five hours of time that you could use to serve yourself throughout the week. And I would suggest that you did Right now. I’m asking you to find one hour, let’s start with one hour a week. That’s like the dentist doesn’t get moved. It’s just for you. And you honor that. Well let’s work our way up. I think five hours feels about right to me. I think you should be spending about five hours a week really, and truly investing in yourself, whether that’s food or exercise or relaxing,
Just doing things that are just for you and investing in your future in your mind, in your soul, let’s start with an hour and want you to practice this week saying I have plenty of time. I always get the important things done. Another one I read recently was I could probably do twice as much as I’m doing. And I read that and I was like, what can we really say that to everyone? And then I really sat with an, I thought, you know, I bet I could do twice as much as what I’m doing right now. Right. I kept the zombie apocalypse happened and I just like had to take care of tons and tons of stuff I totally could. And it made me feel happy and excited to think about that. Like, Oh, well where are those pockets of time that I would grab and use differently?
And I’m not suggesting that we live on, you know, apocalyptic time schedules all the time. But if you know that that’s possible, then all of a sudden you can feel luxurious about the time that you’re taking right now. Like, Oh, I kind of like though that I’m not running around frantic and squeezing things in. I like the pace of my life. There’s plenty of time to do the things that I want. And if I wanted more time, I could find it. That feels so lovely. All right, next up money. We don’t want to invest the money in ourselves. So this often to do with feeling like our husbands make money. So it’s his, and we can’t spend it on us. In times when we feel like, of course I would spend that on the kids, right? Like if, what, right now, one of your kids didn’t have shoes. You’d be like, Oh, we’re going to get you some shoes.
And I’m mostly speaking to people that are financially stable. There were a couple of years where we were really drowning and we could barely afford formula. And I remember there was one year when we, our business was not doing well. We didn’t have enough money. And then one of my babies was not breastfeeding. We had to buy formula and it was so expensive and we really just didn’t know how we were going to do it. Okay. That is a different life situation. You may be in that situation right now. And if you are, I just want to offer you will not always be in that situation. Okay. There are many ways that God comes in and provide.
You will not always be in that situation. If you can be calm and have an abundance mentality about money, just like we did with time. Like there’s always enough money for what I need. Usually we are better problem solvers about managing our money and ways to make money.
So I’m ready.
Only talking to kind of that next level up family that like their needs are met. They’re not super stressed about things, but mom is still not investing any money in her.
And you know, this is you. If you feel totally
Giddy and happy buying things for the kids and you feel like someone dumped a bucket of shame, slime on you, when you have to go to the store and buy something for yourself and you just can’t handle it. I totally understand what that feels like. And I want to ask yourself,
Why, why do we feel like the kids are worth investing in, but not ourselves. I have the money. You have the money to invest in yourself. And here’s also what I want to offer. You’re probably doing it anyway. But just like with the time example, you probably aren’t spending any money on yourself. And then it kind of, this pressure builds up. And then it comes out all at once and you make a giant impulse buy on something that doesn’t really serve you. It’s like, you’re just fighting so hard to be seen or to be heard or to be valued. But really it was your choice not to do that all along the way. It was your choice not to invest in yourself to the point where you got to Valentine’s day or Christmas or your birthday. And you were like, nobody appreciates me. I’m just going to buy whatever it is and whatever you bought in that moment, probably wasn’t what you should have been buying.
