Mom Guilt Syndrome
Probably the one thing that every parent, but especially moms, have in common. This little voice that whispers in our ear, "you are not doing enough!" It often appears when our children are disappointed with a decision we have made, and no matter how sure we are of our decision at the moment, the voice creeps in when our children walk away or go to sleep.
Does anyone know what I am talking about??
I often find myself running in every direction trying to do everything for everyone and trying to make all of my children happy. I go and go, taking kids to sports, play dates, fun outings, and many times, after doing all of this I get asked for something that I say no to. This 'no' leads to, in many cases, an upset child who doesn't understand why 'they never get to do anything' (sound familiar?). After the storm settles that little voice begins inside my head, "Did you have to say no? Couldn't you have just said yes and let them do what they wanted? Why can't they go over to their friends house or go out and have fun? Why can't they stay up late and watch t.v.?"
Sometimes it isn't even anything that upsets them or that they are aware of. Questioning whether or not I am doing enough for them or with them. Feeling guilty over not reading to them everyday or not cooking an elaborate meal for dinner. Wondering if home-schooling them is the right decision or if putting them in school would be better for them.
You guys, this guilt, this mom guilt syndrome, is so hard to get rid of because we all just want what is best for our children. How many of you put yourself before them? I would guess that not many if any. We have these little beings and our lives begin to revolve around raising them, protecting them and loving them. Sometimes, what we see as failures they see as the best of memories or, when we try to go big they just want the simple things.
One year my husband was working out of Victoria and we had the opportunity to take the kids and spend the night there. The day before I took the kids to meet him (we had four at the moment) I found out that there was going to be a plane show that night. Him and I chatted and decided that we would walk there from the hotel, watch the show with the kids (thinking they would love it), eat dinner at the food trucks and walk back. Well we get to the hotel and all the children wanted was to swim in the pool and order dinner in so they could eat dinner in front of the t.v. Caught up in the idea we had we said no and pushed on with our plan. Guys, to say it was a disaster would be an understatement. We learned very quickly that we had tried too hard and should have just stayed in the room. You see, we wanted to do so much for them when in reality they just wanted to hang out together. So many times we do that in different aspects of our parenting and essentially set ourselves up to fall for mom-guilt.
Know That Your Best is Good Enough!
Know that your best is good enough!
If you are truly doing the best that you can, you are doing enough. None of us can ever be perfect and we will all disappoint our children at some point in their lives but we need to have faith that as long as we are doing our best for them we are enough.
The fact of the matter is we don't have all the answers and sometimes we might make a decision that we regret or change, but acknowledging our mistake and learning from it is what helps us to grow and become even better moms; it should not be a reason to beat ourselves up over (I know, easier said than done).
I have always loved the saying, 'do your best and God will do the rest' and I try to remind myself of it when the little voice begins to creep in. God will not give you more than you can handle and He will always open the paths to the right decisions if you pray and have faith. I am not talking about whether to allow your child to watch an extra show or not, I am talking about those bigger decisions that often weigh heavy on our hearts and mind.
My husband and I have both experienced many times how God works to block paths He does not want us going down and opens those that He sees fit. Be it how He lined up the house we currently live in so that our children can attend the school we had been looking at but thought we wouldn't be able to make work as it was too far. Or how He put situations in place and worked on my heart to pull the kids out of school and homeschool them the same year that the pandemic hit (those who know me know that I was very opposed to homeschooling). Having the kids already home and set up with their routines allowed us to have at least one part of our lives remain semi normal. Now, it seems that every time I consider putting them back in school I have someone talk to me or something happen that confirms to me that I am doing the right thing for our family, and I stress the 'for my family'; what is right for us may not be right for you.
This brings me to my next point. We are all different and our families are all different; what works for some of us may not work for others. Let us lift each other up and learn from one another rather than judge each other and become the reason behind the mom guilt someone may feel.
The Mom Hive
None of us have it all together and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Some of us are amazing crafters and have all the patience in the world to craft with our little minions (I do not!). Others can work wonders in the kitchen and send their kids to school with the most amazing lunches! Some of us are able to provide the open homes to have friends over and give other moms a break.
Let's build a mom hive! A safe space where we can all work together to provide our children with all the best while being there for each other and building each other up! We do not have to be perfect at everything! Do you know how relieving that is? Knowing that you are enough and that someone has got your back? Rather than feeling guilty for not being awesome at everything, you can bless each other and thrive in what you are great at. Having a safe hive allows some of the mom guilt to go away because you know you have people watching your back and helping. Maybe your are a baker and your friend is a crafter. Working together would allow both of your children to get the best of both worlds and would eliminate any guilt you have for not providing the opposite experience.
In conclusion, just remember that we are all in this together and we all suffer from the same mom guilt syndrome. Have faith in God, have faith in yourself and know that your best is enough. Furthermore, find your mom hive and use it to grow out of having mom guilt and into loving and appreciating all that you do have to offer!
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.