In the summer session of the New Mom’s group, (in)motherhood, that I co-lead with the fabulous Jessica Hoover we are talking about the importance of finding REST. Today we are looking at the need to get over our Mama Guilt so that we can rest!
It’s nap time… the house is quiet as only by the grace of GOD both children are asleep at the same time.
|After “Hurricane Levi” has gone through|
I look around the house and see the crumbs on the floor from where my little man dropped goldfish crackers & stepped on them. I see the MOUNTAIN of clothes that need folded in my bedroom because every time I tried to start folding a child began to cry & need me for something. I see the dirty dishes in the sink. I see the dust bunnies around the floor from our four-legged children (cats). I look out the window and see the field of weeds that have already began to take over my flower beds.
Stress and anxiety start to creep in as I tell myself “I SHOULD BE A BETTER MOTHER!!
A good mom would be able to keep her house clean, in spite of kids and cats. A better mom would keep up with the dishes as they’re being used. A perfect mom has all the clothes folded and neatly put away the SAME DAY she does the laundry. WHY CAN’T I BE THAT PERFECT MOM?!?”
I have NO ENERGY to wash the dirty dishes, or fold the laundry, or sweep up the dust bunnies, or weed the flower beds. I need a nap. But the mama-guilt is sneaking in. “I don’t have time to sit down and read/watch TV/relax. The house is a mess. If I ever have dreams of becoming that PERFECT mom that I have in my head I better keep up!”
And if I’m TRULY honest… I many times put my “To Do” List over my quiet time with God.
So confession time… show of hands who suffers from “MOMMY GUILT?” C’mon… I know I”m not the only one. My word of advice: GET OVER IT! So at this point in my head I’m thinking “Hello Pot, this is kettle… YOU’RE BLACK!” I know I know. Practice what you preach. So how do we GET OVER IT?!?
Wise advice that has been passed down to me:
1. Put time with God first and things will come together – might not be as neatly as you like but God has a way of working things out. Even if it’s just reading a quick devotion on your phone, or reading a verse of Scripture in your Bible, do something to take a few minutes to focus on God. He offers tremendous grace and understands the demands our babies have on us. He just asks that as we pour into our children that He can pour Himself into us!
2. You won’t be able to function correctly if you’re running on empty. YOU NEED TO RECHARGE. The dishes will wait. The laundry isn’t going anywhere. Take time for yourself as you can. Try to squeeze in a nap while the kiddos are napping. Take a bubble bath after they go down to bed for the night or those few short hours before the midnight feeding. Schedule a babysitter and meet the girls for coffee or dinner or go out with the hubby! Whatever you need to recharge that is at all feasible DO IT!
3. Remind yourself over and over again that “cleaning the house with toddlers is like brushing you’re teeth while eating Oreos…” it’s not going to work very well. Do your best to keep things sanitary and stay a step above a house on HOARDERS and you’ll be fine.
4. Remember that you’re children will not be at home forever so you want to cherish the time with them. You’re house should not be a museum. Someday when you’re empty nesting you’ll look around your neat and tidy house and long for the days when there were crumbs everywhere, spilled juice on the floor, and toys scattered about. Enjoy the lived in feel for this short period of time.
5. There is no such thing as the perfect mother. She doesn’t exist. That woman who we feel has it all together – doesn’t. You don’t see the own struggles she goes through to attempt to look like she has it all together.
I wish getting over my own mama guilt is as easy as typing these words. I am working on it little by little. If anything this post is a reminder for myself – but hopefully someone else is being reminded too.