Those two nasty words and what to do about them: MOM GUILT– let it roll off your back. At the end of the day when the kids have been screaming and pulling out each other’s hair, have you rolled into bed wondering how you turned into a rotten mother?
It’s time to let go of MOM GUILT
I have five grown kids, and when they were little, they had their moments. We were watching a home video one day, and someone was taping my kids while I was in the background doing housework. One of my kids had their hands around the other kid’s neck. Another child was mad because they didn’t want to be on the camera and my son with autism was repeating himself over and over.
Apparently, I knew how to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to their behaviour.
The women in my family have an uncanny knack for ignoring our children’s bad behaviour. My mom was having coffee with my sister Shaun one day when one of her boys came in the house screaming like a body part had been knarled off by a grizzly bear.
Mom looked at the child and then Shaun, who hadn’t batted an eyelash and kept talking to Mom as though they were at a fancy tea parlour in their finest dresses. Mom commented that the child was in great distress and Shaun calmly said, “He does that ALL THE TIME.”
Within a couple of minutes, the child was off playing again.
You want perfect kids – right? Guess what, you’re never going to have them. Why you ask? Because your not a perfect mother, and neither are the rest of the moms who came before you since the earth was created.
Somehow we believe all our children’s behaviours and personality disorders are our faults. We must have done something wrong to create this dysfunctional child. We have to blame it on something, why not blame it on ourselves?
Welcome to the world of MOM GUILT.
Do you remember when your child was born, and you had a c-section instead of natural birth, or you bottle-fed instead of nursed, or you didn’t bath them one morning out of seven? Can you recall how it felt like an enormous elephant was sitting on your chest – that’s MOM GUILT.
For some reason, Dad’s don’t have this phenomenon happening to them FIFTY TIMES A DAY! My husband could watch me weeping over not being able to nurse my newborn, firstborn son, and he’d be thinking, “Why is she so hard on herself, just feed him a bottle?”
If I went out for the evening, Vance didn’t feel guilty if the kids ate sugared cereal and candy for dinner. Hey, why not throw in a coke too?
When my son with autism, Kyle, was seven years old and still waking up ten times a night (no I’m not exaggerating) Vance suggested we hire a night aide to get up with him so I could get some sleep. Oh no, that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. Mom’s don’t hire people to help – they do it ALL themselves – right?
So I spent the next twenty years getting up with Kyle many times a night. Now, in hindsight, Vance’s suggestion was an excellent one. But I couldn’t accept his advice back then because I suffered from a severe psychological disorder called MOM GUILT.
This disorder wakes you up in the morning with all the terrible things you did the day before, this voice also sounds like Darth Vader:
* You didn’t put Aryanna’s hair in a ponytail yesterday.
*You fed the kids Kraft Dinner for lunch.
*You spanked Devyn for something he didn’t do.
*You forgot to pick up Charity and went to bed instead and she had to stay at her friend’s overnight.
*The kids were thirsty and drank out of the toilet
*You didn’t say bedtime prayers with Eythan
*You were mad at Kyle for asking for a cookie for the hundredth time.
*Sixteen days in a row, you forgot to put money under Charity’s pillow for her tooth, and she left you a note on your pillow reminding you.
Yep, there were no mom rewards for me. Even though I pictured myself wearing a gorgeous ball gown, having my hair styled beautifully (which was never) and someone calling me up on the stage, “The mom award this year goes to Cindy Seaton.” Nope, not happening.
Fast forward twenty years.
Last weekend was Mother’s Day, and this fantastic phenomenon happened. My kids bought me cards and presents, and if you had read the cards, you would have thought I definitely beat out every other mom in the world in this department…but I didn’t.
The same phenomenon was happening on Facebook. Every grown adult was saying they had the best mom in the world! How is this possible? After all the yelling, screaming, frustration, slamming of doors, wishing they wouldn’t call you mom for the thousandth time that day…they grew up to think you were the best mom in the world.
Our children have a tendency if we have loved them, to overlook all our faults, bad days, lack of time, screaming, and frustration.
Love overrules mistakes that have been made.
Your kids know you’re tired, they know you stay up late and get up early. They know you work hard to give them the things you never had. They know you are kind and supportive, and also their cheerleader, taxi driver, laundry slave, cook, nurse, teacher and boo-boo kisser.
You’re their Mom.
There is no one else in the world they want more than you. You’re going to have bad days…I promise you – LOTS OF THEM. But if you balance them with hugs, kisses, reading them books, holding them when they cry, and making the best Kraft Dinner in the world…
They will grow up to love you so immensely, that you will wonder why you deserved so much love when you were such a bad mom.
I was a bad mom too, we all were – that’s MOM GUILT.
But that’s not how your kids feel. They love you more than anyone, or anything else, in the world – that’s MOM LOVE.
You are imperfect. But you are also wonderful, kind, forgiving, loving, sacrificial, hardworking and fun – this is how your kids see you.
Let go of the mom guilt and let it roll off your back.
If you love your kids in between your mistakes, one day they’ll say: YOU’RE THE BEST MOM IN THE WORLD💗