Mom guilt. The constant mental harassing. The incessant nagging in your brain telling you to do something you’re not. The relentless pressure to be better than you are. The push to do more. You’re here but you want to be there. “You’re not doing enough,” your conscience says, but in reality, you’re hanging on by a thread. If you add one more thing to the to do list, one more activity to the schedule, one more, one more, one more, you might lose it. We as moms have so much pressure coming from all angles, it culminates into this one voice that we hear over everything else. Even over the “thank you, mommy” or the “dinner is delicious”, we hear the other voice and all we manage to say is “sorry it’s not perfect” and “sorry I burnt half of it”. That voice takes us away from the present and steals our confidence and purpose.
So what’s the cause? Is it the never-ending to do list? Is it the Pinterest board that we created because we wish our life looked like that? Is it social media and your fellow mom friends constantly posting the healthy meals or the homemade activities that they’re ALWAYS doing? Is it the picture of your little ones that you got from your caretaker saying, “wish you were here!”
I think I’ve been in every single one of these situations. I have a constant list running in my phone of things I need to do, and it never seems to get any shorter, even though I barely sit down through the day. Perhaps prioritizing and I don’t know, asking for help, could help me check those items off. Who’s with me in never asking for help? No wonder we have so much stress. We think we can do it all, when we have two, three, four perfectly able-bodied members in the house who can help with those tasks.
Yes, I’m a victim of Pinterest and wish I could spend all the time in the kitchen making those delicious meals. But guess what? Those meals have to be planned bought, prepped, cooked and cleaned up which ends up being a two hour ordeal every night. While I would love to be the perfect Pinterest cook, I would rather be spending time with my family. Home-cooked meals are a priority to me, so I compromise and find easier meals to make instead of the Pinterest-worthy dinner. Is there anything that you can compromise in your life to take some pressure off? Don’t create an impossible standard to live up to.
And what about your friends on social that bring on the guilt? Be happy for your friends that they have the time to invest in those activities. You spend your time investing in other things that matter to you, regardless of if they are the latest and greatest viral children’s activity. Figure out what matters to YOU, no what society says should matter to you. Yes, I would love to make ALL of those cool home activities or whatever it may be, but let’s face it, I don’t have the time or energy. Yes, maybe one day I will, but now, I need to focus on other things. And it’s OKAY. C.S. Lewis once said “comparison is the thief of joy”. Find the joy in your life and cling to it and don’t let anything take it away.
The heartbreaking text you get in the middle of the workday with a picture of your little one. Your first thought is “I should be there”. The truth is, you are providing for your family, momma. You are developing your skillset as a professional and keeping your mind sharp. You are an amazing example to your kids and the epitome of a hard worker. You’re teaching your kids how to contribute to society and while you think you’re failing, you’re actually a role model. Instead of coming home from work, feeling guilty that you were gone all day, why don’t you come home empowered and ready to spend the evening with your family. You’re allowed to love two things at once: your career and your family. You can even make your evening easier and get up a few minutes early, throw dinner in the crockpot in the morning and have it all ready when you get home.
If you follow us social media, you know mom and I just attended a conference led by a woman named Christy Wright. She spoke on guilt and I just wanted to share a few things that she said. What would happen if we changed this narrative and talked to ourselves instead of listened to ourselves? When you hear that voice in your head starting to jab, shut it out and tell yourself how great you’re doing. You know that voice isn’t speaking the truth. She also told us that if you spend your time looking at everyone else’s life, you will completely miss out on your own. Whoa. How many times have I looked at my friends’ social media and was jealous about where they were. It made me totally disregard the wonderful evening we had as a family, which is really all that matters.
To the mom who finds herself stuck in this cycle: Momma, you’ve GOT THIS. Talk to yourself and tell yourself how amazing you are.
To the mom who is stuck in this cycle and doesn’t even know it: Momma, recognize it, own it, and GET OUT. You have such an amazing life waiting for you, free of the guilt.
To the mom who has everything together and is wondering why she spent five minutes reading this: Momma, I’m so happy for you. Do you have a friend who is struggling? Can you do anything to help her? Spread your power, momma and help a sister out because she NEEDS IT.
To my fellow, beloved, beautiful, hard-working moms (and to myself). Let’s rewrite this narrative. We won’t settle for this societal standard that we’re never doing enough and are never enough. You are enough. I am enough. Don’t live in what you feel you’re missing. You are where you’re supposed to be. Be where your feet are. Be present and not perfect.