Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mom Guilt

Whenever I read non-narrative material, I tend to assume that the writer has some sort of authority. If it's a recipe, I take it for granted that the writer is a decent cook. If it's a Bible study, I assume that the writer and Jesus are pretty close. Today I'm writing about mom guilt, and the only authority that I have is that I'm guilty of it.

Mom guilt describes the negative feelings that mommies have without logical reason. Almost all moms have it in droves. Those that don't fall into two categories. Either they are not very good moms who should feel somewhat guilty but don't, or they are way more spiritual (and/or stoic) than I am.

Stay at home moms often have guilt because they don't pull in a paycheck, or their day isn't as structured as they like, or their house isn't clean enough for their standards. Working moms can feel guilty for not having enough hours with their children, or for the kids getting sick at daycare, or because their child is sad to see them go in the morning. Moms always seem to find a way to feel guilty.

Like I said earlier, I'm no exception. I feel especially guilty about DeLaynie's language problems. I know that I can't change how she hears and feels things. (Mom guilt is not logical.) I still can't shake the feeling that I should have noticed it as a problem before I did. I also feel hugely guilty about my home and its cleanliness. I never seem to be able to get it clean, never the less keep it that way. I've seen other moms do it. (They probably feel guilty for spending too much time cleaning, knowing mom guilt.)

I'm pretty sure that there is no actual cure for mom guilt in this life, just a treatment. That treatment is the knowledge of grace. When I remember that I really can't do a great job as a parent, but that God can fix it, I find that the mom guilt becomes more manageable. The more I think about the fact that God holds my babies in His truly capable hands, the less I think about my inadequacies. If I could just remember to turn to Him on a daily basis, and ask Him to keep me from dwelling on my own shortcomings and dwell in Him instead, I might just find victory over the mom guilt. The less power guilt has over me, the more power He has. The more power He has, the better of a mom I will be. I'm writing all of this so that I'll be accountable for doing what I know I should. Feel free to ask me how I'm doing in that area. If there's anything I should feel guilty for, it's relying on myself instead of Him. ;)

1 comment:

Megan Abraham said...

This made me laugh! So, so true. Thanks for the reminder of God's goodness to us!