Pushing Aside Mom Guilt
The past year has been so hard. Bringing three kids home has been rewarding, and trying all at once. Finding balance has been harder than I ever dreamed possible, and in turn when I think about the first year with three kids one thing that keeps standing out to me was how much mom guilt I have felt. But as much as its been a strong emotion in the past year, I am really pushing myself in pushing mom guilt aside in the next year.
Just like all other moms I am constantly striving to make the best decisions for my kids. I want nothing more than for them to grow up loving God, loving others, and remembering their childhood with a smile, but that is a lot of pressure. And in today’s culture of the constant memes and reminders of things like “you only have 18 summers, so make every second count”, I am constantly feeling as though I am less than, or failing my kids when I have a bad day or have to get house work done so we’re not at the zoo. In the back of my head every bad or busy day is a wasted moment of those precious 18 years they are home.
I don’t think this is all bad. I mean I think that like anything else, sometimes guilt or remorse pushes you to do better, and be better. And trust me I want nothing more than to wake up a better mom every day, but I also want to feel less pressure to be perfect.
I decided that this summer I would keep Jack and Avé home from camps and classes because I really wanted to enjoy the summer with them. Last year Walker was a newborn, so this summer was going to be nothing but fun. But, because I felt like I needed to be the perfect mom who soaked up every second with my kids, I ended up not trusting my own gut and my own intuition. I know that my kids do better with some structure. And know that I DO BETTER with some time to get done with my never ending to-do list and work so I can be the kind of mom I need to be.
I let the pressure and guilt of being the perfect mom become a stronger force than the voice inside of me that knows how to parent my kids well. All of this is just to say that I am realizing that the hard work and guilt that goes along with parenting isn’t getting easier. Pushing mom guilt aside is always going to take work. As moms we are never going to do it right in the eyes of everyone around us. But if we love our children well, we are doing a good job and need to let go of some of the guilt. We need to allow ourselves to have time for ourselves. We need to take time with our husbands, and remember that we are allowed to have bad days, and realize that not every day has to be sunshine and rainbows by the pool to make for a happy childhood. That balance and a happy mom will be remembered well by our kids, and that the guilt we are feeling means we do love them and we are doing a good job.
The guilt, at least for me is stealing joy from a stage of life I have aways dreamt of. So for me it’s a goal to let that go. To remind myself that if today was not a good day, or our best day as family, that the next day can be. And that God willing, there is always a tomorrow to enjoy those precious souls. So instead of laying my head down in guilt at night, I am going to push that mom guilt aside and lay my head down with gratitude for the job I was given in raising them, and wake up ready to take on a new day with a smile!
photos in this post are by : Cindy Lee Photography // clothing