At a recent MOPS meeting, we played a little ice breaker called “Mom Guilt Bingo.” Our cards were filled with things we don’t brag about and that you won’t find on our Instagram feeds (i.e. won’t buy my kids a puppy, uses disposable diapers, TV is my babysitter). As I read through my card, I chuckled to see that I could sign my name to fully half of the things that should cause me “Mom Guilt.” The thing was (gasp!) I don’t actually feel guilty about most of things that were on my Bingo card.
Can we be real for a minute?
As moms who are short on time and long on needs, we all fail. It’s inevitable. We’ve all been there, and we will be there again. I’m not talking #momfail after trying out a healthy recipe that looks so easy in that super speed video. For me, there is an ever-present #pinterestfail, and I’m not talking about that, either.
I can’t seem to shake the questions that weigh heavy on my mama hearts at the end of an exhausting day/week/year.
Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much?
Will they ever grow out of this stage? Will they stop growing up so fast?
Am I raising them to be the men and women of God I pray for them to be?
Honestly, I don’t have the answers. But what I do know is that, by the grace of God, I’m doing the best that I can, and that He grants me new mercies every day.
It just keeps on coming
I’ve been doing this mom-thing long enough to know that I’ll never make it over the obstacle of feeling like I’m failing my kids in one way or another. I can focus on my kids and pour into them, and the result is needing to place a tornado warning sign by the front door. I can spend all the preciousness that is nap time to organize and clean instead of resting, and then I’m likely to blow up for no good reason when find out that I picked the wrong color cup for my toddler. No matter what I do, it seems like failure in one area or another is inevitable.
What I have learned is that these little “failures” don’t define me. My kids’ opinion about how great (or not great) of a job I’m doing at parenting doesn’t define me. And neither am I defined by what the other moms around me think. Like I said before, I’m doing the best I can, and I’m pretty sure that everyone else is, too.
So, mamas. How about we give each other a break? We’re Internet friends now, right? I’ll let you in on a few #momfails of my own.
- My second grader can’t tie his shoes. I know. #momfail
- My baby who is almost two still uses a pacifier. It’s really for my own convenience at this point. #momfail #juststopcrying
- None of my three children have any sense of privacy. Not when they are in the bathroom. Not when I am in the bathroom. #momfail
- My kids go absolutely crazy when visitors come over. Even after we have a long and serious sit-down about them not going crazy when said visitors walk in the door. #momfail
- I keep a stash of chocolate chips in the pantry for nap time. #momfail #dietfail
You know what? I think I’m sitting a little taller. I think the corners of my mouth just inched up a bit. I am definitely breathing easier. It’s freeing to let go of the guilt of our failures and mess-ups.
These are silly — it’s true — but I want to look deeper than the surface. I want to get at the root of these #momfail moments. The fact that my second-grader can’t tie his shoes might just show a lack of independence. The two-year-old-paci-lover might just be signaling a lack of perseverance (on my part, and on his).
The truth is that we can’t do it all, no matter how hard we try. But we can, by the grace of God, get up and do it again tomorrow.
Please, please, feel free to share your #momfail moments with me. Then maybe I won’t feel so bad!