Mom guilt is a real thing. It’s serious and has the potential to weigh you down and break your heart. It is a feeling I experience quite often, daily even.
When I have to go to work, but she wants me to watch the “cheeps”… or play babies… or she wants to hold my hair… Oh, Lord, please let me stay with her just a little while longer.
When she is being overly needy and I have a job to do, like fix dinner, or go to the restroom, or grade papers… I just want to hold her and play with her all evening, but how can I do it all? What am I doing wrong?
When I didn’t get to spend enough time with her, because I had to mop or switch laundry and do dishes before going to pick her up… Now it’s close to bed time… Will she even remember who I am in the morning?? Did I make enough of a positive impact on her life today?
After I let her try pudding for a snack… Omigoodness! What was I thinking?! Why did I let her have that? Now she’s seriously not going to eat anything but junk. What if she develops diabetes now?! Why can’t I be a mom that does all organic, gluten-free stuff? I need to be a better mom.
When she is about to fall asleep for the night and I remember I forgot to brush her teeth… I am a horrible mom. What if she gets tooth decay or cavities… Will I ever get it all together?!
Regrets and guilt can eat you alive. They can make you feel like the worst parent ever. Luckily, little ones soon forget your shortcomings and errors and, tomorrow morning, they will cling to you just like they did this morning. Their resilience reminds me of the grace that our Lord so freely gives.
Not only do we mess up as parents, but we mess up as Christians, as people (or at least I know I do) and far too often.
I am grateful for a God who understands that I am bound to make mistakes and do things that I will regret. I am grateful for my Lord who forgives me when I fail Him and others. I am grateful for a Savior who shed His blood, His life, for mine. So that I may live. When I think about the bigger picture, I realize God’s grace is enough.
If he sees my failures and accepts my shortcomings, if he forgives me, then I can forgive myself, right? If I am enough for Him, then I am enough, period. He made me in His image; so in His image, I am perfect. I am so grateful for this grace that I do not deserve, both from Him and my daughter.