I love you. I love that version of you. This is the culture that we live in that tells women not to take care of themselves. And then our brains go a little baddy. And then the culture is also ready to say, Oh, but when you’re ready to freak out and impulse buy, I’ll tell you exactly what to do. It’s not your fault, but we don’t have to live like that. I want you to work on believing that you are worth spending money on cold, hard cash, mama cash. Money’s on you just for fun, just for sanity. You are worth it. And I’ve seen women go through that transformation where they don’t prioritize themselves at all. And then all of a sudden in the calmness of their heart, they say, you know what? I’m going to invest in a weight loss program and I’m going to do it. And there’s like a real quiet stillness to it. They thought about it for a while. They did it. And then they invested the time into the program. And the results that they get are not just that they lose weight, but that they discover their value. And actually, that’s one of the reasons why I really like expensive things
Because the way a woman will show up when she has spent $500 on something is very different than $37. Now we chose to keep our master’s program at $49 a month. That’s how much it is. But in our mind, we thought, you know, women really should be there for a year. And it’s about a $500 thing, right? If you’re there for the whole year. But man, if you give me that year, I will totally change your life. Just like this. By helping you see you are worth time, you are worth money and you are worth the love and compassion that it takes to give yourself those things.
So the last one I want to talk about is guilt. And I think the, you know, little kid hugging your leg as you go out the door is such a great example because we, we don’t feel guilty when we’re leaving to go, you know, to mass, let’s say it’s in a day of Holy obligation and you and your husband have to split it up because of the times. And you’re like, I love you, sweetheart. But mommy has to go to mass and we feel so good saying it, right. We want them to see, we want them to see that we’re doing that. But there’s this guilt that comes in. When we say, mommy, she’s going to go hang out with her friends. We’re like, Oh, he’s so sad. All right. So the first thing I want to offer you is the children don’t remember anything, almost anything younger than seven, maybe a few clips, but they are certainly not remembering whether you went out with your friends on a Thursday night, right? They don’t remember. They do remember your overall mood and how safe they felt in their home. And it is a lot easier for us to create an atmosphere of emotional safety and peace when we aren’t losing our minds.
And you can feel it. You know what I’m talking about? You know, when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, you may not know why. And that’s okay. I’m asking you to slow down and wonder
Why is it because I’m not making time for myself. I’m not investing money in myself or I’m being racked with guilt. I mean, the guilt is like a heavy chain around your neck about leaving the children or maybe asking your husband for something. And you feel so guilty because he already worked so hard and he seems stressed and overwhelmed. So it seems crazy to ask him for four hours on a Saturday morning, but you know what? That, that guy wants more than anything happy, healthy you. And when we really ask them, when we really say, you know what, I need this, I need some padding, some emotional padding in my life right now. So I’m not so raw when the noise of the kids swarms all around me. And this is what I need for emotional padding. I don’t know what that is for you. And maybe you don’t know. That’s one of the things that’s been the most interesting to me since I started this mindset journey is I feel like I didn’t know myself. I didn’t know what I liked.
Correct. And now I’m just getting to meet myself like for the first time. And I just asked myself, honey, what is it that you enjoy? What do you need? If you were on an Island, what would you choose to do just for you? If no one ever saw it? And you could do anything that it has been so interesting. So when you start feeling guilty
And what I want you to wonder, are you teaching your daughter? What are you teaching your sons? Are you showing them about the inherent dignity of a person and their worth? Are you teaching them that moms are worth less? They should slowly wither and not care for themselves. You can think about it as something that is drying up and we want to come by and we want to F to bring
Water and a sponge. So that, that, that thing can soak up all of the moisture and be full of, had to be hydrated. That is what I want for you, for your brain, for your body, for your soul. I want us to find the places that it is too dry and they want us to, To hydrate it, to flood it with water and love and rest, whatever it is that you need, if you feel guilty, taking time away from your children, ask yourself why,
What are you teaching them? Do you want them to act like this when they are married? When they have children, is this what you think your daughters should do? Or are you going to live your life in one way, but then tell them that they should be doing in a different way. What would you tell yourself If you were younger? What would you tell your daughter? When she first has a baby About time and money
And guilt. She just say those things to yourself. And I find that writing things down is very helpful. And you know, when I write on you guys, my kids’ coloring Sheets, I love super coloring.com quick mom tip love.
