I’m not sure if it has been around since Eve rocked Cain and Abel to sleep or if it’s a relatively new phenomenon, but I’d venture a guess that our highly-public, yet singularly-isolated, modern lives have heightened Mom guilt.
Since becoming a mom seven years ago, I’ve felt twangs of guilt over all sorts of things, like…
- the fact that I don’t make my kids birthday cakes (and don’t enjoy birthday shopping, either)
- or that I let a day slip by without reading them a story
- or that I didn’t have a band-aid in my purse when my daughter skinned her knee
- or that my son put his pants on backward… and I didn’t realize it till church was over
- or that I sometimes get on the computer when the kids are awake
- or that I don’t get regular photos taken of my baby
- or that I don’t really like playing toddler games 50 times in a row
- or that I let them eat terrible things, like Twinkies, every once in a while
- or that if they get up early, they have to be quiet so I can sleep longer
Some of the guilt I realized pretty quickly was laughable.
Sometimes though, it’s taken me a long time to realize that guilt over non-sinful-methods-that-work-for-our-family and imperfect-planning is silly.
We aren’t called to be Pinterest-perfect mothers. We aren’t called to be perfect homeschool teachers, chefs, or decorators (thank goodness!) We don’t even have to spend every waking moment with our children.
For years, even when the house was running smoothly and the children were playing happily together, I felt like I was failing as a mother if I opened the laptop. When I finally mentioned this guilt to Joshua, he said, “Honey, it’s good for the kids to learn to play together without you having to be involved in every minute detail of every moment of the day.”
So often the standards we set for ourselves, and the guilt we feel when breaking them, have little resemblance to our real standard.
We are called to love our Lord Jesus. We are called to love our children and raise them up in the love and fear of the Lord. It’s a simple, but all-encompassing, command. A command that might play itself out in my home with Twinkies, organic kale, or both.
So enough of this misplaced guilt. We’ll fall plenty of times pursuing the real goal, but God’s grace will always be sufficient for another day.