There is one main message I think that Moms need to hear, but often don’t hear enough, it’s that you matter. In the midst of your messy home, in your messy bun, wearing yesterday’s pajamas, where you often lose your cool, you feel so unaccomplished. Yet, you’ve accomplished everything!
Your kids know your unconditional love in all that you do. Regardless of the mom guilt that you’re seemingly tied to.
Mom guilt is the real deal. As moms we question how good of a job we’re doing. A lot of it is really just fear. We know we are well intended. We just want to know that our decisions aren’t negatively affecting our children. The truth of the matter is we need to stop being so hard on ourselves.
No human being on Earth is perfect. Therefore, we need to stop pressuring ourselves to the impossible standard of perfection. These 10 affirmations can help you to put perfection behind you and help you to find more joy in motherhood.
Remind yourself of these 10 things daily!
10 Affirmations for mom guilt:
1. I matter.
2. I’m worthy of good things.
3. I am strong.
4. I am loved.
5. I love myself.
6. I am a good mom already because I love my kids.
7. There are a million ways to be a good mom. / I am making decisions for the best interest of my family.
8. It’s not my job to be perfect, but to show my kids grace and forgiveness.
9. I forgive myself for my failures.
10. God has called me to motherhood. Through Him I can do all things.
Our oldest son, Chirs, turned 7 years old yesterday! Holy cow! I never thought I would look back and think that raising kids goes quick! I literally don’t know the day of the week most days, nor do I feel like the past 7 years has been all rainbows and unicorns. But, wow! Suddenly 7 years seems to have slipped past me!
Life was delightful when our duo turned trio. My memory bank is filled with images of my little boy’s smile and breathing in his sweet baby smell during our snuggles. Even before he could crawl, he was my dance partner (particularly brought back by the good oldies like Frank Sinatra).
Like all firstborns, ours was totally the guinea pig. We based our confidence in our parenting skills on him; if he ate well, if he was developmentally on track, if he had enough responsibilities, if he used his manners…
Because life was peachy we tried for more kids. We thought we would treat all if them equal, but funny thing is we lowered our standards for the next kid. And the next kid. We (particularly I) didn’t worry as much about near as much with the younger boys. After all of the parenting experience with Chris, we knew the things to avoid and areas to improve in.
Along the way he’s sensed the standard depreciation gap.
When our family became 4, I saw his whole world change. So long were the days when I could drop everything for him. When our middle son, Josh, wasn’t nursing I still had little energy to give. But I wanted to show Chris that clearly, he was still important to me. So when baby was napping, we would play baseball. A lot of baseball. It was our thing, among many others.
By the time our youngest son, Aaron, came in to the picture, Chris was only 3. Yep we had a 3 year-old, 1 year-old, and newborn at one point. Thank goodness Chris was away at preschool by then because sleep deprivation was so bad! But having an older kid was legit so nice by then! Cue promotion to diaper-getter, baby-entertainer, and toy picker-upper.
It seems as though the firstborn kids are naturally the glue to their siblings, natural-born teachers, and some very caring people! So I compiled a list of 10 affirmations for the oldest kids.
I am so special.
I have many unique talents.
My mom and dad love me for who I am!
My family can count on me. /I am helpful.
I am capable of anything that I put my mind to.
Change is okay.
I am enough./ I am good.
I am a leader. /My siblings look up to me.
Mistakes help me grow.
I love and accept myself.
These affirmations are things I’m teaching my oldest son in particular. He plays an important role in our family. We love that we can count on him and we wouldn’t be the same without him.
I think I know you just a little better than you realize.
I know that those little eyes looking up into your soul is your fuel. I know that you delight in every new milestone that your little one accomplishes! I know that you are filling your memory bank with pictures of sunshine in your sweetie’s hair and the mental recordings of her laughter. “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life,” you tell yourself.
I know your maternity leave may have never quite ended or that you quit working for various reasons to be home. I know you pour your heart and soul into this job.
Even as your babies grew up, you still couldn’t sleep well through the night. You still have urges to make sure they’re all still breathing and well. You get such little sleep some nights, even though you’re wrecked. You spend all day making mental notes and trying to stay on everyone else’s schedules. You focus on child development, health, nutrition, cleaning, and bills, and some days forget to fill your memory bank. Or do something nice for yourself even.
Regular days you play referee to break up your kid’s fighting. If you’re not breaking up fights, you’re repeating yourself to your kids. “They totally heard me,” you say. And all that can turn into a lot of yelling.
Just a little while before your husband comes home you realize all of your hard work appears to have evaporated into thin air. The nutritional breakfast/lunch is on the dinning room floor, the dishes are stacked high again, the laundry train lost it’s caboose, for every one mess you picked up there’s another 10, the fight you broke up is now back in full swing, and now you’re husband is going to see. So we panic that our husband will think we we’re lazy all day and we stress clean.
You hide the dishes in the dishwasher and clothes in the washer. At some point you just don’t care about the mess any more because you’re tired and defeated. You’ve spent all day feeling isolated, tired, and irritated.
This life is all you now know. And no one told you it’d be so tough!
No one told you that you would feel this pressure to be a good mom, even when no one else is even around. No one told you that you would feel lonely in your own home, surrounded by your minis. No one told you that it’s almost scary to wake up one day and realize you don’t have anywhere to be. No one else that needs you more than your children.
No one told you that you boarded the struggle bus with your own worst critic. You.
I never realized how all of those tough days would sneak up on me and make me feel so small. I never realized the weight of it all until I opened up about it. And I never realized how similar my feelings were to other moms until other people started opening up about it.
Motherhood is the most beautiful thing to happen in your life, but the most demanding. I know it may not seem the way you pictured it. I know it’s full of days when you wish you could work or that you hope the kids would become more independent sooner.
In 7 years time, this is what I learned about motherhood (especially being a Stay-at-home mom):
I felt most successful when I gave my kids the most attention
I always criticized myself, even when I didn’t use social media
I read so many expert tips and I felt like I tried everything, when I should’ve just used my motherly instinct
Treat yourself more! I almost never did things for myself. I started to feel more motivated when I had things to look forward to.
Call up your mom to talk. It’s such good therapy!!
Take help when it’s offered.
Find ways to record good memories, whether a journal to your kids for when they grow up, candid pictures, or videos of them being happy. Then just brain dump the days of yelling.
Look back on these recordings when you’re blood pressure is through the roof. You’ll just be looking through pictures thinking of how sweet your babies are.
Being a good mom holds a lot of pressure. You don’t always have to hold it together. Grow your faith!
And lastly, don’t let someone’s idea of you define you. You are so much more!
We do so much around our homes, but it never feels like enough. We always question how we’ve done as a mom. Somehow with how busy we are, it can feel like our lives are somehow incomplete. There is always still more to do.
To those of you wondering if you’re a good mom, or when you will ever even fit into your own schedule-
I once read a simple quote, “you are enough.” It changed my whole thinking and gave me a sense of peace.
Enough with the mom guilt. Enough with believing what people think of us. Enough with not giving ourselves something to look forward to.