S04|06 - Mom-guilt, Diabetes and Blame - coaching call #1Apr 04, 2022
Consuming information can be truly helpful, and we can make shifts and changes from what we hear, see, or read… but THE biggest changes happen through integration. Integration comes from taking these tools and principles and USING them- applying them to our lives in a direct way. In today’s special episode you’ll hear one of my clients get coached on a struggle that she’s facing in life- and how it relates to shame/mom-guilt. If you are interested in working with me as your coach, send me an email and we’ll chat: [email protected]
What I coach her on:
- How shame turns to blame and affects our relationships
- Feeling like she’s failing the “mommy report card”
- Processing her emotions
- How she can become her own best friend (and so can you!)
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Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hey, I'm Crystal, a certified life coach and mom of four. In this podcast, we combine radical connection and positive parenting theories with the How-To Life Coaching Tools and Mindset Work to completely transform our relationship with our children.
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Hello, and welcome to Mom-guilt, Diabetes and Blame - coaching call #1. I have something very exciting for you today. We've never done this before but there's a difference between consuming information and integrating information.
So, consuming would be; listening to podcasts, and reading books, and hearing other people speak. And we love to do a lot of that. At least, most of us love to do a lot of that; and lots of different forms, right? Even just consuming it on social media.
We can learn things, and we can be enlightened; and transformation can definitely happen. But more transformation happens through integration; and integration would be taking these concepts and actually using them to change things, to get those transformations in a different, more deep way.
So, how I'm going to show you this, is throughout this season, I'm just going to sprinkle a few little coaching calls; and I'm going to have the coaching calls be around the topics that we have been talking about.
So, over the last few weeks we've been having conversations around shame, and mom-guilt, and blame, and all of those amazing things - all those interesting things, I'll say. And so, today, I have somebody coming onto my podcast; and I am going to show you what a coaching call might look like.
And you might be able to listen into this conversation, and gain a little bit of insight for your situation and what's going on with you. Her situation is specific to her and her daughters and diabetes, but these thoughts that you'll notice that she has, are thoughts that we can all relate to.
So, as you're going through listening to this coaching call, just keep an eye out or an ear out for; how this could pertain to you, and in what situations you might use kind of the same thinking for that mom-guilt or for that shame and that blame. And if you want to talk more about coaching, just reach out to me on Instagram. All right. Thanks for coming on. I'm excited to chat with you today.
Caller: Me too. Me too.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. So, you already know a little bit about coaching, a lot, bit about coaching, so we're not going to dig into too much about what that means, but I would love to show everybody what it's like. So, I have already previously asked you to think about something to bring to the call. So, why don't you just go ahead and tell us about it.
How shame turns to blame and affects our relationships
Caller: Okay. So, I have two little daughters that have Type 1 Diabetes; one is three now, and the other one's about to be five. So, like you said in your podcast this week about shame, I feel like I've been doing a lot better with my own personal mom-guilt shame stuff.
But when it comes to this, I've noticed myself doing a lot of blaming. And so, I have been thinking about that since I listened to your podcast, that said that blame is probably a sign of shame too, you know, because I’m quick--
Well, basically, I do feel a lot of shame all day about the diabetes when I'm taking care of it. And then, my husband comes home and is supposed to like take over. And especially through the night, he's supposed to be monitoring it because I'm getting up with the baby.
And so, he's like, "I'll take care of the diabetics, you take care of the baby," and he doesn't do it "right". He doesn't do it the way I think is right - and the way I'm going to all the diabetic counseling, like meeting with the doctors and the nurses and getting all the education - and then he's doing whatever he wants to do.
And so, I do a lot of my own thought-work and things about that there's no right and wrong way to parent, but there still is a right and wrong way to manage the diabetes. And so, and then, I also am always trying to convince myself that our kids' behavior is not a reflection on us.
Like, we don't have a grade as a parent. Like I don't have a "mommy report card". But every single time I look at their little monitor that tells me where their blood is at, I feel like that's like my "mommy report card".
Like if I'm in a range, then I'm passing the test - if they're too high, then I'm failing - if they're too low, then I'm failing; and it has to stay within range. Like there's legit numbers that you have to do to do it right. And if it's not, then I'm doing it wrong.
And so, like I know that that's not true, but I still make it mean that. And so, then all day long, I'm being hard on myself that I'm failing because that's what blood sugars do - they do go up and down. It's really hard to keep it right in the middle.
I know that, but I'm still making it mean that; and I'm beating myself up all day, and then I'm beating him up all night. And the main reason why this is even a problem is that it's like affecting my relationship with my husband. I'm kind of like feeling mad at him and resentful towards him and like-- Yeah. Anyway, that's basically the gist.
