"Mom guilt," those feelings of frustration, exhaustion, or anger trying to satisfy skewed and unrealistic expectations of "good mothers," impacts women with ADHD, too! So how can you navigate the challenges of mom guilt as a woman with ADHD?
In this episode, Lacy Estelle dives into the topic of "mom guilt" and shares her own experiences as an ADHD mom. With authenticity and vulnerability, Lacy reminds us that perfection is unrealistic and that none of us is exempt from struggle. From feelings of guilt about working outside the home to the challenges of parenting through brokenness, Lacy shares her journey and offers encouragement and perspective to all women, regardless of whether they have children or not. Tune in for a relatable and insightful conversation on the complex emotions of motherhood and the importance of self-compassion. As always, if you've been impacted by Lacy's podcast, please show your support by leaving a review or rating on the platform where you listen!
Links & Resources:
Gyre & Gimble Pencil Gidgets – Textured Silicone Pencil Sleeve for Serene and Silent Fidgeting (at Amazon)
Reach out to Lacy at:
Facebook group: @anADDwoman
Lacy’s Facebook group:
Mothering the Storm Accountability and Support Group
Lacy Estelle [00:00:00]:
Hey, guys. It's Lacy Estelle with An ADD Woman Podcast. I just wanna say a big huge thank you to all of you for listening. The podcast this last weekend surpassed 25,000 downloads, and I cannot believe it. I'm so excited to see where else we're gonna go and where God is leading us, but thank you for listening. Thank you for downloading. Thank you for sharing with your friends. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of you.
Lacy Estelle [00:00:32]:
Welcome to an ADD Woman with Lacy Estelle. This is the podcast for Christian ADHD women to learn from each other, to hear others' stories and perspectives, but most of all, to be reminded of Jesus' finished work on the cross. I'm so glad that you're here, and I hope that whatever you listen to, however much you listen to, that you get a lot from it.
We've been going through a lot of different things over the last few episodes, but on this episode, I'm gonna talk about part of those, which has to do with guilt. I wanna talk specifically about mom guilt. And maybe you're a parent, maybe you're not a parent, maybe you listen to, my podcast because you're just a woman with ADHD, you don't have children yet, but I think that this will still be Relatable To You, because the story I'm gonna tell you, I'm sure anybody can relate to, so let's dive in. I wanna start this episode by saying I am not perfect, which I think most everybody who's ever listened to my podcast knows that I'm not perfect. I mean, if you listen to any of the episodes where I talk about my life story and all the it's where I talk about my life story and all the things that I went through and did and mistakes I made, that you would know I'm not perfect.
Lacy Estelle [00:01:44]:
But I think that As a influencer or as a podcaster or blogger, however you found me, It's easy to, you know, listen to my advice or garner, the information that I put out there and assume that because I and giving this information out that I am able to apply it perfectly every single day, which let me just be realistic with you, that is that is unrealistic, that I could, you know, know all these things and be able to do them all flawlessly is just that is a pipe dream. So there is a lot of talk that I have on my blog. There's 1 particular, blog post that says, you know, please stop saying these things to your ADHD child. And the list of things is things like, what's wrong with you? Why would you do something so stupid? Or how could you do something so stupid? Or stop being lazy? Or Stop crying. Just stop. Different things along those lines. And it I know that it's gotten a lot of feedback from ADHD kids, ADHD adults, who said that their parents said those things to them all their life. And as an ADHD mom, I just want you to know that I know not to say those things, but I'm not exempt from having disagreements with my children or having struggles parenting struggles.
Lacy Estelle [00:03:08]:
And I think that when we, as moms, feel mom guilt, okay, whether that be I think in the early years, I felt terrible mom guilt because I worked outside the home. I left my child in the care of somebody else for most of the time, and I had to work. And that riddled me with guilt. And I think a lot of working moms who, you know, are in their career and then get pregnant end up going through a similar feeling because, you know, you can never really You can never quite comprehend how strong that attachment is to your own child until you've felt it. And I know I say that with a grain of salt because a lot of people who are not Parents get very frustrated or defensive if, you know, if you tell them you just you just have no idea what it's like to love your own child. But genuinely, most of us, once we feel that attachment and that bond, it is a totally different feeling than we've ever felt before. So in the beginning years, I had that guilt. And then I spent a lot of years feeling guilty over the way that I raised my children or the way the home that they were brought up too, because it was broken.
