Mom guilt is one hundred percent real and one hundred percent condemning. When it hits you, it hits out of nowhere and it’s really hard to get yourself out of that funk. I have spent most of my time on the couch for the last week. I tripped over my son’s blanket and tore a ligament in my lower abdomen, which immediately sent me to the ground in an extreme amount of pain. These ligaments are already pretty worn out at 34 weeks pregnant, so that just added an incredible amount of pain and I can hardly get around. I can’t even sit on the ground because getting on the ground hurts tremendously.
Jase and I have spent a lot of time…and I do mean a lot…sitting on the couch watching TV, and especially his favorite Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It’s really all I can do, getting up moving around is incredibly painful. I haven’t really sat on the floor to play with Jase like he longs to play. My kitchen is a disaster and I am sure there are other parts of my house that could use a cleaning too. I was feeling incredibly down last night because I can’t play with my son like he wants. All we have done is watch TV. Daddy can get on the floor and wrestle with him, but I have to sit on the couch watching and wishing I could be his play mate too. As I watch them giggle and laugh my heart hurts because I don’t want mommy to be the one who doesn’t play with him. I don’t want him to think he can’t have fun with me. And I am just completely overcome with this feeling of guilt. The standards that I want to be at as a mother and housewife are completely gone because I am stuck with my feet up on the couch.
As stay at home mom’s a lot of our identity is wrapped up in how we care for our children and take care of our house. We tend to hold our selves to this standard, and sometimes we are asking too much of ourselves because we feel guilty if we don’t measure up. We feel the need to validate our work at home – to convince people that what we are doing really is work, it’s hard, and if we don’t do it you will notice we are missing. We want to be successful in what we do because we want to feel like we are making a difference and that we are doing a great job at it. Falling short on our to-do list just isn’t supposed to happen. Taking a back seat on the mama role just isn’t part of the equation.
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, than I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:9-11
It’s in our weakness, it’s in our imperfection, it’s when we don’t measure up to those impossible standards we are setting for ourselves that we really succeed as mothers. We aren’t supposed to do this alone. It’s here where I can’t do it all that God comes in and fills in the gaps. It’s here where He says just rest and trust in Him. It’s here that I do what I can and sit back and allow God to do the rest. God never asked for us to be perfect, He never placed unrealistic expectations on us. In fact, God has done quite the opposite. He’s told us, “My grace is all you need. My power is best in weakness.” We were never meant to do it all and it doesn’t make us any less of a mother. We are stronger and we can overcome the guilt when we recognize that it’s in Him that we become the mother’s we are meant to be.