You’re a mom. Of course you feel mom guilt.
Being a parent is tough. There’s never enough help, and there’s never enough time, and you’re never measuring up to that vision of the Ideal Mom you have in your head.
Tiffany Kilpatrick has some tools that can help.
She’s the creator of The Mom Toolkit, an online course that helps moms focus on what matters most…
And eliminate the stress of not measuring up where it doesn’t matter.
(Like a perfectly clean house, Pinterest-perfect crafts for the kids, or spotless matching outfits for Instagram photo ops!)
In this week’s YBTV interview, you’ll learn why the Perfect Mom can’t hold a candle to the Good Enough Mom.
You’ll discover ways to bust through Mom Guilt, deal with your kids’ big emotions, and keep your cup full through it all.
What You’ll Learn
If you compare the number of parenting books available when our mothers raised us to the number of parenting books available on Amazon today, the difference is mind-blowing.
There is more information out there on parenting than any human being could possibly absorb in one lifetime.
But Tiffany Kilpatrick made a stab at it.
She has taken 100s of hours of parenting classes and trainings and retreats and conferences.
She’s studied childhood development and trauma and adverse childhood experiences.
Originally, her focus was on preparing for adoption, but she soon became obsessed.
She’d thought she knew quite a lot about parenting, but she came to realize that everything she knew had been handed down to her from past generations.
The science and the research of childhood development has exploded in recent years, completely transforming our understanding of what children need to thrive.
What Tiffany and her husband learned “changed everything about the way we were living in our lives and how we interacted with other people.”
Today, Tiffany shares that transformation with other mothers, helping them gain real-life tools to parent with confidence.
If you feel inadequate as a mom because you haven’t taken hours of parenting classes, stop right there!
You don’t need a lot of studying to be a good mom.
“We get so tied up in what we think people are expecting of us,” Tiffany says.
We think people expect us to be nutritionists and educators and coaches and counselors.
But actually we just need to be moms.
We need to love our kids and not lose sight of the importance of loving ourselves, too.
As moms, we often feel imposter syndrome.
“We think that someday somebody’s going find out that I have dirty dishes, that I yelled at my kids, that they’re on screens when I’m in meetings,” Tiffany explains.
That’s why she helps moms focus on what’s important and what really matters most to their kids, so they can stop stressing the small stuff.
“When we can take away the self-criticism and all the expectations society has written about what we’re supposed to be doing, we can just love and connect and pour into ourselves and our kids,” she says.
The “Good Enough” Mom
Back in the 1970s, D. W. Winnicott coined the phrase “good enough parent.”
The good enough parent disappoints her child sometimes. She makes mistakes.
But in her imperfection lies the key to teaching her child the truth of life.
Life is disappointing. Things don’t always work out.
Better to learn that when you’re young, in the company of someone who can support you, than sail through childhood without a care in the world and confront the cruelty of life without preparation.
For Tiffany, the good enough mom comes from a place of neutrality.
She no longer assigns labels like “good” or “bad.”
She doesn’t judge herself because her house is a mess and there are no organic snacks for her kids’ lunches.
Rather, she’s got perspective.
“When we are able to raise our kids with curiosity and love and confidence and joyfulness, it’s not always pretty,” Tiffany says.
When the good enough mom wakes up and makes her kids pancakes, and a tantrum breaks out because the pancakes weren’t the right shape, she’s able to look at that and go, “You have big feelings. That doesn’t ruin my day, and that doesn’t make me a bad mom. It just means that you’re having a bad day.”
The good enough mom “can see what the bad things [really] are, and that’s when we are shameful and hurting our children and and trying to force them to behave.”
But I’m Failing My Kids!
It’s one thing to know you’re not failing your kid because you made the wrong-sized pancake.
It’s another thing to believe you’re not failing your kid when your kid is struggling.
First things first: Tiffany recommends making sure your cup is full.
“When we take care of ourselves and we make sure that our cup is full, it’s so much easier to pour into them,” she says, “and so much easier to see when you are doing harm.”
When we’re stressed, we can become short-tempered. We can find ourselves shaming our kids or pushing on them without realizing it.
It can also help to become more aware of our triggers.
Sometimes your child’s negative emotions can trigger you. You feel personally upset, even though your child’s feelings have nothing to do with you.
“One of the greatest tools we can teach them is that our emotions are okay,” Tiffany says. “You can be angry. Anger is a beautiful emotion.”
You can help your child see, “This is what it looks like when we’re sad, and these are the options we have for processing through our sadness.”
It’s about “honoring their feelings and then helping them process through it, and then making sure that you reset yourself and that you fill your cup back up.”
That may not take away the guilt or the fear that you’re failing. But it can help you work through the discomfort that their struggles bring up in you.
And if you don’t manage it today, Tiffany says, “luckily there’s a new day every day. So every time we don’t do that, great, we can try again tomorrow.”
The Mom Toolkit
Tiffany offers an online course to help moms cope with everything that’s thrown at them: parenting, self-care, routines, and romance.
Because if there’s one thing that ends up last on the busy mom’s to-do list, it’s romance.
You’re so busy pouring yourself into your kids and your career and your responsibilities that, at the end of the day, you have nothing left to give to your partner.
The Mom Toolkit can help.
It helps moms communicate with their partner, build a support network, create a more efficient routine, connect with their children, and keep their cup full so that they can continue giving day after day.
The toolkit was created with accessibility in mind, so the videos are short, the homework are tangible tasks, and “each little shift helps improve that chaos you feel, that constant feeling that you’re never going to be good enough or you’re never going to catch up.”
Finally, Tiffany reminds us, just breathe.
You are absolutely enough, and you do not need to meet anybody else’s expectations or standards.”
Tiffany is an Oregon native and founder of The Mom Toolkit. She and her husband started their parenting journey in 2012 through the foster care system. She’s invested in hundreds of hours of parenting classes, state trainings, retreats, conferences, and continuing education on child development. The Mom Toolkit focuses on connection before correct, love first, trust-based relationships, and understanding how behavior is a result of how a child feels. Find out how Tiffany can support you.