Lacy Estelle [00:04:21]:
I felt bad for burdening my children with a father figure who was still trying to recover from his own childhood and not doing a very good job of doing it in a healthy way. And I knew that that meant that that they were going to have pain, and they were going to have many times, unfortunately, several times, where He disappointed them in grave ways. I probably disappoint my children weekly. They ask to do something, and I have to say, no. I'm sorry. We, you know, we don't have the that in the budget this week. We can't do that. That's disappointing.
Lacy Estelle [00:05:00]:
It's different when They're dealing with a parent who makes false promises, things along those lines, so I felt mom guilt for that. And then I continued to work. And then I felt mom guilt for we lived in apartment for their early, early years when my younger son, my 2 oldest, I raised primarily by myself with my parents, you know, co parented with their father, on and off for years, but we only had an apartment. I had a 2 bedroom apartment. It's what I could afford at the time. I felt guilty for that. And that guilt was I totally let it run my life. I let it run the show.
Lacy Estelle [00:05:41]:
I let it motivate me. Now that was a good thing, but, also, I wasn't taking the time to recognize that maybe that guilt was misplaced, not because, You know? I shouldn't feel bad for ever disappointing my kids because that's not the case, but just that My children would eventually grow up, and there are things there are perks. There are lessons, I guess, in the things that I thought I was falling short on. So I'm learning now as a parent who's been doing this for 14 years, which is not very long, to be honest. But it's long enough to kind of to see light at the end of the tunnel, to see you know, because there was there was times when my oldest was young and he was 2 or he was 3, and he was awful. I say that so nicely because he knows. He knows that he broke me. He was oh, man.
Lacy Estelle [00:06:41]:
He was hard, and I worried. I worried that I did that to him, that I caused his problems. I caused it all because of my poor choices, and that he was he was destined to just have trouble. Now he still has trouble with certain things. He is working through struggles right now academically, but I can see the foundation that I built in him coming through the leads. And what do I mean by that? I mean that I always focused on my parenting. Now I was not the perfect parent at all. Nobody is, but I focused on being there, being present, being aware.
Lacy Estelle [00:07:25]:
They had their needs met. They knew I loved them. My children all know I love them. Now They don't necessarily always feel that love because maybe they're mad at me or maybe they're frustrated or we're arguing, but they know I love them, and they know it in the way that I do things. So the foundation that I had set of love and respect for them and, doing everything you can to stay true to your word. And I can see that now filling up in my son while he struggles with other things. And I tell you all of this because I want you to know and understand that I'm not perfect. I don't have it all together.
Lacy Estelle [00:08:09]:
I still trip up. I had an argument with my son this morning, my teenager, over something really silly, really silly. It was over the radio, of all things. Now my son has done a very good job in earlier years of pulling me in emotionally to an argument There a lot of times, I don't really wanna have that argument, but I know that he will find ways to kinda make small digs at me. And I think I see this with a lot of ADHD kids. I actually you know, if I look back, I see it with myself, that emotional dysregulation that we have as ADHD people. And I think especially as us with ADHD women, we don't even notice we're doing it, but we can kinda poke and prod things until, you know, the levy breaks, and all of a sudden, we're engaging in an argument. And when we get this self righteous indignation, and we will you know, maybe the person who is arguing with us, they think that we're being reasonable, and all of a sudden, we're just We're really not being reasonable.
Lacy Estelle [00:09:07]:
We start to know we're not really being reasonable, and then but now we're mad and we're hurt, and then we act on that hurt, and we say things that we don't mean. Well, my son can also do this, and it's been a long time. It's been a long time since we've had a fight. We don't generally fight because, generally speaking, he's a pretty good kid. And what I also strive to do is I don't like yelling. There's no yelling in my house. I try to keep it that way at all costs. The reason for that is because I've read many studies that say that ADHD kids can get addicted to yelling, just like I was saying why, you know, I think with us with ADHD, if we need stimulation, sometimes that can come out in us picking an argument with people that we care about over seemingly small things.
Lacy Estelle [00:09:49]:
And he got an argument with me this morning about the radio. And I didn't quite lose it, but I was not shy in telling him that I thought that it was ridiculous that we were fighting about it, that he couldn't be patient because that's what it came down to. I had asked him to just wait to play the next song. So what happens in the mornings is I do my rounds of dropping off kids, and I drop off my middle schoolers first, and then I drop off my high schooler, and then I drop off my preschooler, and the baby stays home with me. And when I do that in the mornings, my oldest son gets to sit in the front. So because he gets to sit in the front, he connects his phone to the Bluetooth and he takes requests from the kids in the car. And, you know, one of our children has recently explained to me that it can be very overwhelming when they have to start their school day with really loud music. So when we pulled up to the school, we had literally we were a block away.
