There is a magical unicorn mother that was invented by the internet and people without children. She is perfect. She is calm, collected, trendy, aware, and she bakes like a food-angel. She is good at all the things that have ever been suggested by a parenting article, MIL, or fashion blogger.
Too bad she lives in fairy tales and in the imaginations of internet trolls.
I asked a few amazing bloggers and influencers to talk about their strengths, their struggles, and what they do about mom guilt. WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT. No one can do everything, but WE CAN celebrate the moms we are already.
Comparison is a liar and a thief.We need each other.
I celebrate YOU today my friend, exactly as you are right now.
There is some GREAT wisdom here, enjoy…
What are your strengths? I feel like I am a creative mom! I love imaginative play with my kids; going on grand adventures in our living room and backyard, turning into a family of puppies, etc. I also feel like I do a good job of inviting my kids into my world. We do a lot of cooking and cleaning together. Not only do we spend time together, but I get to teach them valuable lessons!
What quality do you admire in other mom’s that you don’t feel like you possess? I wish I had the ability to not get SO overwhelmed with so many small kids. I see other moms out with their tiny herds of people and they seem to have it all together – their kids listen, no one is climbing out of the shopping cart, the mom isn’t losing her cool, etc. I wish I was more calm and collected in that sense. When we go out into public, and even at home, some days it feels like a circus gone wrong and I’m the ring leader in the middle with no control!
What is your best piece of advice for managing mom guilt/ accepting yourself? At the end of the day, when I surrender it, God takes away my mom guilt/shame and gives me a new day every morning to love my kids better than the last. Giving myself grace can only go so far, but His grace is cleansing. Also, copious amounts of chocolate makes me feel better in the hardest moments. What makes me proud? I think the fact that my kids love others really well; they are kind and compassionate, and I think learning those things starts in the home. They also have the ability to articulate these feelings well and show love often. That makes my mama heart soar!
Jehava Brown of Only Girl 4 Boyz.
Strengths: I am really good at time management. Even when I had a toddler and infant, I was rarely late. I can plan ahead, and get almost anywhere on time or early. This is definitely a challenge with 3 kids. Time management has really helped me in finishing college as a new mom, and growing my blogging business.
Strengths I wish I had: The ability to keep my home clean while raising kids. I feel like I always struggle with this, and some moms seem to do it so easily. I feel like if their houses are usually clean, they just have every aspect of their lives “together.”
Best piece of advice: Whenever I get down and feel like less than, I make a list. I literally list out all that I did that day, and the good qualities about myself. I’m realizing that each of us are perfectly made to be the moms of the children we have been blessed with. God has given me everything I need to be what they need, and I have to trust that. Self talk is a powerful tool to help me focus on the positive more than the negative, and all that I feel like I’m doing wrong.
Whitney Lang Flemming of Playdates on Fridays.
Strengths: My sense of humor, and, I genuinely believe in my kids’ ability to change the world. When we have the opportunity, we have so much fun together and all three of my daughters have a wicked sense of humor, so I can’t wait to hang out with them. It’s easy to want to put away work and laugh with them. I also work hard — really hard — to portray the kind of people I expect them to be, so I am proud that we volunteer a lot as a family, that we choose kindness over selfishness, and that our home is welcome to everyone, not just whoever our friends are at the time. It makes for tough decisions, but my girls are always happier that they did the right thing in the end.
Strengths I wish I had: I wish I had the ability to not lecture as much as I do. I have the tendency to “word vomit” when I am upset, and I wish I could just take some time to breathe and let my words soak in to the kids a bit.
Best piece of advice: The only way to get rid of Mom guilt is simply not to accept it. We can do that by knowing our kids will be fine because we have done our job by loving them and making the best choices we can for our own families. Being confident in the decisions we make, and keeping our eye on the big picture can allow that guilt to slide right off our backs. What I also notice about my happy, guilt-free friends is that they complain the least and, they also choose to live in the moment. I rarely hear words such as “I will be happy when X is over” or “It will be better when school is out.” Since happiness is a conscious decision, they choose to be happy. Right now. This is something I’m always working on, but haven’t quite been able to grasp.
Strengths: After learning some lessons early on, I now think I do a good job of parenting each of my three kids individually (ages 6, 3 and 2) instead of trying to treat them all the same. I also have learned the art of making small outings or activities feel like the biggest moment EVER… which hopefully teaches them to find the joy in everything.
Strengths I wish I had: I’ll answer this the way I would encourage a friend to answer. We need to stop wishing we were something we aren’t, and believe that the qualities we DO possess are enough and worthy of being celebrated.
Best piece of advice: Whenever I start to feel guilt (i.e. working in front of them, feeling like I’m too busy) or like I’m not enough… I start to think about what I would tell my kids if they came to me one day when they are parents, and are dealing with the same things. I would encourage them to give themselves grace and believe in who they are… so why not set an example of doing the same thing for myself.
Jess (me) of Wonderoak.
Strengths: I am good at being my kids’ friend when they need it and I’m good at quality one-on-one conversations.
Strengths I wish I had: I wish I was more patient and not quite so fiery. I also admire people that are always present and not distracted.
Best piece of advice: You are your own worst critic, period. I sometimes get sucked into a subconscious mom-guilt-funk, and I have to pull myself out by my bootstraps and remind myself that I AM ENOUGH, and that the mom I am for my kids is ENOUGH. The other night I asked the kids what they liked about me (I know, I was fishing for compliments haha), but their responses nearly brought me to tears.
What they see is not what we see. They love us so much.