As any parent knows, there is a special gift that comes with the honor of having children called “mommy guilt.” You are barraged from day 1 of your pregnancy with lists of don’t-do that-but-be-sure-to-do-this. And far too often, those lists contradict each other. To cry it out or not, babywear or not, breastfeed or not. We are constantly worried that we are too little, too impatient, too tired. That we are not enough. That we cannot possibly be providing for the emotional well-being of these tiny humans, and so we may as well start saving our pennies to help with the cost of therapy when they grow up.
Guilt is not of God. He did not create us to feel less than.
Strategies for Moving Past Mommy Guilt
When you get stuck in the rut of feeling mommy guilt, here are some practical tools that you can use to move forward in a more healthy and productive manner.
1. Rest in knowing that you are not perfect, but you are enough!
This one is hard, but there is something so freeing in stopping. In acknowledging your shortcomings and moving past them. I WILL lose my patience. I WILL make mistakes. And my beautiful daughters, God willing, will grow up to be mothers who will also lose their patience and make mistakes.
What we do today will significantly impact how our children feel about their role as mother.
2. Apologize when necessary.
Because we will make mistakes, we must be able to deal with those mistakes and move on from them in a healthy manner. Turn an “oops” into a learning experience. Teach your kids the importance of acknowledging mistakes and taking responsibility for them.
3. Play to your strengths.
I saw a meme once that read, “When something goes wrong, just yell PLOT TWIST and move on!” and it has stuck with me! What a funny way to express a profound idea. When you are stuck in a rut and experiencing mommy guilt, yell PLOT TWIST and move on to an activity that plays to your strengths! We all have strengths and weaknesses as moms. KNOW your strengths. Write them down to look at if you need a reminder some days.
On days when you’re feeling “Mommy Guilt,” what tips or tricks help you move forward?