Lacy Estelle [00:10:44]:
We pulled up, and The song that he was just playing ended. It ended. And I said, oh, cool. I said, don't Play another song just yet. Just wait till we pull out of the parking lot because it ended. And I thought that that was convenient, And so this way, we weren't pulling up with blaring loud music. My other children weren't getting overwhelmed before they start their school day, and everybody could be happy. And he freaked out.
Lacy Estelle [00:11:11]:
What in the world? Are you serious right now? This is ridiculous. You told me that I just had to turn it down from now on, and now you're making me Keep it off. And I was, like, no. I just asked for you to wait while the other kids got out of the car. So what happened? Why did that turn into an argument? I've been thinking about it for the last, I don't know, however long because why? Because mom guilt. Because that's what I will do. I will we will have arguments like this, silly little things, and then I will riddle myself with guilt. Not as long these days as I used to, but for a portion of time because of the fact that I feel bad.
Lacy Estelle [00:11:54]:
I feel bad for my son having to start his day that way. I feel bad because even though I know my other kids, it shouldn't affect them because it wasn't about them, It probably affects them. And I ask myself all the time because I'm like, man, I got really good about figuring out when he was doing that kind of stuff, you know, just poking. And what I call it what I explained to my husband it was is making a lot of noise. Like when they're little, they throw tantrums, they cry, and they throw tantrums, and they make a lot of noise when they're upset because they're not getting their way. Teenagers make a lot of noise too, but they don't cry about it. They stomp or they slam their doors or they argue with you and think that they're being reasonable and they're not. And they do that and they will do it until they're blue in the face.
Lacy Estelle [00:12:48]:
Like, they will just and I have to oftentimes with him. I just say, okay. We're done talking about this. I'm done talking about this. But I just but I and I'm like, nope. I said we're done talking about it. I'm not going to listen to any more of your arguments or your reasons why. I understand where you're coming from, but the answer is still no.
Lacy Estelle [00:13:07]:
Yeah. Q, stomping off to his bedroom. But this morning, it was a little different because we were in the car, and I know why he's frustrated. He's frustrated because things changed. Whereas last year, the other kids weren't in the car, and he could blast his music on the way to school all he wanted, and it was not a big deal. And he enjoyed it because he loved having that at the beginning of his day. Now as the other kids are in the car and he has to bend because it's a compromise. You know, you can listen to your music on the way to your school.
Lacy Estelle [00:13:39]:
But when the other kids get out of the vehicle, they want it to be calm because they don't like it when people are staring at them when they get out of the car. And that makes him mad. Why? Because it's changed, and it requires empathy and it requires understanding other people. And quite frankly, As mature as my teenager is for his age, I have to remind myself he's still just 14. He isn't there yet when it comes to being considerate and selfless and recognizing other people's needs should come above your own. You know, I have 1 child whose pendulum swings that way, and then I have another child whose pendulum swings so far the opposite way, it's not so good, where they people please, and they put everybody above their needs, and that's not good either.
Lacy Estelle [00:14:34]:
Does your child struggle with sitting still in class, but fidgets and fidget cubes and things along those lines, the teacher is like, yeah. No. Those are way too disruptive. We're not having any of that. I wanna talk to you guys about Geier and Gimbal. Geier and Gimbal actually sent me their brand new WIAT fidgets for the classroom. Now they're like these extended long pencil grips that have different textures on them, but they go on a mechanical pencil, which is wonderful, and they're bright and colorful, they're rubber. And the nice thing is that your child can twist it, mess with it in his hand, Her hand, whatever, it's not gonna make a sound. It's not gonna disrupt the kids around them, and the teacher is probably not even gonna notice. So check them out on Amazon. I will link to Guyer and Gimble's shop in the show notes and specifically their pencil digits.
Lacy Estelle [00:15:10]:
So why do I tell you all this and tell you all that story? Nothing came of that story, by the way. Like, the argument happened. He ended up having to call me later for something else. He's not gonna say sorry. I will probably say sorry to him and to my other kids for tell you know, hey. I let things get out of hand, and I should have probably just ignored him and not got pulled into the argument, but I was frustrated. I tell you all that for a couple of reasons.
