**We are starting a new feature here at In All You Do. I’m calling it Marriage & Motherhood Mondays!! My hope is to bring you posts that will encourage you in your Marriage and in the day-to-day trenches of Motherhood.**
Have you ever experienced mommy guilt?
My guess is, you have, because it’s something just about every mother struggles with at some point or another. As moms, we are notoriously hard on ourselves.
I remember the first time I experienced it.
My son was eight weeks old when he began to lose weight. The cause of his weight loss was my refusal to give up nursing. I wanted so badly to nurse. Before he was born, I took classes about breastfeeding. I met with lactation consultants and doctors after he was born. I tried everything I could think of…but nothing helped.
When he began to lose weight, I knew it was my fault, and that’s when the mommy guilt kicked in.
I told myself all sorts of inaccurate things. Things like…
There must be something wrong with you since you can’t get this nursing thing figured out.
You are so stubborn. It’s your fault he lost weight.
You’re not a very good mother after all.
All of these statements were lies fed by one thing: my mommy guilt.
Maybe for you, nursing wasn’t the issue. Maybe instead it was because of the diapers you bought…or the amount of television you allowed your child to watch…or your decision to work outside of the home.
Mommy guilt comes in two forms: legitimate guilt and unnecessary guilt.
Many of the reasons we feel guilty are completely invalid.
Like feeling bad because you work…or because you formula feed…or because you use disposable diapers…or because you haven’t potty trained your 3 year old yet.
These are things we don’t really need to feel guilty about. Every family is different. As long as you are meeting the needs of your children and loving them the best way you can, you don’t need to feel guilty for the way in which you parent.
There’s also another source of mommy guilt, though.
There are times we aren’t doing our best as moms….like when we yell (A LOT) at our kids…or when we have our calendars so full we don’t have time to sit down and read a book to them.
This mommy guilt might be well-founded.
But regardless of the source-whether legitimate guilt or unnecessary guilt-the effect is the same.
When we struggle with mommy guilt, we lose our joy.
The key to kicking mommy guilt to the curb is to learn which type of guilt you are battling.
Is it legitimate? Then do better tomorrow than you did today. Commit to making a change. Apologize to your children.
You can’t change what happened today but you can make tomorrow better.
Is it unnecessary guilt? Then stop believing the lies it’s telling you. Remove those negative thoughts and start telling yourself the truth…the truth that you are a good mom.
Let’s talk: When have you struggled with mommy guilt? What helps you overcome it?
*photo courtesy: unsplash