Welcome to episode 13 of Unbusy Your Life. This week we are diving into the concept of disconnection shame. If you’re a working mom during this pandemic, you might be feeling like you aren’t staying as connected to your family as other moms are right now. You might feel like you don’t have that Pinterest worthy connection. Well, I’m here today to teach you how to get rid of that shame and cultivate a TRUE connection. If you’re having thoughts that you’re not staying connected to your kids or loved ones, this is the episode for you.
In this episode we cover:
- How you know you’re experiencing connection shame
- What connection really is and how it’s created
- The truth about what you have control over and what you don’t
- Where you’re comparing and where you’re disparing
Click here to listen to the full episode.
Before we get into how to squash disconnection shame and cultivate TRUE connection I want to share just a quick example of this happening with one of my clients. She presented to the group with this shame or the guilt of being a working mom and having to take care of her business and not spending more time with her kids during this pandemic. I think this is true even outside of the pandemic for those of us who are working moms. We question our judgment and our decision to be working, the number of hours that we’re working, thinking that maybe we’re doing it wrong and that maybe we shouldn’t be working so much. Maybe we should be spending more time with our kids. Because of the situation that we’re in with this pandemic, this has just been concentrated for a lot of us. So my client actually said in one of our group calls, “This pandemic is in some ways literally my dream come true.”
What she meant by that was that her kids are at home with her. Her children are teenagers. I don’t have teenagers yet but I’m approaching it here in a couple of years but I know that even when I was a teenager, I didn’t want to be at home with my parents. I wanted to be with my friends and be out in the world. So that’s what she was experiencing. Her children are growing up. They’re in the teenage years and they want to be out doing a lot of stuff. So now she is struggling with the thought that she didn’t do a good enough job as a mom to create a connection with them. She feels very disconnected from her children so when this pandemic came around, it was like her being able to go to a deserted island or to a cabin in the woods with her kids and force everybody to be together because that’s what she thought was going to create the connection.
So if you’ve been thinking that this is an opportunity for you to reset with your family and your kids and you’re feeling guilty and shameful because you’re still working, I want to help you with that. You do not need to feel guilty or shameful for working during this time, even though your kids are at home. You can actually be creating all kinds of connections with your children regardless of the number of hours that you’re actually in their physical presence. Today I’m going to show you exactly how to do that.
The first step in this process is knowing that it is a problem for you. Here are a couple of the warning signs and that came out when I was coaching my clients:
+ If you’re feeling guilt or shame about this situation that you’re working more than you think you should or if that word should pops into your head.
+ You’re comparing and then despairing.
+ You’re thinking that you’re doing this wrong
Before we go further, I just want to point out something very important. We’ve literally never been in this situation before. We’ve never been in a world pandemic like this before. We’ve never had our kids sent home from school and to be homeschooled, to be educated at home by parents who are still doing their work in the world. That has never happened before. So where we get this idea that someone knows better than we do, that someone else is doing it better than we are, that some other women are parenting better than we are is a little bit ridiculous if you stop and think about it. Nobody really knows what the right or best thing to do is. We’ve never been here before. We’re all just doing the best we can and the way that it looks for you is going to look very different than the way it looks for someone else and that is exactly the way that it’s supposed to be.
So if you’re feeling guilt, shame, disconnection from your kids, and you have thoughts running around in your head about what you should be doing, I want you to consider questioning the truth of that. Now, why is it a problem?
First of all, it doesn’t feel good. Feeling guilty, feeling FOMO, feeling shame, feeling disconnection doesn’t feel great. Right? What I see happening, is that as entrepreneurial moms, we are focusing on our business, so we feel disconnected from our kids. Then, our business doesn’t end up getting the attention it needs to be getting. Then, the reverse is also happening. When we’re with our children, we’re not really with them in the whole sense, meaning that our complete attention and focus is not entirely on them. We begin to feel bad about that. Our brains are half in your business and half with your kids.
With this, you’re not able to create a connection in either area in your life in a really holistic way. So I want to show you how to do this today and it’s not going to be what you think it is.
