Overcoming Mom Guilt
Raise your hand if you’ve ever made a parenting mistake and felt bad about it.
Yeah. That’s what I thought.
Okay. Now raise your hand if you’ve ever felt guilty about doing something that wasn't a true sin and obsessed over that.
Yup. Me too.
Mom guilt is a real thing. It’s an energy drainer, a joy stealer, and can suck the life right outta ya.
It can also be a major distraction in your life if you are trying to raise children on behalf of the Lord.
Sometimes, I am so busy obsessing over my faults and sins, I’m not even thinking about the children. Or God.
I’m too busy thinking about being a better mom – than actually just being a better mom. Go figure.
Guilt, according to Webster is:
1. fact of having committed an offense.
2. feeling of responsibility for offenses.
There is a difference between being guilty and feeling guilty.
Let's break it down.
Real Mommy Guilt Scenario (true story):
I'm in the bathroom attempting to shower a tired and hungry 4-year-old. He's whining and fussing and definitely not cooperating. He's not following my directions. He's arguing and purposely disobeying me.
I grit my teeth and growl, "Will you just stop it? You're acting like a brat!"
...complete silence…the rebellion ceases…he's finally rinsed off…and he's silently crying.
"Mommy? What's a brat?"
This, my friends, is a guilty mom. I committed the offense.
I still feel bad and regret those words to this day.
(I really regretted them after he got alone with Grandma and told her the whole story.)
Fake Mommy Guilt Scenario (true story):
Sometimes I feed the kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, for like, nine days in a row.
Sometimes I don't want to homeschool them.
Sometimes I think I am doing them a disservice because I haven't signed them up for piano lessons.
And they are not learning Latin.
And they haven't seen Disney World.
I don’t sew their clothes from scratch.
I don’t grow their vegetables from scratch.
I don’t make their brownies from scratch.
None of this is exactly horrible or offensive. No harm has been done.
I am not guilty of any wrong doing.
And yet, I feel guilty.
I don't know about you and your kids, but we don't need any more crazy at our house.
So, how do we let go of the guilt?
For starters, when we are actually guilty of something, we need to stop and recognize that feeling. Identify the guilt. Get acquainted with it.
(Of course, apologize for whatever you did to whoever you did it to.)
Once we're familiar with what legit guilt actually feels like, it's easier to identify the fake kind.
There is no spiritual condemnation with fake guilt. There are a bunch of other bad feelings that taint our hearts and minds, but no real feelings of conviction.
(Those I-should-be-a-better-mom feelings are not associated with fake guilt. That's a feeling of inadequacy. Been there. Done that, too.)
Next, consult the Lord.
Considering God's point of view is imperative.
Honestly, I don't think He cares about the peanut butter and jelly thing I've got going on.
And I know He answered prayer by providing the extracurricular activities our children are involved in. And Latin 'aint one of 'em.
The homeschooling was His idea. And when I feel like I cannot do it another minute, He reminds me to trust Him. He knows how hard this is for me. I don't think He's disappointed when I'm having a rough time and want to quit.
Now, losing my temper and calling my preschooler a brat is a different story.
Yeah, God was not pleased with that.
The difference is - even though I was guilty - HE never made me feel guilty. He immediately forgave me. He mended the pain I had caused.
Satan, on the other hand, is passing out icky feelings like there's no tomorrow and I'm grabbing them up like lotto tickets.
REAL GUILT is knowing when we have sinned.
FAKE GUILT is feeling a bunch of inappropriate emotions towards ourselves and our mothering abilities.
We must identify where we actually stand with the Lord and ignore everything else.
Then we are free to move on with a clear conscience and keep rockin’ it as a mom.
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