If you’re a mom that smokes and you’re feeling that “smoking mom guilt” , I want you to stop feeling guilty.
I've got three big tips to help you not only stop feeling guilty, but to really start moving towards being a mom who can quit smoking cold turkey.
I’ve worked with so many moms in my clinical practice in Los Angeles, and I’ve seen a lot of tears in that practice.
Tears from moms who feel bad because they’re hiding outside in the backyard to smoke, hiding from their kids. Or they can’t wait until their kids go to bed at night so they can sneak out onto the porch to have a glass of wine and smoke.
First off, I want you to know that you’re not alone. There are a lot of moms who smoke. But what I see a lot when moms try to stop smoking, are mistakes.
Actually, there’s TWO main mistakes that I see moms make who are trying to stop smoking.
Often moms will say they must be weak or not have any discipline since they couldn’t stop smoking for good. But the answer is they aren’t. And neither are you. You’re a mom who works really hard, but your brain is hard-wired to believe that smoking is your reward for working hard. That smoking is your break from all the mom work. So first, in order to combat that, you first have to get rid of the guilt. You have to own the fact that you’re a smoker.
The sooner you do that, the sooner you’ll be able to be a mom who has quit smoking cold turkey. When you feel guilty about it, and see it as a guilty pleasure, it continues the smoking cycle. You feel so bad about yourself for smoking even though you want to quit, but when you feel bad, you want to smoke. Can you see the cycle? You let go of the guilt momentarily and basically just say screw it.
Our brains get addicted to that cycle. So you say you aren’t going to smoke, and you repeat that to yourself over and over. Then oh well, I’m going to smoke. It’s that release that most people are majorly addicted to. What you want to do instead is own it. Admit that you work hard. All moms work hard, and get exhausted and deserve a reward. You have to own the fact that you’re a smoking mom.
That’s the first step to eliminating the guilt that you feel, because that guilt is what is keeping you a smoking mom. Once you do that, you’ll start to get really clear that smoking isn’t bringing you a lot of value. Because honestly, smoking is what keeps us from being really present in our lives and with our kids. It’s not the answer to relieve your stress or the reward for your hard work.
Now the second thing is to recognize here is as follows...I'm going to paint a picture of junior here. Sweet, sweet little child, right? Children, we love them, right? I love my children. I'd give my life for my children. My children are annoying sometimes though, can you identify with me on this?
Children, and especially small children, they're loud. You always need to watch them and they can be very annoying. I'm just going to say it so you don't have to. So this mom of junior hears the same questions repeated all day, helps with homework, deals with his attitude, cooks his food, cleans his clothes, takes care of him when he’s sick. And because this mom is with her child all of the time, she needs an escape occasionally.
She needs to get away from being constantly stimulated and needed every second of the day. This is the same whether you work out of the home or not. Children are very stimulating to our brains in general. So this mom goes outside to smoke a cigarette. What’s happening, is her brain is getting a few minutes of no stimulation. Basically, she gets to enjoy a state of nothingness that we all need at times. So because her brain associates this peace and quiet with a cigarette, her brain will bug her for a cigarette when it needs that peace and quiet.
You need little breaks from your kids or they will overstimulate you and drive you crazy. What people do when they’re trying not to smoke, is they’re with their kids all the time. Like little junior’s mom. Whenever she would try to quit smoking, she didn’t take those breaks. Then her brain would scream at her needing a cigarette. But you don’t have to have a cigarette to take a break from your kids.
You can go to your bathroom and just sit and read a magazine. You can go into your bedroom, shut your door, and just take a few minutes to chill away from your kids. Go on the porch with a cup of tea and a book for ten or fifteen minutes. You deserve a reward for all that you do for your kids everyday. It’s hard work! You need that time where you can just let your hair down and relax. And you can chill out as a non-smoker!
You can become a non-smoker, I believe in you.
It's just about getting really clear about who you are, which is a smoking mom in transition to becoming a non-smoker. You have to believe in yourself and recognize that you do need to take those breaks and give yourself permission to stop feeling guilty.
In time, you’ll come up with many different ways to take care of yourself that don’t involve smoking. I know you can do this, you just have to get rid of the guilt.
Just get ready to stop smoking, and smoke only as much as you need to smoke to be done. And start to take those breaks away from your kids! You’ve done it as a smoker, it’s possible as a non-smoker.
And if you need more help to stop smoking cold turkey, learn more about my online hypnosis-based stop smoking program, Smokefree123, here.