It is The first thing I taught my daughter, how to do on a computer, right? She’s 10. We don’t, she doesn’t really use computers, but I did teach her how to open Chrome and type in super coloring.com and her siblings crowd around. And then she goes through all their, all these categories like animals or seasons or all this stuff. And then they print off these free coloring sheets, and then I find them and I turn them over
And I, I write stuff down. I write down, why am I sad today? Why do I feel A little hopeless? Sometimes I have that feeling and I don’t even know why. Just kind of a general malaise Is I am certainly taking small pockets of time and just checking in with myself. What is it that we need? How can today be the
Best day? How can we make today? Feel like our birthday? Isn’t that a fun question? How can I show my girls what it looks?
It’s like to be a woman who loves herself so much and takes care of herself. And here’s the funny thing. Mamas, if you take care of yourself, you will end up having more time and more money and less guilt. You will do even better things with your children and with your husband, because it will be coming from a place of being full. Your cup will be full and it will runneth over. And that love will spill out into everyone in your life. It is the least selfish thing that you could do.
You, I don’t know what you need to invest in, but I can probably guess that you need to, there is something that you know, that you need to do for your mind, for your soul, for your body or for your heart. And you could even write those four things Down. My mind needs to be sharpened. I need to learn something. What is that?
Maybe it’s the work we do in masters. Maybe you really want to learn how to grow a garden this year. And it’s always been pressing on your heart to do it, but you have no idea how to do it. So you need to create the space to sharpen that saw to go learn what it is maybe, you know, to get together with a friend and join the gym. Maybe you need to schedule weekly walks with a friend that’s free. Maybe you need to ask your husband for time,
Time on Saturdays. Oh, ladies, we started this new thing
Sundays because now that I don’t really eat, I’m just going to say any fun food. That’s a little bit still how it feels in my mind. On Sundays I was feeling kind of pouty because we would, we would go to mass and then we have second breakfast, but I don’t eat whatever fantastical thing we eat for second breakfast is for the kids. And so I would just kind of like sit there. And so we decided that when we come home from mass, I’m going to leave and I go to a coffee shop and I go there for an hour and a half an order, a cup of tea is like $2. And I just sit there and I read something from a class I’m on. I’m always taking some class. So I basically do like homework or something. And I love it. I used to kind of not like Sunday mornings, because I felt like I had to get everybody dressed and go to mass. It was this flurry and all this stuff. And then there was nothing for me was very pouty pants of me. But my husband was like, yeah, because you don’t
Pick anything for you. And I was like, you’re right. And that’s,
It’s when I asked myself, like, if I could do anything I wanted and not feel guilty about it, what would it be? And I just decided it was to go to this coffee shop. That’s not very far. And they have a fireplace and I almost always get a seat by the fireplace. And, and I just sit there and I sharpen my mind, but I take the time I spend the $2, even though it feels kind of wasteful to me, but I do it. I don’t think it’s wasteful previously would have thought that. So I just wanted to say, if you have that thought, I completely understand it. And I don’t feel guilty about it. And then I come back like an hour and a half later and I am so happy and I’m like, let’s play a game or let’s paint. Like I want to do the things that I never want to do with the kids. And I used to feel guilty. Like I couldn’t spend time away from them on a Sunday because that’s a family day, but it ended up being just the perfect time. And then I’ve noticed our Sundays have been so much more fun because I come back, I come back feeling so full of love, like I, and, but I gave it to myself. I mean, yes, in a way my husband said it was okay,
But the real self-Confidence came from knowing what I wanted and asking for it and doing it. And I just, I’m so proud of myself. I’m here. I want to leave you with this idea. You are spending Time and money on yourself and you are doing things that probably do look bad to the kids. So the things that you’re scared of, you’re already doing, Doing them. If you are
Willing to be brave, get out a piece of paper and write that down. How am I misusing my time? How am I misusing my money? And if you’re not sure, just go open your bank account and look at everything you spent money on in the last six months. Was it a good use of your money and not to feel guilty just to show you what the reason you would do it is to give yourself permission to spend that intentionally going forward. Let’s say you’re impulse buying $63 worth of stuff on Amazon a month. You go through, you look at your Amazon bill. It’s not really like that, but you know what I mean? You add it up. And you’re like, Oh, I did kind of just like spend $63. Now, what if I told you in March, you get to spend $63 on whatever you want.