Lacy Estelle [00:15:42]:
One, I want you to know in real time on a day to day basis. I am applying all the things I'm teaching you, and at the same time, I am sometimes still falling short because I'm human, because I have to rely on Christ to make up the difference. And Some days, I don't do a very good job of applying everything that I'm doing because it's hard, because this takes practice. Because this isn't something that you listen to one of my podcasts and you just immediately tell yourself, oh, yeah. Cool. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to do everything different. It requires practice and doing it over and over again. And guess what? Even when you've been doing it for as long as I have and you've been applying all these things and you've been working towards these feeling a different way about your parenting, about your guilt, about all the things that you fall short on.
Lacy Estelle [00:16:35]:
Okay? You still are gonna have sex. You're still gonna have days that don't go the way you wanted them to go. And what do you do with those? The other reason I tell you is because I think it's important that We as mothers, especially us mothers who have children who like to argue with us or have children who are hard or difficult, are here to say, it's not you. It's not just you. It's not your parenting specifically. Maybe on some level, is it a cumulative of all of the environmental factors for your trial? Maybe. But so what? Because In your heart of hearts, are you doing absolutely everything you can? And when you learn and you know things and you try to do things better, do you try to implement change? And If you're trying, that's all you can be asked of. I try every day.
Lacy Estelle [00:17:29]:
Every day I try, and every day it's different. Some days I wake up and I'm like, today's gonna be a great day. I'm gonna be super productive and get lots of stuff done. It's gonna be awesome. Other days, like today, I woke up, Didn't realize I was probably a little cranky. Why? Who knows? I don't know. I'm a woman, so could be hormones, could be sleep, it could be Could be stress. I don't know.
Lacy Estelle [00:17:50]:
It could be a 1000000 different things, but then did I let my emotions get the better of me in the car? Yep. But did I dwell on it? Yeah. For a little bit, I did. I did. So I know how it feels to do those things. And talking in the previous episodes that I talked about. I talked about trying not to dwell on it. I talked about handing it off, giving it to Jesus, giving it to him over and over again.
Lacy Estelle [00:18:13]:
That is what I do. I will drive in the car on the way home. Sometimes if I'm still mad, I'll say, lord, lord, change my attitude. Change how I feel about the situation. Help me. Help me, help me. Like, your prayer doesn't have to be super long. You don't have to be laying in bed or on your knees or at home or having your bible in front of you or in a church pew.
Lacy Estelle [00:18:33]:
You don't. You can be anywhere and just say, I need you. I need you to take this. I need you to help me deal with this. I need you to show me. I need you to open my eyes. Do all the things that you can do that I know I can't, that I know I wouldn't if it was up to me. Because do I wanna apologize to my son? No.
Lacy Estelle [00:18:50]:
Think he was stubborn and being dumb and inconsiderate and selfish. But maybe that just means I'm not ready to apologize yet, but also it means that God's still working on me and I can have faith in the fact that His word says that He works all things to his good. And I think that it's important to remember that. It's important to remember that in the day to day, When you mess up, when you have a setback, when you do things, each stage of motherhood, I had a different guilt. Now I'm home. Okay? Now I'm home. I work from home. I, for the most part, do this podcast well, the podcast isn't full time, but the content creation and stuff that I do is mostly full time, and that's been my dream all this time.
Lacy Estelle [00:19:36]:
And I finally have it. I'm home. I'm here with my baby. I'm able to raise him. I'm able to take the kids whenever I need to take them. I don't have to take a day off work to take them to a doctor or to therapy or to anything along those lines. I'm here to help them do homework. I'm here to cook them food.
Lacy Estelle [00:19:50]:
I'm here. And yet, do I still feel guilty some days? Yeah, for all the things I don't get done, for all the laundry that doesn't get done, for the argument I had in the car with my son, for My lack of availability for, you know, my older children when they need homework help, for my struggle in helping them to maintain their own executive function shortcomings. Yeah. It's still here. That guilt is still here. I'm just dealing with it differently, and I am walking through it with God instead of living it. So a day like today, Is it ideal? No. Not ideal.
Lacy Estelle [00:20:28]:
Makes me feel bad. Makes me feel like I have really bad mom guilt over lashing out at him and getting frustrated and but I'm applying the same things that I'm teaching in this podcast to that, and I'm practicing. It takes practice and practice and practice and practice of doing these things and applying them that way for it to make a huge shift in your mindset and huge change. So I'm gonna look at today as a win. It's noon. I spent the last couple of hours not really wallowing in the guilt, but trying to ask myself, like, what I could do differently. And I can easily fall back into my people pleasing mode even with my kids, and say, like, well, I just don't want them to be mad at me. But sometimes, you know, him being mad at me or him having to start his day that way, it's gonna teach him something else.
