Monday, October 21, 2013

Mom Guilt and Stuff

This article is so spot on (and funny) and sums up perfectly what I've been thinking lately. I'm done with the guilt. I feel guilty when the house is messy, when I don't spend enough time playing with Clark, when I don't spend enough time holding each baby, when I don't make sides to go with dinner, when I yell, when Clark doesn't get a good nap, when he doesn't eat enough of each food group, when I feed him something from a can, when he watches more than 30 minutes of TV. I could go on. For a really long time.

And some days I could have done better, but some days I really, truly do the best I can and give everything I have and still feel guilty. In part because I see all the moms who are keeping their houses spotless, making organic snacks for their well-dressed kids, and still have time to chevron-bedazzle pumpkins for the front porch.

But the other day, I decided: I don't want to be supermom. I don't even want perfect kids. Because they're just kids--they're not meant to behave like adults. And when I want Clark to be a certain way is it because I love him and want what's best for him or because it would make my life easier or because how he acts is a reflection of who I am and how I'm doing as a mom? I admit, it's the selfish reasons way too often. So I'm trying to change my attitude. And stop comparing. Now it's going to sound like I'm giving a talk in church, because I'm ending with this quote from President Uchtdorf, but it's a really good one:

"I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.

Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.

And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

It’s wonderful that you have strengths.

And it is part of your mortal experience that you do have weaknesses.

...Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.

In the meantime, be thankful for all the small successes in your home, your family relationships, your education and livelihood, your Church participation and personal improvement. Like the forget-me-nots, these successes may seem tiny to you and they may go unnoticed by others, but God notices them and they are not small to Him."

And this is how Clark feels about going to the doctor.  


Cassie Traasdahl said...

yes, yes, yes. this is wonderful. and seriously, i've had the thought 100 times to come over and see those cute babies, and every time I talk myself out of it because I'm convinced I'll be interrupting the little amount of sleep i'm sure you're getting. But seriously, call me any time! Even if just for an extra hand to hold one of those cute kids of yours!

Annie said...

Awesome post. If you posted about Chevron pumpkins with two newborns and a toddler right now, I would probably hate you :) I'm all about messy houses, more than 30 min of tv, no sides with dinner, and goldfish and juice for dinner on some days, and I only have one easy baby :)

Amber said...

I LOVE this post. I can relate to all the emotions in it so well. Thank you for reminding me to claim the freedom that God offers and to get rid of the guilt when I don't feel like I'm doing things "good enough!" You are an inspiration and I'm honored to walk this similar journey with you! :)