A Few Thoughts on Mom Guilt

Thoughs on Mom Guilt | sarahesh.com
You're eating that, I'm so impressed, my sister-in-law said, as we were gathered around the dining room table, nibbling on fresh cinnamon rolls from The Flour Shop, a local cafe.
The rolls are a special treat, only made and sold on Saturdays, and only served at our house on Saturday mornings when we have company.
And your point is? I asked. You just never eat stuff like that. I'm impressed, that's all.
This wasn't the first time I've been accused of being a health nut. Sure, I make granola weekly, and if that makes me a crunchy-granola-mom in your eyes, so be it. But I know the truth; I know my habit of eating peanut butter by the spoonful with a bit of chocolate chips sprinkled over it has gotten out of control, and I know about my love for iced coffee, and I know how my toddler refuses to eat veggies, and how I gave up on cloth diapering before I even began.  
Her comment doesn't hold a lot of weight, because while I can be very determined and dedicated to something I set my mind to, I certainly have a lot of room for improvement. I don't consider myself a role model for healthy living. 
However, that conversation sparked a new thought process for me, and it all has to do with mom guilt.
If you are a mom you most likely know exactly what I am talking about. Gather any group of mothers (or parents for that matter) together, and the conversation almost always ventures into parenting methods and sleep training and what-are-your-thoughts-on-vaccinations, and so forth... and while there is nothing wrong with conversations like this, it can often lead to comparison, leaving some of us feeling sub par, as though there is a cookie-cutter method, and if followed exactly all children will turn out the same way. 
My Little Man is not sleeping through the night. He is 19 months old, and in those 19 months, I can count on one finger how many times a solid night of sleep has happened. And even though he is served veggies at almost every meal, he will not eat them. I have tried again and again, preparing them different ways, serving them with dip or hummus, and still, no, they always are spit back out. 
I get frustrated with him at times, but none of these things really bugged me that much. Carson is otherwise a very easy child. He's full of life and energy, friendly, and always sharing smiles with whomever he meets. None of it bugged me that is, until I overheard a few moms talking about their methods, about how their children were sleeping through the night from eight weeks on, and how veggies were all they fed their babies for the first year, and how cloth diapering worked, and suddenly I feel as though I failed. 
Maybe I should have read more books parenting, or tried harder to force feed those brussel sprouts. Am I a capable mother? A tinge of guilt washes over me.
What a failure.
But then I began to think about the big picture, and I actually had to laugh. Years from now, once my kids are grown and on their own, will it really matter if they were sleeping nine hours straight from eight weeks on? Will the few brussel sprouts they did not consume at a year old have adverse effects on their overall health and wellness?
While I would be thrilled for a solid night of sleep and a child who would eat anything I prepared for him, this is not what is most important in life, and certainly not what makes or breaks my success as a mother. 
In light of eternity what matters most is that my child(ren) seeks God with his whole heart, and lives to glorify Him. The end. 
So while I am not going to give up on a solid night of sleep or brussel sprouts, I won't be judging my abilities as a mom by those things. 
And friends, I know a lot of you struggle with the same thoughts. Doubting your ability as a mom, wondering how you'll ever make it. I am going to tell you something, and I want you to take it to heart. 
You are a good mom.
Whether you cloth diaper or use disposables, whether you breastfeed or are using formula, whether you've chosen vaccinations or decided against them, whether you buy baby food or make your own, whether you work or stay home full-time - however you are raising your family - you are a good mom.
Don't let the guilt of what you think you should be doing weigh you down from truly living and enjoying life and your family. 
Love your husband and children fearlessly. Sow into their lives through prayer and dedication. Take time for yourself and your hobbies. Seek the Lord when you have doubts or questions, and know that He will equip you. 
You, my friend, are enough.


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