Ep. 67 Ending Mom Guilt With Jessica Jackson

In this podcast episode, we’re talking about mom guilt! We know it’s not helpful so how can we set aside the “should statements”? Our guest, Jessica Jackson shares with us the phrase she uses instead. Click through to listen or read the recap.

Listen below or wherever you listen to podcasts by searching The Progress Project.

Listen on itunes by clicking here and picking ep. 67

Even though we know guilt is not usually a helpful feeling, most of us struggle with feelings of guilt on a daily basis. In today’s episode, we’re talking with Jessica Jackson about guilt: why we are so hard on ourselves and how to set guilt aside.

We talked about:

  1. What to do with the “should statements” we all use and the phrase to use instead

  2. Whether guilt is ever useful

  3. How guilt can actually be an opportunity to reclaim our power to CHOOSE

  4. How letting go of “should statements” free us from fear, comparison, and perfectionism

  5. How to train our brains to overcome the habit of feeling guilty

  6. Why we don’t actually need to strive so hard to improve and how we can rely on God instead

Be sure to check out Jessica Jackson’s wonderful podcast called: Thriving in Motherhood Podcast.

She’s all about recognizing and encouraging growth in our motherhood journeys!

If you like The Progress Project then you’ll love her podcast as well!

You can also find her on Instagram @thrivinginmotherhood.podcast


Recap of Episode

Have you ever thought about guilt as an opportunity to CHOOSE? Instead of thinking things have to be either/or, see if you can find another option. This tip (and the others in this post!) TRAIN our brains to overcome the habit of feeling guilty.

All About “Should Statements”

Should statements FEEL productive but it’s a false sense of security. You’re not actually making progress -- they don’t really get you anywhere.

Changing “should” statements to “I would like to…”

  • Puts the ball back in your court, allows you to become proactive again

  • Helps us recognize it’s not always an either/or decision -- there is a whole rainbow of choices, not just two

Not using should statements was amazing because now there was no more guilt. I was no longer making a moral decision 100 times a day. I was just making a choice.

After asking this “I would like to” question and going down the path of making a decision and working down the proactive steps, the guilt just was gone. There was nothing left to feel guilty over.

What letting go of should statements really did for me was help me be okay with messing up and with not making the right choice all the time and being willing to own that. Being willing to say I’m sorry, letting go of some pride, recognizing the need for a Savior, being okay to repent.

It gave me a sense of “Oh it’s not all on me anymore. I’m supposed to make choices so that I can mess up so that I can learn. That’s part of the point. It’s no longer moral decisions all the time -- I really just need to be making some choices and then I can learn from those choices. And when it’s not a great choice or it has a consequence that wasn’t great, I can repent and say I’m sorry and make a different choice the next time. I had to get rid of those should statements before I could go down the path that I believe is intended for all of us to learn.


Feeling guilty as a parent?

We love what Jessica said about feeling guilty as a parent and maybe you can relate to this.

She said, “I have the assumption that I need to be accessible to my children 100% of the time. I “should” always say yes, but one of the things that I’ve had to start thinking about is recognizing that my kids also need to learn that they’re part of a family unit.

There are times when saying yes is really important and dropping everything is really important -- but that’s the exception, not the rule. And I feel like as moms we always hear that exception…. I’m recognizing that for me I have to start coming to terms with there being more than one choice. Recognizing the guilt is so important -- and then looking at the other options.”

Things to remember when you’re feeling guilty:

  • Not everything is a moral decision.

  • Own your choice in that moment.

  • When you feel the guilt → what am I thinking right now?

  • Guilt can start the car, but it can’t make it go.

Once I start feeling guilty, my behavior just plummets. The guilt does more damage than the initial problem.

Ask the question about a guilty thought, ‘Is it useful?’ Maybe if I go through the process from ‘What is the thought?’ ‘Is it useful?’ ‘Is it true?’ and see where it leads me, that can open my mind to other possibilities. Especially if it’s a recurring thought that leads me to feel guilty every day.

Letting Go of The Guilt & Trying To Be a Perfect Parent

“I just have to keep reminding myself that the whole point is growth. And that’s happening. I can guarantee it. The point isn’t perfection or not making mistakes… it’s really just growth for us and for our kids. That’s the point.” - Jessica

“When I let go of those things and turn it to God, He can always help me so much more. Why do I ever resist that? Let go of the reins sometimes and say to God, ‘I’m doing my part and You do your part because You do it so much better.’ “ - Laura

“There’s so much that we try to do to STRIVE so hard to make ourselves better. And I have to remember it’s not something I have to do alone. It’s not just up to me. I have this lifeline available all the time and what a relief that is. I don’t know how you would even face the challenges of life -- and motherhood especially -- without that. “ - Kristin


Letting go of the guilt teaches us to be okay with messing up and with not making the right choice all the time. We don’t have to be perfect! It’s all about growth, choices, and the chance to progress. In this podcast episode, we’re talking about mom guilt!

Links Mentioned in this episode:

  • Be sure to check out Jessica Jackson’s podcast called: Thriving in Motherhood Podcast. She’s all about recognizing and encouraging growth in our motherhood journeys and each episode is go great!

  • You can find Jessica Jackson on Instagram @thrivinginmotherhood.podcast

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