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Episode 55: From Mom Guilt to Mindful Grace

Updated: 2 days ago

Woman hugging her son and smiling while he looks up at her



Welcome to the "Wellness in Every Season" podcast, where we embark on a transformative journey towards achieving total wellness, even in the midst of overwhelming moments. I'm your host, Autumn Carter, and I'm thrilled to have you here.

This podcast is a sanctuary for all mothers out there, and we extend a warm invitation to anyone seeking guidance and inspiration. We believe in fostering an inclusive community where we learn and grow together, supporting each other during life's challenging transitions.

Join us as we step out of survival mode and discover the path to thriving, embracing wellness in every season of motherhood. From sleepless nights to new beginnings, we'll explore practical strategies, share heartfelt stories, and uncover the transformative power of self-care and self-love.

Together, we'll unlock the wisdom, strength, and resilience within ourselves, reminding one another that we're never alone on this beautiful, yet demanding, journey. It's time to prioritize your well-being and reclaim your joy, one season at a time.



Welcome to episode 55 of "Wellness in Every Season," titled "Breaking the Cycle: From Mom Guilt to Mindful Grace." In this deeply insightful episode, we will explore the universal experience of mom guilt, a feeling familiar to mothers in all walks of life, and delve into effective strategies for overcoming it through mindfulness and positive intelligence.

We will start by acknowledging the pain points that so many mothers face – the constant juggling of responsibilities, the feeling of never doing enough, and the persistent self-doubt that can cast a shadow over the joys of motherhood. Understanding that these feelings are not isolated incidents but shared experiences, we will offer solace and solidarity.

Throughout the episode, we will introduce you to transformative techniques that promise to shift your mindset from a cycle of guilt to a path of mindful grace. We will discuss the concept of the 'inner sage' – that voice of wisdom and positivity inside every mother – and teach you how to tap into this inner resource. Practical tips on recognizing and quieting the negative 'saboteurs' of your mind will be shared, offering you a way to combat the critical inner voices that often lead to feelings of inadequacy.

Listen on to learn the art of mindfulness, a practice that brings about a profound sense of presence and calm in the midst of the chaotic world of parenting. We will guide you through simple yet powerful mindfulness exercises that can be incorporated into your daily routine, helping you to stay grounded and present in the here and now.

Furthermore, the episode will cover the power of positive intelligence in reshaping your thoughts. You will discover how to transform guilt-inducing thoughts into opportunities for growth and self-compassion. This shift in perspective is not just about changing how you think; it's about changing how you live, leading to a more balanced, joyful, and fulfilling experience as a mother.

By the end of this episode, you will be equipped with the tools and understanding necessary to break the cycle of mom guilt. You will feel empowered to approach motherhood with a renewed sense of grace, embracing both its challenges and its joys with a sage-like wisdom. Join us for this transformative journey in "Breaking the Cycle: From Mom Guilt to Mindful Grace," and step into a more mindful and positive season of motherhood.

Key point #1

Imagine a crisp, early morning, the sun peekering through the blinds, casting a warm, golden light across the room. In this serene moment, we meet Jo, a single mother, who begins her day much like any other mother, juggling the demands of life with the needs of her child. Jo's story, though uniquely hers, echoes a familiar sentiment shared by mothers from all walks of life - the pervasive feeling of mom guilt.

As Jo navigates her morning routine, preparing breakfast while her little one chatters about the dreams from the night before, there's an underlying current of worry and self-doubt that ebbs and flows with the rhythm of her day. Despite her best efforts, Jo often finds herself wondering if she's doing enough, if the choices she's making are the right ones, and if her child is truly happy. This worry isn't unique to her circumstances as a single parent; it's a universal experience that connects her with mothers everywhere, whether they are partnered, working, stay-at-home, or like her, navigating parenthood solo.

In today's episode, we delve into this emotional landscape that so many mothers traverse. We explore the depths of mom guilt, a phenomenon that silently weaves its way into the hearts of mothers, often leaving them feeling isolated in their experience. But as we will discover through Jo's story, and the stories of others, this guilt is not an isolated feeling, but a shared journey that mothers walk together. We will uncover the roots of this guilt, understand its impact, and most importantly, learn how to navigate through it with grace and self-compassion.

