Mom guilt is something that you have suffered from at least once if you are a mom. I think for some of us, it even starts before our babies are even born.
You what I am talking about. It’s those nagging feelings you get or those thoughts that creep up on you that leave you full of regret or feeling guilty. You feel this way because of something that you did to your kids or, and more often (as in my case) it is for something that you didn’t do for them.
What is Mom Guilt and Why Do We Suffer?
For me, a pang of common mom guilt I have is about my son and hockey. I lie awake at night feeling regret for not letting him continue with a sport he loved.
Another common one is from when my daughter was born. At the time, we were living in a two-bedroom apartment with my husband and me in one room and my son in the other. We put a crib in our bedroom and emptied one of our dressers for her turning the top into a changing table. I really wished we could have given her space of her own from the beginning.
There are so many other reasons that moms may suffer. You may yell at your child and instantly feel guilty. Or you may have forgotten something that you had promised. The list could go on and on and I am sure that you have quite a few coming to mind as you read this.
It is normal to feel guilty or to have regrets. We are, after all, only human. We will make mistakes in life and sometimes those mistakes will come back to haunt us in the middle of the night when we can’t sleep (or does that only happen to me?).
Why is Mom Guilt A Lie?
Mom guilt is a lie because it isn’t real. Yes, something really did (or didn’t) happen that causes that guilt, but that something is also in the past and I am sure that you have done your best to get past it. I know that in my situations, my kids don’t even really care. My daughter had her own room by the time she turned two. She doesn’t even remember living in the apartment. My son had to quit hockey because he was aging out of the program he was in and due to his developmental issues he wasn’t at the level he needed to be in order to move up. This is fine with him because we got him into taekwondo and he is now a red belt and doing really great.
So, if mom guilt isn’t real, then why do we suffer so much? Why is it that every mom seems to have some form of it to a certain degree? Well, that is because mom guilt or basically any regret that we as women have (it just seems that as mamas, we tend to worry about our kids more) is the condemnation that we feel deep down in our innermost soul. It is so deep down inside of us that it becomes part of us.
What is really happening is that we are condemning ourselves based on lies that the Devil is telling us. This is one of his favorite things to do. He just plants one little seed of a lie and as mamas, it tugs at our heartstrings. It doesn’t take long are we are doing his work for him by believing that lie and making it personally a part of us.
God is not convicting you!
How do I know that this condemnation is from the devil and not God convicting us to be better parents? Romans 8:1 tells us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” That is a pretty powerful statement and it helps us see that what this mom guilt is really doing is attacking our identity as mothers.
This attack on our identity is especially hard for stay-at-home-mamas because the lies we are believing are attacking the one thing we spend the most time doing. Mothering is our day job and a huge part of our identity. Yes, we are wives and church volunteers. We may homeschool and drive carpool, the list goes on and on. But basically, we are full-time mothers and doubting our ability to do that job is a major blow to not only our self-esteem but also our faith.
Now, do you see why the enemy takes the time to hit us like this? But there is hope.
Tips for Success
- You need to learn to recognize the lies for what they are and not allow them to take root.
- You need to realize that this is probably a bigger deal for you than for your child. If you are unsure, sit down and talk to your children about what is bothering you and see what they have to say. Sometimes, hearing them say that they forgive you is all it takes.
- You need to understand and believe what God says about you: “You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
- You need to tell the Devil to get out of your head and to stop telling you lies. Scream it if you have to.
- And lastly, if there is really something that can still be done for your situation that you have not done yet, make amends, or do what you need to do to fix the situation. Apologies and forgiveness work wonders for our spirit.
Have you been successful in ridding yourself of mom guilt?
Did you find this article helpful in recognizing the lies that you are believing? Have you been able to move forward or are you still working on your list? Please share any insight you might have by leaving a comment below.
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