What do you want? There’s this woman that makes these felt roses on chains. I’ll see if I can find it in Lincoln in the show notes. And so you kind of hang it in your house and they hang down. And I think they, they count the days of the month, but anyway, it’s the most beautiful thing.
And I think previously I would have looked at that and been like, Oh, I can’t afford it. I don’t even know how much it is, but I’m sure it’s a lot. But now I, I realize that I was probably spending money like that anyway. And I would much rather have a beautiful Catholic piece of art that I looked at every day that made me smile. Every time I see it, it makes me smile. And I would love that people came to my house and saw that and went, Oh, that’s so beautiful. And I’m like, I know. And it makes me think of Mary.
That’s, how we invest in ourselves instead of the whatever chatchki thing we buy that was $17 or $7, but we’re doing it a lot of times and it doesn’t really add up to anything meaningful. That’s just another example of how I could invest in myself and what I see Day and night.
No, most of you are already spending the money somewhere and maybe you pull it up and you look at it. And all I’m asking you to do is to just love your choices. Maybe you look at it and you say, you know what I’m doing? Drive-Through coffee once a week. And I love that time. I love leaving the house and getting in my Odyssey and go into the coffee place and picking out which one and joking with the barista. I love that part of my week.
That’d Be like, fantastic. But now it feels like a mini spa day moment, a gift to yourself, instead of something that you had to sneak or do quickly, or that you feel guilty about. I want your choices to be intentional. And for you to love your reasons for them
Know If you’re not sure, just shoot me an email. Okay. Sterling at made for greatness dot C O I have lots of time. At some point, I might not have time to answer everyone’s emails, but you just shoot me an email. You tell me why you feel like you can’t invest time or money, or why you can’t get over this guilt. You feel about taking time and money for yourself and your kids seeing that, or you’re taking something away from your kids, which is not true by the way, you’re giving them something very beautiful. You are giving them an example of how
Live a life, where you value yourself and isn’t that what you want for them somehow, what you want for them. If you picture your son or daughter growing up to be exactly like you, and that fills you with dread. And I want you to ask yourself why,
By the way, I totally would’ve said that last year, I would have been like, Oh no, I would have listed all the things and been like, Oh, I hope she doesn’t have to go through that lately. I’ve been asking myself what if she out exactly like me? And that’s the most fabulous thing. Not like I want a mini me and we know that they won’t, but it’s the first part of the exercise. It’s important. Why would that make you feel sad or scared or anxious if your daughter ended up just like you, because here’s the thing I want to get to the place where I love myself. So madly and deeply and unconditionally, and then would be so delighted for my daughters to be like me. And I want them to be who God wants them to be, but I don’t want to be scared that they would be like me.
How can I live in a way that I am so proud of that? I want them to be like that. Let us be the generation that teaches women, how to take care of themselves, who make time for themselves, who don’t feel guilty about investing in themselves. Let us teach our children that that is a healthy way to live. And that from that place of strength and being completely full and completely hydrated, that we can twirl into our homes and do a really lovely job taking care of our families. All right, mamas, you are worth the time and you are worth the money. Take it to prayer this week and ask God, what should I be doing?
And if that is a struggle, go look back in the way that you’ve spent your time in your money. In the last three months, you are taking time for yourself, but because it’s coming from a frantic place, it probably isn’t serving your family the best way that it could be. And that’s okay. I’m only asking you to look at that so that you feel free to own that time in that money going forward because strong moms create strong families. And that is my prayer for you. Be brave, be strong, and remember mama, you were made for greatness.