Can we talk about “mom guilt?” Why is it a thing? Like a crippling, debilitating AWFUL thing? A thing that we as moms *whispers* sometimes do to ourselves?”
Last week, I felt like the biggest slacker because Caleb had Panera for dinner three times in a row (don’t judge). Even though I remembered his swim clothes for school, attended a parent meeting during lunch, took him to a doctor’s appointment, AND grabbed milk on the way home, it just felt like I could have done more. My mind could clearly point out the many reasons why I wasn’t a bad mother, but I was too busy comparing myself to what a perfect mom looks like and does. Have you ever had a moment like this?
I flipped to the “Motherhood” chapter in 31 Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer for additional encouragement and saw the following sentence in the prayer.
God, help me lay down the fears that come with motherhood… The guilt and worry that I am not enough.
“Not enough.” Reading those two words stopped me dead in my tracks. I recently shared my focus on the concept of enough which is a pain point where God continues to challenge me.
The Gratitude Factor
In that moment, I felt so defeated but something whispered into my spirit, “Think of everything that you have done and be grateful for what has gone right.” I decided that I wouldn’t let that one moment take away everything that I somehow managed to get done in one day.
I made the choice to focus on the many things for which I was grateful. I was grateful for a favorable doctor’s appointment. I was grateful to have health insurance for my son. I was grateful for the ability to put food in his mouth – even if it came from Panera. It is so easy to forget our small wins. Practicing gratitude helps us avoid that.
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If you find yourself on the verge of tears after a day in which everything seemed to go wrong, take yourself through a gratitude exercise. A simple one is to think of three things that you are grateful for in that moment. When I set my thoughts above the negative feelings and focused on the little yet meaningful victories, I extended a little grace to myself and told “mom guilt” to hit the road. As Emily Ley says in her book, “Grace and gratitude go hand in hand.”
Your day may not have been perfect but you made it. Kiss your baby, pour a glass of wine, and pray for a better day tomorrow.