Martyr vs Maven

“Wait, how do I have mom guilt, if I’m not even a mom?” I said.

“You were bred to be a mom,” my coach replied.

I laughed but she was right…

If you were socialized as a woman, you were bred for motherhood and all the selfless martyr crap that comes with it.

I was feeling guilty about a decision where I took into account both my needs and also the needs of the other person.

I felt like my needs shouldn’t matter as much and I should focus on the other person’s needs. And that it was selfish to think about myself. 

But after the mom guilt convo with my coach, I started to look at it differently.

I thought about being on the receiving end of martyrdom.

I used to have a boss like that. She didn’t mind if you interrupted her quiet work, she was always there to help out, she’d work overtime to get everything done, and would even show up to work sick.

But then she’d get behind on her own work and get stressed and then sometimes things would switch and I’d have to take care of her.

I compared that to my therapist who takes amazing care of me AND takes amazing care of herself.

Sometimes when I try to schedule a last-minute session, she says, “No, I don’t have space this week but why don’t you email me and I can try to support you that way.”

Other times when I’ve been in a really difficult situation she’s taken a call from me on a Saturday. Not from a place of martyrdom but from a place of knowing I was in a really rough spot and wanting to give.

By taking excellent care of herself, she’s able to take amazing care of me. Even though I don’t always get everything I WANT, she really deeply supports me.

And the tables never turn. I never have to unexpectedly take care of her because she’s stressed herself out to the point of no return.

And it actually feels WAY BETTER to have this boundaried consistent support.

And so that’s the support I want to give to others.

I want to HAVE NEEDS and HAVE BOUNDARIES so that I can show up consistently with love.

And I want to offer that YOUR people: whether it’s your kids, clients, friends, family, partner(s) want that too.

You get to have needs. You get to take care of yourself. You get to be a happier mom or reiki practitioner or spouse or friend. And EVERYBODY wins.

Build those boundaries!!


PS If you have the intuitive sense that forgoing your own needs is what’s been holding you back from making the money you’re meant to make in your creative and sacred business, I can help.

I want to offer you a free one-hour consultation where we’ll look at what relationships you’re over-giving in and what can help you get unstuck.

Book FOR FREE here.



Author: Bryn Bamber

Career Coach Bryn Bamber helps people like you find a career that’s aligned with your goals. Her Burnout to Brilliance program teaches you how to make small shifts that will free up tons of energy for the things you really love. Start today with your FREE Checklist: Decrease Stress and Get an Hour of Your Day Back! Get it here - Learn more about Bryn & the Burnout to Brilliance program at

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