Well, here it is. In all of its despicable glory…my mom guilt. Oh, its real folks, and its a powerful enemy I and many, many other mom’s allow to stir in our brains, robbing us of feeling confident and satisfied in this journey of motherhood.
Here is a short list of some of my mom guilt. I feel guilty that:
- I don’t spend enough individual one-on-one time with each of my 3.
- I don’t play enough with them.
- I’m too impatient, too often.
- I put too much pressure on my oldest.
- I don’t spend enough time with my 4 year old in preparation for school.
- I don’t read enough with them.
- They watch too much tv and play too much game time (even though we have time limits)
- I don’t integrate enough biblical principles into every day life.
- I don’t talk about God enough.
- I don’t spend enough time with my husband.
- One kid might feel left out or not as loved as the other ones.
- They eat too many snacks.
- I’m selfish too often and do my own thing too much. (ie. this blog!)
This is just a sampling of the guilt that mingles in my noggin all day long. My mom guilt has an outright party in my brain! One guilty thought is like, “This is great! Open 24/7! I’m going to invite some of my other guilty friends to this party! Hey, guilt, pass the chips!” Some of these feelings may be valid, some may not be. Some can be addressed, some are a useless expenditure of mental energy. And maybe I’m just crazy! Am I the only one that has this much of that mom guilt guiding my thoughts?
I decided yesterday that I put all this guilt on a throne in my life. It takes a ton of energy to think and think and think about all the mistakes and all the ways you’re falling short as a mom. I’ve made my guilt an idol! I worship my guilt! I make lists in my head about how I fail, or my fears of failing my children more often than I think of anything else. Is that ridiculous or what?
What I really want is God to take the place of my mom guilt. I want His wishes and guidance and principles to be the main stage of my thoughts. I want to feel confident in my role as parent and I know if I make some changes about the way I allow my mom guilt to rule, it is possible.
Step 1: Admit it. When the thought occurred to me, I validated it, mentally. I didn’t brush it off, or hide it with another guilty thought. I truly owned up to it, myself.
Step 2: Say it out loud! When I realized that I do a tremendous amount of guilty thinking and feeling about how I’m raising my kid’s, and worrying about how they’ll turn out as teenagers or adults, I said it out loud. I told my husband, who at first looked at me like a 3 headed monster. One for each kid ;). But I truly believe that admitting it, out loud, is tremendously important in taking away its’ power and imminent domain over me, alone. I wasn’t in it alone anymore.
Step 3: Make a list. Making an actual, physical list that you write down in key. No mental lists!! Those are the lists that invade healthy, productive thought and keep us up at night. I wrote down a list of all the things that encompassed my mom guilt. Going through it, I crossed off the items that were a waist of energy and in doing so, hopefully, in a symbolic way also crossed it off my mental list of mom guilt. The things I felt that I could address, I prayed about them and came up with some solutions and ways to integrate them into our current routine. (ie. When Jaxon has homework time, so can Preston; giving him a little bit more school prep and develop a healthy habit of school work for when he starts kindergarten in the fall.)
Step 4: Rinse and Repeat 😉. Mom guilt is not ever going to disappear from my psyche totally. I think it will temporarily move out, since the lights came on at the party. My true self says, “Ok guilt, time to leave! You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!” And guilt is like, “Aaawww maaaan!…that was a great party,” and grabs a bowl of chips on its’ way out, leaving a strategic trail of the broken pieces to find its’ way back at some point. And when that mom guilt tries to climb its’ way back up on that throne, we must begin step 1 again! In time, it will take that guilt longer and longer to find its’ way back and will arrive with a much smaller list of guilty guests.
If you can see that mom guilt as a ruling force in your mind, make the actionable step of saying it, posting it, confiding in spouse or friend about it. Dethroning the mom guilt, will make room for your true self to take the throne instead. For me, its my self as God sees me.
Til’ next time, be blessed!! #DStrong
(Re-post me!…I truly appreciate you reading, Thanks y’all!)