Feeling like she’s failing the "mommy report card"
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. Okay. I love that you know so much Thought Work that you're already trying to work your way through it like, 'I know I'm thinking this and I know I'm thinking that.' So, let's pretend like you don't know thought work for a minute--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: -and I want you to go back to a specific situation in which you felt this way. I want to dig more into the shame or the guilt that you feel during the day when you specifically look at that number, and it's not within range - you failed the mommy report card. I want you to tell me about a time that happened.
Caller: Well, right before I came in here to talk to you, their blood sugar is low, which I preferred to be than high. Like I used to beat myself up more for the lows, and then I switched to the highs.
So, I'm trying to think of a time where it was high and I wasn't, which I'm sure like it was just yesterday, but yesterday feels like a million years ago. So, let me just think oh, well, we can-- Yeah. So, yesterday, how about we go to the meeting with the nurse lady? We're talking about the blood sugar levels.
And we're talking about how at breakfast, my one daughter's is fine. Like, I've got that figured out. And then, the other one, like I give her the exact same dose and then it shoots up; and then it takes forever to get back down. And I'm like, 'Why, if they're both eating the same thing and da, da, da?'
And then, she's like, 'Well, what do they usually eat?' I'm like, cereal or waffles. And then, I'm like, 'oh duh, the one daughter puts syrup on her waffles, and the other one doesn't.' And so, I'm totally like, 'Duh, that's so obvious. Why would I not like catch fun of that sooner?' Yeah, that's probably me.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. So, as you're telling her what foods they're eating, is that when you're starting to notice like, 'Oh, okay, wait, it's the syrup'?
Caller: Well, no, it's even dumber than that because I didn't even catch onto it until she brought it up. So, I'm like, she's like, "Do they both eat the syrup?" "No, just that one." And then--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: What did she say?
Caller: And then, she said like, right in that second, I don't know what she said, but eventually, she got to, "Well, the sugar is like, you know-- The sugar content in the syrup is really high, and so I'm sure that's probably why hers is shooting up." And I'm like, 'Well, yeah, done.'
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. For anyone that's listening to this, we always think it has to do with the situation. It's like the diabetes and the numbers and the people and what they're saying, we think it's all the things that are around us, but it's never that. It's always, what are we making it mean about us? So, in that moment, when she said that about the syrup and the waffles, what did you make it mean about you as a mom?
How shame voices show up
Caller: Well, I think when I think, 'well, duh, that means that I'm dumb,' so I was probably making it mean that I'm dumb and--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: That you should have figured it out yourself?
Caller: Yes. And then, of course, I start layering it, like you talked in your last podcast. And I layer it with, well-- And then, I miss the learning, because I'm in all this shame. So, that's like my main issue with all the diabetes. Like every single number I'm supposed to be learning from, and I block all that learning with all the shame. And so, that's like--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Because you make it mean something about you, and I want to know what we're making it mean. So, what are the thoughts? Those layering, shameful thoughts that come when you are-- You know, she says something about syrup, and you're thinking what?
Caller: I'm doing it wrong.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Mm-Hmm. What else?
Caller: So, I'm doing it wrong, which means that I'm wrong, which means that--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Something wrong with me?
Caller: The shame. Yeah, there's something wrong with me.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. What else? How else do shame voices show up?
Caller: I think that's basically the main thought.
The ‘Shoulds’ for diabetes
Crystal The Parenting Coach: What about the Shoulds here? Tell me a little bit more about-- Because there's got to be some Shoulds around what you should be doing with their numbers, and their food, and the syrup, and all the things.
Caller: Yeah. So, I should have it figured out by now. I should-- Oh, there's some serious Shoulds with diabetes, for sure.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: I want to know those 'shoulds'.
Caller: So, we're supposed to count carbs, and do like a dosing chart and stuff that I totally don't do. So, I do it, I call it, I lovingly call myself-- I do it the slacker way. And so, instead of like calculating exactly how many carbs are in the waffles and dosing them for that, then I'm just like, "Here, your breakfast, have a dose."
You know? I feel like since we basically do like the same thing every day, then I just give them the same amount every day; and it should have the same results every day, but it doesn't - it's all over the place.
And so, there's too many variables to keep track of learning, you know? So, I'm like, if I just did it how I was supposed to do it, and count the carbs exactly and dose them exactly, then it would stay in range, but I'm doing--
Mom-guilt in Diabetes
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And then, that would make, and then what? Like what would it mean about you if their blood sugar was in range?
Caller: Then I'm doing it right.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. And, why would that feel good?
Caller: Because then they're not going to die because I'm doing it wrong.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah, because it's your fault.
Caller: Yeah. It'll be my fault when their feet are amputated one day because they're too high. It'll be my fault when they wake up dead one day because they're too low.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: How does that feel?
