Do you ever struggle with Mommy Guilt?
Recently I sent out a text message to my mommy friends and I asked if they do and my phone lit up for the next hour plus.
The replies quickly opened my eyes to not only how deep and wide this Mommy Guilt epidemic is running when we may not even notice it all around us, with the other moms we’re doing life with.
When I asked what caused these people the most Mommy Guilt, I got varied answers ranging from hours spent working to what their kids are eating, from how much TV their kids are watching to how many out of the house activities they are doing in a week.
Listen, I’m no stranger to Mommy Guilt. Sometimes I feel like the Mommy Guilt is just lurking off in the corner, waiting for me to blow it and when I do, suddenly the room is full of it and I can’t breathe.
Like an avalanche that just won’t stop, the Mommy Guilt just keeps coming. And, once the avalanche starts, there’s no slowing it down, only speeding up as it catches more traction with the gravity and the additional weight.
Fellow Mommies, can I implore you that you gotta fight the Mommy Guilt Monster? To help you do that, here are 10 things to do in the face of Mommy Guilt.
10 Things to Do in the Face of Mommy Guilt
- Stop. It’s so easy to get swept up into crazy cycles and avalanches. Sometimes it’s best to just stop. Stop moving. Stop doing what you’re doing. What you’re saying. Just stop.
- Get some space. This might mean walking into a different room, sending your kids off to another room, or having your husband watch them while you shower or take a drive or sit on the floor of your closet.
- Pray. Before you try to figure out what to say or what to do next, pray. Ask God for grace. Ask Him to show you truth about the situation. Ask for patience. And forgiveness. And wisdom to move forward.
- Take deep breaths. Arm yourself with a settled pulse and blood pressure by taking some deep and calming breaths. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as necessary throughout the entire process.
- Assess the situation. It can be really hard at first to see where exactly the avalanche started from. Stand back and try to see it. It can be so easy to just see the emotions and the hard parts from throughout the avalanche. But seeing the start can help us sort out the start of the Mommy Guilt.
- Apologize. If an actual wrong has taken place: yelling, unkind words, etc – go and apologize. Say “I’m sorry for _____. It was wrong of me because _______. I don’t like to make you feel this way.”
- Ask for forgiveness. And no apology is complete without asking for forgiveness. This is a separate step because as the conversation with your child or husband or whomever continues, there may be need to apologize for other things as well.
- Ask for help. Whether it’s help from your husband to see habits that need to be changed or asking your kids to help you with some housework or even asking a friend for some biblical wisdom, so many of us (me included!) are hesitant to ask for help because we feel like admitting we need help is like admitting to failure. But asking questions and being willing to learn, change, and grow is the only way to do better.
- Pray. Pray again. Pray more. Pray often for what you need to get through Mommy-Guilt moments. Find a verse and pray it often.
- Start over. Walk into the next moment of Mommydom, not with the guilt hanging over you of whatever just happened, but with the knowledge that you are getting a fresh start. If you mess up, just start again. If you nail it, remember to say ‘Thank You’ to God.
What tips do you have for when Mommy Guilt strikes? Would you share them in the comments?
P.S. For the entire month of January, we’ll be talking Mommy Guilt here on the blog. (Don’t worry, we’ll talk about some other stuff too!) Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a post in this series. Plus, when you subscribe, you’ll get access to the Whole Bean Resource Library, where you’ll find free printables, pdfs, and more, even some on Mommy Guilt, so be sure to subscribe today (in the box below).