I could write a series on mommy guilt alone.
Day 2 (and I probably won’t really have time to post on weekends, just so you know):
We get pulled in so many different directions as a mother.
Comforting a child in the middle of the night, changing diapers, helping with dental hygiene, planning and preparing meals, cleaning up spills, braiding hair, finding that missing soccer shin guard (why can’t she wear the pink ones today?), driving to gymnastics on a Friday evening, listening oh, so intently to the telling of nonsensical stories about the teens’ antics at youth group, monitoring online activity, limiting screen time, keeping up with seasonal clothing that fits four children and doesn’t make them look (or feel) weird.
And the devil just loves to pile on the guilt to make us doubt everything.
It’s exhausting enough doing all the mothering things without those twinges of guilt.
And then there are the moms at the library storytime, play group, homeschool co-op, church, or wherever-it-is-that-you-socialize-with-other-mothers.
It’s hard not comparing.
yeah, yeah, yeah, I know comparison is the thief of joy.
How do we eliminate guilty feelings?
No, not going out at all isn’t really a viable option, though I have seasons when I just want to stay home more.
Dying to self kinda sucks and our flesh will buck and kick like a bronco. That means you’re doing it right. Expect resistance.
1. Stay in The Word. Read and study the Bible – alone, with your husband, with your kids, with other moms.
2. Pray. Unceasingly. Especially around and with your kids. Teach them an attitude and lifestyle of prayer.
3. Be proactive. What are your goals as a mother? What do you want your relationship with your adult children to be like? Plan for that. Start now. Even if your eldest child is a few months old.
4. Find a mentor. This is harder than it should be. Lots of women talk the Titus 2 talk, but few walk the walk. Seek out a woman from church or in your community whom you admire and befriend her. Invite her over for coffee/tea/kombucha or out to lunch or for a snack at an affordable café. You don’t have to send an engraved and embossed invitation to her requesting the honor of her mentorship (though I would be your Jane Austen-ish bestie if you did that!). Just start out as friends. Most of us want to be a friend. My mentors are more or less my peers, some with kids older than mine and most with kids younger than mine. I still learn lots from them!
5. Turn off the TV. Or the Internet. Or your smart phone. Or even that relationship with that worldly neighbor. Whatever it is that distracts and encourages comparison. If you’re overwhelmed by your family (or yourself) constantly exclaiming, “I want that [insert worthless item here that will be discarded next week]!” or “She has the hottest-newest-sparkly-overpriced-thingamajig!” then it’s time to remove the temptation. It’s amazing how much more we accomplish and how improved everyone’s attitudes are since we rarely see commercials or adverts.
And all this will help alleviate mommy guilt. Mostly.
Except when you have to explain to your kids or the neighbor or the in-law why you choose to live differently and make different choices. That’s a whole ‘nother story.
It’s for your sanity, Mama.