This past weekend was a tough one for my mama heart. It involved me taking my 8 year old to her third ER trip. Three trips that have involved stitches or glue. Those three trips were all for injuries to her face. And I know the vanity that comes from saying the location of her injuries because ANY injury to your babies are painful to our mama hearts, but let me tell you there’s something different about staring at your child’s face and seeing black and blue bruises, tears and swelling, and scars. It is just not something any parent wants to see when looking at their baby’s face. The scars so prominently remind you of what you did wrong and when those scars are on what you look at all day every day, it’s not so fun.
Either way, the ER trip ended well (thank the good Lord) and afterwards I realized my mama heart was on full on GO mode throughout the whole incident. Get in, get her helped, and let’s do what needs to be done to protect her.
But that night, and the next couple days, I was crippled with mom guilt. The whys and the what if’s ate at me. I’ve experienced mom guilt before (previous past two ER trips for example) and women talk about mom guilt often, but when you’re in it, like truly in it-it consumes you.
You can’t stop the whys, the what ifs, the or or ors, the I could have, and I should haves. It’s one of the toughest things to pull out of. But something that has to be done because the whys don’t help, the ors don’t make it better, and the I should haves can’t erase what happened.
Mom guilt is a monster. One that creeps under the bed and rears it’s ugly head when you least expect it. You don’t want it to come out because it’s scarier than anything else that can come out. Why? Because it challenges your motherhood and it questions your abilities. And mamas don’t do well with that.
But mama friend, I hope you know you’re not alone in the guilt you feel or have felt or will feel one day.
Mama, do you know that your best is enough.
Do you know that your not-so-best is enough sometimes too.
Do you know that we are all hot messes in one way or any other, and no mother is actually Instagram perfect.
That we all have our good days and our “I can’t believe I said that” days.
We have all gone to bed with guilt over our actions or tossed and turned because of our inactions.
We have all woken up in the morning promising to do better and be better.
We have all forgotten the homework, the snacks, the spirit week day, or the promise of a board game night.
We have all called in pizza instead of making a home cooked meal. And we have all called in pizza more than once in a week.
We all make mistakes and some mistakes hurt our kiddos.
We have all yelled too loud or too long.
We have all counted down to and rushed bedtime.
Mama, do you know that you’re not alone in your feelings?
That you aren’t the only mom that takes too many photos or not enough.
You’re not the only mom that didn’t breast feed or breast fed extra long.
You’re not the only mom that questions her actions 100xs a day.
You’re not the only mom that looks up and questions God why?
Why did I do that?
Why did they do that?
What’s that smell?
Mama, do you know that we have all called dad as reinforcement.
We have all made empty promises and have strayed from our disciplinary plans.
We have all made decisions that didn’t sit well but we didn’t know which way to go.
We have all questioned our ability.
We have all played and replayed scenarios of the day racking our brains on how to make it better for the next time.
And we have all cried ourselves to sleep, praying that we are doing it right.
Mama, do you know you’re not alone?
Do you know that we all have these kinds of moments and more?
Do you know that our news feeds are highlights and not real life day to day, everyday?
Do you know that you were chosen for your child? That God called you to mother them?
Do you know that you’re the best mama for them and no one could ever take your place in their minds and hearts.
My hope is that you know that motherhood is the biggest blessing and one of the hardest things to navigate through, BUT you are not alone. You have a tribe of women that are going through the thick of diapers, school visits, proms, and graduations with you.
From bottles to apartment hunting, we are all mothers and we all have our own ways of doing things. We all are doing our best and we should never, and I mean never, allow the monster of mom guilt to take that joy of motherhood away from us.
If you’re in the thick of this guilt, reach out to a friend. I know I did this weekend, and she talked me off the mom guilt ledge. Then I asked for prayer and my tribe of ladies got to it. I hope they know how much their prayer worked, and how grateful I am for their support. Their words to me were truth, not just God’s truth because they gave me that, but truth that they have seen from me too.
They reminded me that I am a good mother, that accidents happen, and that there’s nothing we can do but love and move forward. That I needed to surrender my worry and pray through the negativity. And that’s what I did. I prayed and pushed through and I am better now because of it. Feet solid on the ground and heart full of gratitude for the ability to be a mother to my girl.
So next time the monster of mom guilt creeps in, I know Who to go to and what to do. And I hope you feel the same.
Mama, do you know how amazing you are?
Because it’s true, and you got this motherhood thing down pat. Keep your eyes high and your heart full.
Your mama friend