Join us as we journey into the heart of motherhood, shedding light on the shadows of guilt, and finding solace in our shared experiences. Welcome to our episode on navigating mom guilt - a journey towards understanding, acceptance, and transformation.

Key point #2

Jo's breaking point came on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday evening. As she sat at the kitchen table, surrounded by a mountain of unpaid bills, her son's school projects, and a half-eaten dinner, the weight of her world seemed to press down on her with an unbearable heaviness. Her son, sensing her distress, quietly retreated to his room, leaving Jo alone with her thoughts. In that moment, Jo realized she couldn't continue to carry this burden alone. She needed help, not just for her sake, but for her son's as well. It was then she made the decision to seek the guidance of a life coach who specialized in helping mothers.

The life coach, with a warm and understanding demeanor, became a beacon of light in Jo's tumultuous world. She introduced Jo to the concept of mindfulness, teaching her how to find peace in the present moment, amidst the chaos of daily life. These mindfulness practices became an anchor for Jo, allowing her to pause, breathe, and center herself, even in the most trying times.

Moreover, the life coach guided Jo through the principles of positive intelligence, helping her to recognize and challenge the negative thought patterns that often fueled her mom guilt. Through this process, Jo learned to reframe her thoughts, seeing challenges as opportunities for growth and self-discovery, rather than as failures.

Reorganizing her time was another critical aspect of their work together. The life coach helped Jo to prioritize her tasks, establish boundaries, and create a more balanced and manageable schedule. This reorganization not only alleviated some of Jo's practical burdens but also allowed her to carve out much-needed time for herself and her son, fostering a deeper connection between them.

Most importantly, the life coach helped Jo feel seen and heard. In their sessions, Jo found a safe space to express her fears, frustrations, and dreams. The life coach listened with empathy, validating Jo's feelings, and empowering her to take control of her life story. This validation was a powerful tool for Jo, helping her to realize that her feelings were normal and that she was not alone in her journey.

Through her work with the life coach, Jo found a sense of grounding in her life. She learned to embrace her role as a mother with confidence and grace, understanding that perfection is not the goal, but rather, presence, love, and self-compassion. Jo's journey with her life coach transformed not just her approach to motherhood, but her entire outlook on life, opening a path to a more joyful, fulfilled existence for both her and her son.


Segment: Mindfulness Practice: 

Begin by finding a quiet space where you can sit comfortably without distractions. This could be early in the morning before the household wakes up, or during a brief pause in your day. Sit in a comfortable position, either on a chair or on the floor, and gently close your eyes. Focus on your breath, taking deep, slow breaths in through your nose, feeling your chest and belly rise. Hold it for a moment, then exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling your body relax. Continue this deep breathing for a few minutes, allowing each breath to bring you more into the present moment.

Shift your attention to your body, starting at the top of your head and mentally scanning down to your toes. Notice any areas of tension or discomfort, but don’t try to change them. Simply acknowledge them and move on. This practice helps in developing awareness of physical sensations and grounding yourself in your body.

Bring to mind a recent situation that triggered feelings of guilt or overwhelm. Observe this thought without judgment. Now, gently reframe it. For instance, if you're feeling guilty about not spending enough time with your child, reframe it as, “I am doing my best with the time I have, and every moment I spend with my child is valuable.” This step is about recognizing negative thought patterns and consciously choosing to view them in a more positive, compassionate light.

Think of one thing about your child or your role as a mother that you are grateful for. It could be a small interaction or a particular aspect of your child’s personality. Allow this feeling of gratitude to fill you, reminding you of the joys of motherhood.

As you near the end of your practice, set a simple, positive intention for the rest of your day. It could be something like, “Today, I will be present with my child,” or “I will treat myself with the same kindness I show others.” 

Take a few more deep breaths, and when you feel ready, gently open your eyes. Carry this sense of calm and centeredness with you as you resume your day. Remember, the key to mindfulness is regular practice. It’s not about perfection, but about bringing a little more awareness and compassion into your daily life as a mother. Each moment of mindfulness is a step towards a more balanced, joyful experience of motherhood.


Key point #3: 

Incorporating regular, daily mindfulness moments into our routine is essential, particularly for mothers grappling with the complexities of parenting and the inevitable feelings of guilt that can arise. This practice is not just a means to find temporary peace; it's a powerful tool for fundamentally transforming how we respond to the stresses and challenges of motherhood.

