Let’s Ditch the Mom Guilt

ditching the mom guiltFirst of all, let me just tell you that I’ve always been a person who struggles with feeling guilty. As a teenager and young adult, I can remember agonizing over someone being upset with me or hurting someone’s feelings. I once went through a break-up that I knew was the right thing, but I still felt so guilty choosing happiness for myself. Since becoming a mom, this guilty feeling has only grown. I often call my best friend, Ali, and tell her I have “guilt gut.” This is a term we have coined for that feeling when you just feel guilty.

Here are some things I have felt guilty for today:

  • Not being the boss of my 3-year-old when she’s up for the day before dawn
  • Feeding my young toddler a pop tart- with frosting
  • Letting my kids eat salty snacks at 10 a.m.
  • Not fixing my hair better so I look more attractive for my husband
  • Going through the car wash with my kids even when I know someone is terrified

Sadly, I could go on. Anyone relate? When we become mothers, we are blessed with a new responsibility. We are in charge of young life. When our kids are young, we are literally the ones who keep them living. This is a big responsibility. Sadly, we don’t always measure up to our expectations. Why? I think it’s because we set the bar way too high.

So, moms, I want to encourage you today to ditch the mommy guilt. Let’s get rid of the “guilt gut” that plagues our days. Let’s spend our time being joyful, not pitiful.

I’ve decided I want to try to embrace mommy grace. Yes, I’m going to screw up. I’m going to yell. I will probably feed my kids pop tarts again this week, but I want to embrace grace. There is no reason to condemn ourselves for not measuring up. We are doing the best we can, and we are all in this together.

In order to ditch the mommy guilt, I am going to have to be proactive in embracing joy. When things go crazy, I am going to have to laugh. When snacks and milk fall to the ground, I want to spend the time teaching not scolding. Other mom friends are vital to ditching mommy guilt. I have five ladies who I love dearly who I know I could vent to any day about my mommy guilt. No shame. They’ve been there.  They are there to lift me up and encourage me. Do you have these amazing women in your life, too? If not, find them. Go to moms groups, foster friendships at preschool, church, work, wherever life takes you.

Let’s be real, though. There will always be the supermom persona. I know I will see a mom feeding her kids organic, beautifully dressed, and her kids may be way ahead of mine academically. And, that’s okay. My kids are okay. I’m okay. We are all doing the best we can. So let’s be the best, beautiful version of ourselves and not feel guilty about it.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana where she lives, writes, and loves her kids.

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