Caller: Terrible. I mean, all moms freak out and worry about like, is their kid going to be alive when they wake up? And like, all of a sudden, it's like, oh, those irrational thoughts are actually rational now because that really could happen.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And, it would be your fault--
Caller: Yeah. Well, or my husband’s.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: -that’s what your brain says. It’s you or your husband. You mentioned that shame and blame are the two sides of the same coin.
The relationship between shame and guilt
Crystal The Parenting Coach: We don't like how shame feels. So oftentimes, we push it out and blame other people. So, the shame and the blame are connected here. Because we're making it mean that it's our fault, that anything that happens to them in the future that has anything to do with diabetes is because we didn't do it right.
But there's a perfect right way to do it that we're supposed to be perfect because we're, you know, robots. So, like I said before, it's not about what is happening around us. It's about what we're making it mean about us. And that's what shame really does.
We have these stories about what we're making it mean about us in our story here - this book that we've been writing - is like, it's my fault. Anything that happens with my kids and diabetes is my fault, I'm doing it wrong, probably never going to be able to figure it out. Even that, I thought of like, I'm a slacker, right? Like that probably doesn't feel super good either.
Caller: No, that feels terrible. I've done tons of coaching on that thought.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. So, we kind of know now what this voice sounds like; everybody has their inner critic, and the purpose of figuring out what this voice sounds like is so that we can notice it when it comes up. So, your voice sounds like, 'duh, slacker, you're doing it wrong. There's a right way to do it.
This is going to be your fault, all of the things that happen in the future.' I feel like when-- Oftentimes, when we're feeling really strong emotions about things, it's hard to change that thinking, hard to notice that story and shift it.
So, let's sit with our feeling for a minute. I know you love it when we talk about feelings. Well, let's go there for a few minutes. I want you to bring that emotion up that you were just feeling. Okay, we're going to get into a comfortable position.
You can close your eyes and take a few deep breaths; breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
We're going to do some loud, slow breathing with a sigh on the exhale. Just holding it for a couple of moments on the exhale. With the next couple of breaths, just extend that exhale a little bit deeper than your inhale. I'm going to take two more breaths.
And then, we're going to go back to a normal breathing pattern - into your nose, out through your mouth. I want you to bring back that emotion you were just feeling - imagining the future, what the future might be like for them, what it feels like when you see the numbers too high or too low, what you're thinking, what you're feeling.
Think back to who's around you in that moment, what smells or sounds are around you. Once you can bring that emotion, that feeling back into your body, just focus and be present with that feeling and let everything else slide away.
The thoughts, and the situation, and the numbers; we're going to let that all slide down from the top of our head, out through the back and the base of our neck. And we're going to focus just on the feeling that's left in our body.
Processing her emotions & feelings
So, I want you to tell me, where do you feel the feeling most strong.
Caller: In my chest.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. Describe it to me.
Caller: It's tight and like dark-red; and it's sort of pulses, and it's really heavy.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Is it hot or cold?
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Is it smooth or bumpy or sharp?
Caller: It's sort of, I guess, bumpy. Like smooth globy.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. Does it have a shape?
Caller: Yeah, like what? It feels like shredder teeth.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. So, go to that feeling in your chest that's hot and red and tight, kind of, smooth and bumpy. Think of that texture and that temperature and that color, and just allow it to be there. Notice it, focus on it. As you focus on it, does anything happen?
Caller: I feel like when the thoughts come back, it turns into like the shredder teeth. And then when I just get into the feelings, it's back to like the globbiness.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. So, try to let those thoughts, any thoughts that are coming in, as they come in, just allow them to slide back down through the top of your head, through the back of your head, down through the base of your neck and just slide off your back.
And as the thoughts come back in again, we're just going to do that with all the thoughts; and come back to them later. And we're just going to focus on how our body is feeling. We're going to focus on that feeling in our chest. What's happening now?
Caller: It still feels tight, and it's tight all the way up through my shoulders.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Does it feel more tight in your shoulders or your chest?
Caller: My chest now, maybe it's moving down. It was kind higher before, and it's getting lower.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, go back into your chest. Does it feel hot or cold there?
Caller: It's still hot.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: What color is it?
Caller: It's kind of a darker dark red now. It's like turning black.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Is it moving or is it still?
Caller: It's kind of oozing down.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, I just want you to follow it. Whatever it needs to do; if it changes color, texture, temperature - if it moves down, maybe it moves down into your stomach; just allow it to move wherever it needs to, just follow it there. Where do you feel it now?
Caller: I kind of feel like it distributed out into my stomach, and I can't really feel it that much anymore.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. Do you feel it anywhere else in your body?