Lacy Estelle [00:21:20]:
I know that. So back when I had all that mom guilt about not having a place, I say not having a place. I had a place. We had an apartment. It was small. It was a 2 bedroom apartment, but we lived there for 3 years. And I had all this terrible guilt for all the things that it wouldn't give my kids. And now, do my kids still want everything on their Christmas list? Yes.
Lacy Estelle [00:21:42]:
They do. Do they still want, you know, more space and a bigger room and a computer to play games on. Yeah. They want all sorts of stuff, but I remind them all the time. I'm like, do you remember Do you remember when we had an apartment? Do you remember when the only thing you really wanted was just your own bedroom? Do you remember when, You know, I worked outside the home, and you guys used to ask me all the time. Oh my gosh. My 2nd oldest used to ask me all the time. Mom, when are you gonna work from home? When are you gonna stop working and just be home? Are you gonna do that? Even though he was at school all day, but he knew it was coming.
Lacy Estelle [00:22:16]:
He knew it was something I was working towards. And I would tell him soon, buddy. Hopefully, really soon. Soon. And now here it is. So there are things that your shortcomings are teaching your kids that you don't notice. My Oldest son asked me when we moved out of that apartment, he asked me when we were gonna go back, and he said, well, not ever. Why? Why would you wanna go back? He said, well, I just love that place.
Lacy Estelle [00:22:42]:
Why did he love it? He loved it because it was home. It was his home, it was where him and his mom and his brother lived, and that was all he needed. So You can kick yourself a 1000000 different times in a 1000000 different ways for not helping your child, you know, get better grades or not working tirelessly with them until 11 o'clock at night because you have 2 other kids that you have to handle that need you as well. And you can kick yourself and berate yourself and make yourself feel terrible if you want to, or you can hand that over to God and say, strengthen me where I need to be strengthened or grow my children where I am weak, and He will do that. Now you might not see it, it might not happen in your lifetime, but it could happen and it will happen if you have faith in him, or at least I firmly believe that. Does his will always match up to what we want? No. But we can have faith that he'll work everything out for his good and that he loves us and that he wants good things for us. That's what makes him and his will feel safe even when it is not what we would want.
Lacy Estelle [00:23:55]:
So I think that's all I have for you today. So maybe this wasn't so much an ADHD podcast episode. It was more about mom guilt, but I think that's really relevant because I think the more people I talk to who have ADHD, especially us as women. We're highly sensitive. We feel things on a much higher level, so mom guilt is right up there. And especially too for the fact that many of us probably struggle with not keeping things orderly in our household and worrying that that causes our children to, you know, have to compensate in areas that were weak, but you know what? That's also part of love. That's also part of family. That's also part of learning to love somebody for who they are and not for who you wish they were.
Lacy Estelle [00:24:38]:
I wish every day that I was more orderly and organized. And The thing is I cannot seem to flip that and get that to the top of my priority list, not at the cost of my emotional stability. I could spend all day focusing on keeping the house clean. What it would require is that I remove my ability to cope with my children's needs. So then when they would get home, the house would be clean. But if they needed me to help them with homework, Or if they needed me to remind them to do something or if they needed me to help them pick up their floor because it's so overwhelming to them that they can't think straight, I would have no energy for that because my mental reserves would be gone. I had prioritized cleaning the house. And when I sit where I am, I all I see is that I want my kids to look back and say, my mom was there for me.
Lacy Estelle [00:25:30]:
She wasn't always there for the house. She wasn't gonna get it super clean, but she was there for me. She was there when I needed her. She had energy for me. She reserved space for me even on days where I know she didn't have it because there are many days I don't have it. God gives it to me, but many days, I don't have it. So I think you can do that too, and I encourage you to. So that's gonna wrap up this episode.
Lacy Estelle [00:25:52]:
I will be talking to you guys really, really soon. Thank you so much for listening. What would really help me more than anything if you feel inclined is please leave me a 5 star review wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that's Spotify, Podbean, Apple Podcasts, all the like. It really helps for the show to show up for other people that maybe they need to hear it. Thanks again for being here. I appreciate you so much.