It is so real. MOM GUILT. It would kill us if we let it! But the good news is, we have each other- and these reminders for when that voice inside tries to tell us we aren’t doing a good job at this motherhood gig.
1. Quality over quantity: Let’s face it. We can’t be everywhere, all the time. We have jobs, commitments, and tasks that often pull us away from our kids. And sometimes that time away can weigh heavy on your heart. But guess what? It isn’t about how many hours you spend with your little one, it is about the QUALITY of time together. So make a real commitment to put down the cell phone, turn off the TV, and plug in. Get on their level, make eye contact, and really listen to what they are saying. Ask them to lead the way! Even if you work all day and are only home for a few hours before bedtime, make an impact with those moments you have together by being FULLY present.
2. Check your expectations: We all do it. We over expect from ourselves and often under deliver, leading to much disappointment and unnecessary heart ache. Remember, you are only one person, doing the very best you can! Check those unrealistic expectations at the door, and do NOT compare yourself to any other momma (or social media pages!). Comparisons steal your joy and will distract or rob you entirely of #1.
3. Gratitude for others: I remember the first time I hired our sitter and left the house. I was heartbroken. Did I fail? Am I not enough? Am I too selfish? The thoughts twirled around in my head. Then a wise friend told me something I have never forgotten. “What a gift it is to allow other people in to love your child.” WHAT? A gift? That perspective shift is what I really needed (and still lean into) whenever those thoughts of guilt creep in. Our sitter has become a huge part of our family, and my girls adore time with her! Press into gratitude whenever you feel guilty about a teacher, coach, family member, or sitter helping out with (AKA loving on) your babies.
4. Trust in God to fill the gaps: Sometimes if I am not careful I can run myself into the ground trying to “do it all.” Talk about #burnout! But then I remember I don’t have to do it all. I was never created to do it all. And neither are you! One of my favorite quotes that I have hanging in my home office is this (paraphrased): “your responsibility as a parent is to guide your child to be less dependent on you and completely dependent on God.” I have no idea where I got it from, but I remember when I read it a light bulb went off and I immediately jotted it down! Yet in order for me to “teach” this, I have to really trust, model and allow God into the areas of my life first. Less scrambling to do it all myself, and more focus on allowing Him in to fill those spaces that I can not.
5. Return to Grace: Whenever I am asked for “mothering advice,” I usually run (jk!). If I do share anything at all, it is this: forgive yourself often. Ya’ll, this mom thing is hard. Like, really hard. But don’t make it harder by holding yourself captive to shame, mistakes or stuff of the past. We all are imperfect. We all blow up at our kids or serve a cheese stick and pickle for dinner because we are tired. But when things aren’t going well, when you react poorly, or make a mistake- return to grace for yourself. Do not allow the past to hold you back from doing better in the future. God knows your heart, and He trusted you with those babies for a reason. Believe in that!
How do you handle “mom guilt?” I would love to hear from you. Share with me below your thoughts on this post.
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