Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mommy Guilt

Let's see, I think it began when I turned my back for just a second and my toddler fell down the stairs.

Er, no. It was before that.

I guess it was the time I didn't pack enough diapers for our outing, so my baby had to sit in a poopy mess and ended up with a terrible diaper rash.

On the other hand, I remember feeling it when I had such a hard time figuring out how to nurse, and I was afraid my baby wasn't going to thrive.

Or maybe it began while I was still at the hospital after giving birth. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed in tears with the realization that when I went home, there would be no Nurse Button. And I didn't think I'd be able to handle a baby on my own.

Then again, that feeling may have been creeping in while I was still pregnant - wondering if I was eating the right foods, and hoping all the parenting resources I was consuming would keep me from failing as a mommy.

Whenever it began, I have to admit it's still with me some days. Even as recently as last week when we had a "discussion" about a math test Josh needs to take. He's known since the beginning of June the test was coming, but he hasn't been studying. (Too busy fishing, you know!) And I haven't been nagging reminding him about reviewing.
So when he approached me with a mix of panic and apathy (That's a hard combination to muster. You ought to try it sometime. *wink*) saying he didn't want to take the test, I wondered if I had done the wrong thing by not nagging reminding. While I knew he would have been annoyed with me for reminding nagging him about studying, I wondered if I should have done it, anyway. But then there was the thought about the reality that the boy needs to learn responsibility. He's old enough to do what he knows he needs to do. Still, I battled with the notion that I should have done more, and quickly found myself up against another episode of, here it is:

Mommy Guilt
The pervasive feeling of failure which lurks in the gut of maternal beings every time they do something wrong (real or perceived) in or around the lives of their offspring. Also known as the illusion which sometimes causes these maternal beings to believe said offspring are doomed to a life of agony and hopelessness, simply because they were not born to a "perfect" maternal specimen.

Can I get a witness?

The good news is, when I moaned to my husband (a.k.a. my voice of reason), "Why can't I ever get anything right???" he graciously talked some sense into me. And I want to share the same encouragement with you, my fellow moms-who-struggle-with-mommy-guilt.
We don't get it "right" all the time (or much of the time) and that's OK.

Our children are not going to fail in life just because we aren't perfect.

God IS perfect, and HE will work through us - in spite of us - to bring our children to adulthood.

We can rest in God's grace and be motivated by His love, rather than driven by Mommy Guilt.
And again I ask, Can I get a witness?



Kaira said...

I have so much mommy guilt. Thankful for those truths!

Karen Hossink said...

Kaira - Lift your hands out in front of you, start uncurling your fingers, and let.it.go!
I love you!!!

Anonymous said...

amen....hugs***chera (you got me as a witness, hehe)

Karen Hossink said...

Chera - Thanks for being a witness. :)