Mindfulness, at its core, is about being present in the moment, observing our thoughts and feelings without judgment. This practice is particularly effective in easing guilt, which often stems from ruminating over past actions or worrying about future consequences. By centering ourselves in the present, we create a space where guilt has less power over us. We learn to recognize guilt as just another thought or emotion, not an absolute truth about our worth or abilities as mothers.

The science behind mindfulness and its impact on our mental health is robust. Studies have shown that regular mindfulness practice can lead to changes in the brain associated with better emotion regulation and decreased stress. This is crucial when dealing with feelings of guilt. Guilt is an emotion that can be both necessary and destructive. It's necessary when it motivates us to correct our mistakes and grow, but destructive when it becomes chronic and self-critical, leading to feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy.

Integrating mindfulness into our daily lives helps us approach our experiences with more compassion and less judgment. When we are mindful, we're better able to distinguish between constructive guilt, which can guide positive change, and unproductive guilt, which only serves to undermine our well-being and happiness.



Welcome, dear listeners. Do you ever feel like your days are just a never-ending checklist, leaving you yearning for moments that truly enrich your soul? I get it. You're not just a mom; you're the heartbeat of your home, deserving of a life that's as complex and fulfilling as you are. That's why I'm inviting you to a journey of transformation in my 90-day coaching program called "Reclaim Your Time, Renew Your Spirit."

Picture a life where your daily obligations transform into soul-filling activities. Imagine crossing the threshold of your home and feeling a sigh of relief wash over you, rather than a tidal wave of stress. And yes, even envision a household where responsibilities are shared equally, reflecting the unique strengths and needs of each family member. That's right—in this program, we'll take time to explore what equality in the home really means for you and your loved ones, helping you to build a more balanced, joyful domestic life.

This isn't your typical coaching program; it's a collective journey toward soulful, meaningful living. From day one, you'll dive deep, not just into your daily to-dos, but into your dreams, your desires, and the very essence of what makes you 'you.' We'll explore everything from color-coded time-blocking worksheets to meal planning with recipes that bring more than just food to the table—they bring joy. 

We'll guide you through decluttering your spaces, both physical and emotional, creating room for new growth. And let's not forget self-care; we'll delve into what that truly looks like for you, making it an unshakable pillar of your daily life. All of this unfolds in a nurturing community of like-minded moms, each on her own path to transformation.

As we wrap up our time together, we'll focus on recognizing your intrinsic worth, nourishing your relationships, and even explore how creating space for yourself contributes to a happier, healthier life and partnership. This is more than a program; it's a launchpad into a life where you thrive in every sense of the word.

Ready to embark on this transformative journey? Join the waitlist now at Your new chapter is just around the corner, and it starts today.


Key point #4

Positive intelligence plays a pivotal role in how we manage and perceive our emotions, particularly guilt, which is a common experience among mothers. It's crucial to understand that guilt, in its essence, is an emotional response that arises from our thoughts and perceptions about our actions or lack thereof. This response can be both a constructive force, prompting us to align our actions with our values, or it can be a destructive cycle that traps us in a mire of self-criticism and perpetual dissatisfaction.

At the heart of positive intelligence is the concept of identifying and challenging the negative thought patterns, often referred to as "saboteurs." These saboteurs are the voices in our heads that propagate feelings of inadequacy, fear, and guilt. They might manifest as a relentless inner critic that constantly points out our flaws, or a voice that insists we are never doing enough as mothers. These patterns of thinking can become so ingrained that they feel like an inescapable part of who we are.

However, through the practice of positive intelligence, we can learn to recognize when these saboteurs are at play. This recognition is the first step in breaking the cycle where negative thoughts lead to actions (or inactions) that reinforce feelings of guilt. For instance, a mother might forego self-care because her inner saboteur convinces her that taking time for herself is selfish, leading to burnout and heightened feelings of guilt for not being fully present with her children. Recognizing this pattern allows her to challenge the validity of these guilt-inducing thoughts and reframe her perspective.

Once we identify these patterns, the next step is to consciously shift our focus to more constructive and compassionate parts of our brain. This shift involves engaging our "sage" perspective, which is the part of us that approaches situations with curiosity, empathy, and a focus on solutions. By doing so, we can counteract the negative narratives and create a more balanced, realistic view of ourselves and our actions.

