I am super excited to invite you to enjoy my new series, Overcoming Mommy Guilt (OMG)!
OMG is a series dedicated to just that — helping YOU overcome the mommy guilt. Before we can overcome the mommy guilt, though, we really need to pinpoint what it is. So what is it?
Mommy guilt is the crippling notion that you are a bad or insufficient mom because you don’t parent up to someone’s standards — yours or someone else’s.
YES. Finally! Someone is willing to talk about this!
Why? Because I have, myself, been both the crippled and the crippler when it comes to mommy guilt. MOST mommy guilt is unintentional when it comes from an outside source. I mean, at least when I participated, I wasn’t aware I was participating.
How does one participate in mommy guilt?
Mommy-guilting is usually something that happens when friends, acquaintances, or even random strangers offer up unsolicited advice or opinions on what “right” mothering is. It could be the adamant urging of one mom to another to consider the benefits of cloth diapering or the public refusal to feed your kids anything other than organically grown, natural food.
It could also be holding yourself to an unrealistic standard of motherhood.
Are these specific parenting choices bad? No way! They are fantastic parenting choices! BUT can you imagine how these public stances can affect the mom who would LOVE to be able to feed her children organically grown food, but she simply cannot afford it? Or what about the mom who always wanted to cloth diaper, but her life circumstances really don’t allow it (e.g., child is in childcare or she doesn’t have the support she needs to do it)?
Chances are you’ve been crippled by mommy guilt in some way or another and know exactly what I’m talking about.
I’ve spent the last six years of early motherhood battling severe mommy guilt. And when I say severe, I mean SEVERE. It was affecting me so badly that I’d feel guilty about pretty much every mothering choice I’d make because somewhere along the line I had received a burden I wasn’t meant to carry: someone else’s conviction.
(I will talk about the difference between conviction and guilt in the first post in the OMG series, so I won’t spoil it. But suffice it to say that I am not meant to carry the convictions of someone else, nor are you.)
It was starting to cause me some very serious depression because I felt that for every mothering choice I made, there was an argument against it. I couldn’t take the pressure anymore. After all, I really, really wanted to make the absolute best choices for my children. Don’t we all?
After a LOT of prayer and some healing from God, I have been able to start identifying this mommy guilt for what it is and where it comes from.
This is HUGE.
When you can identify where the guilt is coming from, you can counter the lie with truth. What is the truth? That I am a good mom because I LOVE my kids and do my very best for them every. single. day. The end. Nothing added. Let every day start new, come what may. I don’t need any more than that.
Now, can I stop moms everywhere from unintentionally (and sometimes intentionally) heaping burdens on other moms they were never meant to carry? Nope. But I CAN help you learn how to say, “NO. I’m not going to subscribe to her burden. I have my own.”
In this series, I will hammer away at the topics that tend to be the most popular in mommy-guilting in order to help other moms, like me, overcome the guilt. I invite you to come along on the journey with me.
Now it’s your turn! What are some of the things you feel guilty for as a mom? Looking back, have you ever unintentionally participated in mommy-guilting yourself? Comment below to share your thoughts. Can’t wait to hear from you!