Is there a mother on the planet who doesn’t have it??
Here is a very partial list of my Mommy Guilt:
- Starting a strict schedule with my particular baby who needed to be held and cuddled the most.
Making a child finish his dinner when his tonsils were so swollen they were touching at the back of his throat.
Jumping to conclusions without knowing enough of the facts (multiple times).
Not being more patient and understanding of my “hyper” son.
Letting my daughters spend time with some friends (without Jeff or me), because I didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, when my gut instinct told me not to let that happen (the outcome could have been much worse, so I am thankful God covered for my stupidity).
Letting them have too much screen time when they were little (even if mine did have very little screen time compared to the average American child).
Tending to blame the more outwardly strong-willed child for most of the childhood arguments.
Letting one of the older kids excessively tickle the younger ones.
Sometimes saying “No thank you, dear” when my three year old would ask, “Can I help you?” It was so much easier and quicker to do a household chore without “help” when they were that age, but how many teaching opportunities and special moments did I miss??
However, you know what? In spite of my numerous mistakes, my kids are just fine. They still love me. They would probably even say that I am a pretty good mom.
Kids are resilient, and most of them survive our mistakes without life-long hang ups.
As I said in #4, we definitely need to ask their forgiveness when we sin against them, or make mistakes that hurt them.
However, once we ask their forgiveness, and God’s forgiveness, we should move on and not hang on to past guilt. Hanging on to guilt is a tool that Satan uses. He knows that nothing discourages a believer like guilt.
If there are areas where we are continuing to make the same mistakes, or sins, in our parenting on a regular basis, we need to strive hard to overcome those sins (and mistakes become sins if we continue to do them after we know they are harming our child) with God’s help. Perhaps there may even be situations where a parent needs to seek Godly counsel.
If we have a good relationship with our kids, if they know that we love them, and if they know we have their best interest at heart, these less than perfect parenting moments will most likely not cause our children to have life-long issues.
Who knows, based on James 1:2-4, (Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing…) our mistakes may even cause them to grow and be even stronger in the Lord (though I am NOT recommending doing them on purpose. 😉 )
Want to share your worst Mommy Guilt moments in the comments below? And then we can all commiserate and move on, because it’s in the past, it’s been forgiven.