For example, instead of succumbing to guilt when we make a parenting decision that doesn't turn out as expected, we can use our sage perspective to view the situation as a learning opportunity, a chance to grow and do better next time. This shift doesn't negate the feelings of guilt but rather puts them in a broader context of learning and personal development.

Furthermore, practicing positive intelligence and mindfulness in tandem can be particularly effective. Mindfulness keeps us anchored in the present, preventing us from spiraling into future worries or past regrets, while positive intelligence empowers us to challenge and change our thought patterns. Together, they create a powerful synergy that can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of guilt.

In conclusion, by practicing positive intelligence and developing the mental muscles to counteract our saboteurs, we can transform our relationship with guilt. This transformation involves moving from a cycle of negative thoughts and guilt-ridden actions to a more empowering cycle where we view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. It allows us to treat ourselves with the same compassion and understanding that we would offer a good friend, fostering a more balanced and fulfilling experience of motherhood.


Lifehack segment:

In the context of positive intelligence, 'sage' refers to the part of our psyche that represents our inner wisdom, clarity, and positive mental state. The term 'sage' is used because it connotes wisdom and sound judgment, much like the wise sages in various cultural traditions who are known for their profound insight and enlightened perspective. The 'sage mode' in positive intelligence is about tapping into this inner reservoir of calm, positivity, and clear thinking, especially in contrast to the 'saboteur mode', which is dominated by negative and self-defeating thoughts. Here's a 'lifehack' section on how to quickly shift into sage mode and strengthen your sage muscles:

To quickly enter sage mode, start with a deep breath. Breathing deeply and slowly triggers a relaxation response in your body, helping to calm your mind. As you breathe, ask yourself, "What would my sage say?" This question shifts your focus from negative, reactive thinking to a more balanced, positive perspective. Your sage is the voice of wisdom, calm, and positivity that resides within you, always ready to offer a more enlightened and constructive viewpoint.

Use physical anchors to aid the transition to sage mode. Physical actions can be powerful triggers for mental shifts. Find a physical anchor that helps you transition to sage mode, like placing your hand on your heart or a gentle tapping on your wrist. This physical action should become a signal to your brain to shift into a more positive, sage-like mindset.

Practice gratitude to pivot your mindset from focusing on problems to appreciating the positives in your life, a hallmark of the sage. When faced with a challenge, pause and reframe it as an opportunity, asking yourself, "What can I learn from this?" or "How can this help me grow?" Viewing challenges as opportunities for growth is a key characteristic of the sage mode and helps build resilience.

Empathize with yourself and others as a core aspect of the sage. When you start to criticize yourself or feel frustrated with someone, try to see the situation from a compassionate perspective. Visualization of a positive outcome also helps shift you into sage mode. Visualize how your sage would handle a stressful situation, imagining the calm, confident, and positive approach your sage would take.

Create sage affirmations that resonate with your sage’s perspective and repeat these during challenging times. Reflect daily on moments when you successfully engaged your sage and times when you might have let your saboteurs take over. This helps in recognizing patterns and understanding how to better activate your sage in the future.

By consistently practicing these techniques, you can strengthen your sage muscles, bringing about a profound shift in how you perceive and respond to life's challenges, with wisdom and positivity akin to that of a sage.


Key point #5

The cycle of negative thoughts, actions, and resulting guilt is a common experience in parenthood, particularly evident in the scenario where negative thoughts can lead to actions such as yelling at children, which then feeds back into feelings of guilt and more negative thoughts. This cycle is not just emotionally draining but can also have a profound impact on both the parent and the child.

When a mother is caught in a web of negative thinking, often exacerbated by stress and fatigue, her capacity to respond with patience and understanding can be significantly diminished. Negative thoughts might include beliefs about not being a good enough mother or feelings of being overwhelmed by the demands of parenting. These thoughts create a heightened emotional state where reactions, like yelling, can occur more readily. It’s a response that comes not from a place of intention, but from a place of stress and emotional turmoil.

The aftermath of such reactions often leads to intense feelings of guilt. A mother might berate herself for losing her temper, further entrenching the belief that she is failing in her role. This guilt can be debilitating, creating a sense of being trapped in a cycle of negative emotions and reactions.

However, it's important to recognize that this cycle can be interrupted and transformed through mindfulness and positive intelligence. Mindfulness allows mothers to become more aware of their emotional state and the onset of negative thought patterns. By recognizing these patterns as they emerge, there's a greater chance to pause and choose a different response, one that aligns more closely with their values and the kind of parent they aspire to be.