The most important thing to remember is: It’s not the number of hours that you’re spending with your children that determines your level of connection to them. Nor is it the number of hours that you’re spending in your business that is making you feel connected to it. Connection is a feeling.
Feelings are triggered by a phrase or a sentence in your mind. So the thought, the sentence, the phrase goes through your brain, and then it triggers a feeling. So if you want to feel connected either to your kids or to your business or maybe even to those loved ones and friends that you can’t physically see right now, the only thing you need to do to feel more connected is to think connecting thoughts about them.
Now I can speak about this FOMO and disconnection because it’s something that I have struggled with a lot in my relationships and I noticed my brain wanting to go there really strongly right now during this pandemic. I feel like I am working at the same level, if not even at a higher level right now than I did before the pandemic ever began.
I have several friends who are not working at all so, in my brain, I have thoughts of, “They’re all outside going on walks, having parties behind my back, and enjoying this time together.” So it’s easy to get spun up in that and think about that and let yourself feel like you’re being left out.
What is actually happening when you think those thoughts? You leave yourself out. So that’s exactly what’s happening in your relationship with your kids. You’re feeling completely disconnected from your children and you think that they are feeling disconnected from you as well. However, the only thing that has happened is that your line of thinking has made you feel disconnected from them.
Here’s a really important point: Your children are humans too. That means their feeling of connection, how strong their connection is to you is created from their thinking too. So you have to access connecting thoughts to create that connection for you when you’re not spending time with your children and you feel like you’re missing out.
So how do you do this?
The best way is to stop and think about what you would be thinking about if you were hanging out with them. For instance, my son has been doing a lot of work with my husband out in the backyard. They’re constantly outside enjoying the amazing weather we’re experiencing right now. Because of this, I find myself feeling that my husband gets to spend more time with my son than I do. Their relationship is going to be so much stronger than my relationship with them. Then I feel disconnected and I feel left out.
Here’s what I decided to do instead. I’ve decided to redirect my brain intentionally to think, “This is exactly the way that it’s supposed to be.” I also take the time to be grateful for and love what he’s learning when he’s working with his dad in the backyard. The things that he’s learning are things he could never learn in the classroom. So I’m grateful for the fact that they get to spend the time together.
When I shift my thinking in this way, I feel connection and love for both of them. I don’t feel left out. I feel so grateful that we have this time and this chance to be able to influence him in the way that we are right now. It’s not even me that’s doing it necessarily. I’m not the primary one. He’s spending way more time with Lincoln than I am, but I can still choose to feel connected to both of them.
So think about a situation where you are spending a lot of time with your kids and you’re feeling really connected. Figure out what you’d be thinking if that were the case. Whatever that thinking is, you can choose to focus on the time that you DO have.
How can you make that the highest quality, most connected, intense time for YOU in your relationship with them, even if it’s 30 minutes in the morning or an hour at the end of the day? Then you can think about them throughout the whole day and still feel connected even if you’re not with them. That’s how you create true connections. You access the thoughts that make you feel connected at any time you want.
Now once you’ve tackled those thoughts, the second thing you can do is actually schedule time for them. Create your schedule intentionally so that you block out time to spend with your kids and loved ones. If your children are a priority, they should be scheduled into your calendar, you can rely on your calendar. Use it as a tool to support you and to support your priorities. It’s not working against you. It is made to work for you.
So if you want more help with that, if you’re really struggling with figuring out how to make this new normal work, I created a special free training for you just for this purpose. It’s called the Three Secrets to a Work Schedule that actually works. These are three of the most important things that you can do. They’re actionable and you can implement them today when you’re creating your plan so that you’re creating a schedule that actually supports you. All you have to do is click this link and you’ll find out how to get access to the training.
Alright, that’s all for this week’s episode of Unbusy Your Life. I hope this has supported you in cultivating true connection with your family.
If you are loving what you’re learning on this podcast, please subscribe, rate, and review it by clicking here. Have an amazing, unbusy everybody, I’ll talk to you next time.