How to balance business and family without feeling guilty.

When my first child was born, I had no idea what would accompany him into this world and forever embed itself in my mind and in my heart. No, I’m not talking about maternal instinct and the incredible bond of motherhood, although I am supremely grateful for the gift of experiencing those joys. I’m talking about something not quite as welcome…I’m talking about the G-word: Guilt.

Don’t get me wrong – I possessed my fair share of the G-word long before my transition into motherhood. In fact, the guilt that was planted in my heart as a child was so well nurtured that it became a part of me, like an appendage…something I carried with me without even realizing it. But just as pregnancy causes your ankles to swell, motherhood gave that Guilt Appendage a steroid injection that made it grow so quickly it soon became my most prominent feature.

I had a business. I had a baby. So now, all of a sudden, I had a whole new reason to exercise my Guilt Appendage. You know the dilemma: you are at work and you can’t stop thinking about how you should probably be spending more time with your children…savoring these precious years before they are gone forever. Then, you’re at Toddler Time at the children’s library and your mind is racing with thoughts about all the work you should be doing and the fact that colleagues don’t view you as the professional you once were because you now carry diapers in your purse. You can’t seem to get comfortable – you don’t feel great about either one of your jobs. You don’t feel like a good mother; and you don’t feel like you are giving your best at work either.

Do you let the G-Word get in the way of your happiness and success? If so, then I invite you to join me in a special club. Before you roll your eyes, I promise you that membership in this club will not require any additional time. There are no meetings. There are no dues. There are no bylaws. And you will never be asked to bring an appetizer to share. This privileged organization is The Guilt-Free Mom Club and I hope you will accept my invitation to become a member. The only requirement is that you make decisions that are in alignment with your Christian values and then release yourself from any guilt associated with those decisions.

As a certified member of the Guilt-Free Mom Club, you have permission to:

-       Say “No” with clarity and grace to any people or activities that do not serve you and your family;

-       Be fully present in your role as a mother; and be fully present in your role as a professional;

-       Accept responsibility without undo burden;

-       Let go of the misguided belief that YOU are the ONLY one who can possibly do it (whatever it is);

-       Know that it’s OK let someone else take a turn being of service;

-       Value your own time, skills and talents;

-       Surround yourself with uplifting and encouraging support systems;

-       Care for yourself by filling your own cup first, and serving others from the overflow.

My sisters, God wants you to be a Guilt-Free Mom! Lighten your load and join me.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  ~ Matthew 11:28

Copyright 2011 Theresa Ceniccola