Positive intelligence plays a crucial role here. By identifying and challenging the negative saboteurs, a mother can begin to question the validity of her critical thoughts. She can start to see that these thoughts are not truths, but rather distorted reflections of her fears and stress. This realization opens the door to engaging her sage perspective, where she can approach challenging situations with empathy, both for herself and her child.

By practicing these techniques, mothers can gradually shift away from automatic, stress-induced reactions like yelling, and move towards more mindful, intentional responses. This shift not only reduces feelings of guilt but also fosters a more positive, nurturing environment for both the mother and her children. It's a journey towards breaking the cycle of negativity and guilt, and towards building a relationship with oneself and one's children that is grounded in understanding, patience, and compassion.


Segment: Coaching Questions

Here are ten coaching questions designed to help engage your inner sage, counteract saboteurs, and foster a more positive and resilient mindset:

1. What qualities does my inner sage possess that I can draw upon in challenging times?

2. Which of my common saboteurs tend to dominate my thoughts, and how can I recognize them?

3. How can I reframe a current challenge to view it through the lens of my sage?

4. What am I genuinely grateful for today, and how does acknowledging this shift my perspective?

5. In moments of self-criticism or frustration, how can I approach the situation with more empathy and compassion?

6. When faced with stress or uncertainty, what would a calm, confident, and positive response look like?

7. What positive affirmations can I repeat to myself to reinforce my sage's perspective during challenging times?

8. How did I successfully engage my sage today, and in what situations did my saboteurs take over?

9. In what ways can I incorporate mindfulness into my daily routine to enhance my sage's presence?

10. How can practicing gratitude and empathy daily help me in reducing feelings of guilt and negativity? 

Engaging with these questions regularly can help in nurturing a more enlightened, compassionate, and positive approach to daily challenges, particularly in the context of motherhood and personal growth.


Episode summary:

Today, we covered a range of topics crucial for parents navigating the often challenging journey of raising children. We delved deep into understanding mom guilt and how it can affect mothers from all walks of life. We explored the concept of positive intelligence, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and quieting negative thought patterns, or 'saboteurs,' and how to strengthen and nurture our 'inner sage' - that voice of wisdom and positivity within us.

Next week's episode promises to be an insightful and enriching experience for parents everywhere. We'll be joined by a special guest who is a life coach for moms, bringing with her a rich background as a wife, mom, stepmom, and Nina to a family of 7 children and 11 grandchildren. Her journey in parenting and coaching, particularly her expertise in navigating the unique dynamics of family personalities, has led her to develop profound insights into the art of parenting.

Our guest's story is both personal and universal – from her experiences raising a strong-willed child to her mission of helping other parents connect effectively with their teens and maintain harmony with their partners. This episode will delve into practical strategies and heartfelt advice for parents looking to build positive, strong relationships with their children, especially during the formative adolescent years.

Tune in for an episode filled with personal anecdotes, professional expertise, and actionable strategies to guide you through the complexities of parenting. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast to catch this compelling conversation that will offer new perspectives and tools for your parenting journey.



Thank you for joining us on this week's refreshing wellness discussion. I'm Autumn Carter, your guide through the seasons of motherhood, and I hope you found inspiration and valuable insights during our time together.

If you resonate with the topics we explored today and want to continue your wellness journey, I invite you to follow me on Instagram at Moms Wellness in Every Season. There, you'll discover a wealth of ongoing wellness tips specifically curated for moms like you.

Sharing our podcast with others is an act of caring, and I invite you to spread the word by sharing, subscribing, and leaving a review wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Your support is deeply valuable to us and enables us to reach more mothers who are seeking transformation and empowerment.

If you have a specific topic you'd like us to cover in more detail or if you're interested in a free coaching consultation, don't hesitate to reach out. You can send me a direct message on Instagram or visit my website,, to send an email. I'm here to support you on your wellness journey.

Thank you again for being a part of our vibrant community. I'm genuinely excited to connect with you, hear your stories, and continue this important discussion in the weeks to come.

Until next time, remember to prioritize your well-being, embrace every season with grace, and always strive for wellness in every aspect of your motherhood journey. Take care, and I can't wait to catch up with you soon.



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