Caller: My shoulders are still kind of tight, but I don’t know if that's the feeling or it's just tight shoulders.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Go to your shoulders. Describe what it feels like there.
Caller: I lost it. I feel great.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: It's good. Okay. Oftentimes, our mind and our body are connected. So, if we're holding really heavy thoughts about us and about our kids and about diabetes, we might hold that tension in our shoulders.
So, we're going to go back to our breath again. And this time as we breathe in, we're going to notice the cool air as it comes in. We're going to notice how cleansing it is and how it fills us and how refreshed we feel.
And with every breath out, we're going to exhale any of that sticky red goo, any of that dark heaviness, any of that feeling that's left is just going to leave with every exhale. Just dissipate down through your arms and your shoulders, down and out through your fingertips, down through your stomach to your legs, and out through your feet to the floor.
You're going to notice it lift up through your head until it just flows out. And with every breath in, we're going to breathe an energy of light, clear, confidence, content, love; whatever that feels like for you. Breathe that into your center, and exhale anything that's left; and then take a couple of breaths, and tell me how you feel.
Caller: I was feeling good. And then the thoughts started coming back, and the monitor is out there beeping. So, the thoughts are back.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: When the feeling came in, what did it feel like?
Caller: The first time?
Crystal The Parenting Coach: After you processed it, you started to let that lighter energy in. What did it feel like?
Caller: Oh, when it felt good?
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Mm-hmm.
Caller: It felt like this sort of the absence of a bath. It felt light, and more like a light blue, fluffy cloud, sort of, lightness everywhere.
Becoming your own best friend
Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, I want you to imagine that energy just for a minute, and I want you to imagine that your best friend has two kids with diabetes - sometimes their blood sugar is high, sometimes it's low. She has a lot of kids.
She's trying to struggle to figure this out, and go to trainings and learning things. And she's feeling the pressure of being in charge of this. She's feeling like maybe in the future, these terrible things are going to happen to her kids and it's going to be her fault. And from that energy, what would you tell her?
Caller: Oh, hold on. I was just with her. I was drowning with her, but I'm in the good energy. I don't know, that she'll figure it out. She's--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: What else would you tell her if she's like sitting there, and just poured your heart out to her? And like, 'This is terrible and look, what's going to happen in the future if this keeps going,' what do you say to her?
Caller: I’d say, "Yeah, that is terrible. I'm so sorry. Good luck with that. That sounds awful."
Crystal The Parenting Coach: That sounds hard. That sounds sad. You would sit with her in that sadness.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And then, what would you say?
Caller: I would remind her of all the hard things she's already been through and handled it awesome, and that she can do this too, and that there's all sorts of help, and I'm pretty sure the doctors aren't going to let her numbers get bad enough to have that amputate.
Nowadays, they've got much better technology to manage it than that. And they'll be financially fine, and she'll be fine. And if not, then that would be fine too; it will just be really hard.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: That's the learning that you just accessed right then - that learning of it: might be hard, but we've also done really hard things - that there's people around to support us, that we can do it - that even if it's hard, we know we'll be able to figure out a way.
And that's the learning that was blocked in the beginning, when you were feeling like, 'this is all my fault and I have to do it right,' and all of that. We swirl in all of those thoughts; and those thoughts even keep coming in when we're trying to like process through it and breathe and, you know, feel something different.
They keep trying to come in because shame is just like that. Shame just keeps trying to come back in because it likes to replicate itself and grow bigger and stronger. It's like that mold that we put in the cupboard, and it just loves the dark and wants to keep growing.
But when you take time to breathe and just sit with it, you don't just like shove off your best friend and be like, 'oh, you should just think happy thoughts, it's totally fine.' You're like, 'man, that sucks. That is so hard, what you were going through. It is so tough.'
After that, you encourage her and you're like, 'Look at all these hard things you've done, it's been amazing. You've been amazing. And look at all this support that you have. And yeah, it sucks and yeah, it's tough, and I'll be here for you.' The goal isn't to just like, pretend like that negativity in our brain isn't there; it's to, like, come alongside it.
Be like, 'yeah, this is really hard.' But also, to be that person for ourselves that loves and encourages and supports us just like our best friend would, and just do that over and over again. And it will start to get easier; and that lighter, loving, supportive, encouraging voice is going to get stronger and more believable. How do you feel now?
Caller: Good. Ready to take it on.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Ready to take it on. Okay. Thank you so much for being willing to come on and show everybody what coaching is like. It was lovely.
Caller: Yeah, it was my pleasure. I love coaching, everyone should do it.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Thank you, everyone should do it. All right. We'll see you next time.
Caller: Okay, thanks.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Make sure that you give it Five Stars on Apple, and check out my monthly membership for moms in the show notes.