It was a simple PBS show – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
It was shortly before supper and I had turned on the TV so Mazy could have some downtime while I cooked supper. As soon as I hit the power button, I had this rush of guilt flood over this mommy’s heart, wondering if I made a good choice. And that’s when I became a friend of guilt, again.
What happened in those next few moments was something that was a bit life-changing at that time. I stood there, and I believe I even voiced this to Dan who was in the room as well, that I have GOT to get rid of the mom-guilt. The self-imposed guilt. The self-imposed fear. The fear that I am not being a good mom. The fear that we ruining our kids. Now I know that some would argue that I am doing some sort of ruining by turning on the TV. I am not going to stand here and defend myself in that matter, but simply explain that it doesn’t matter WHAT we do, it’s how we find ourselves in that circle of friends with guilt.
It could be that feeling of guilt that you didn’t take your kid to the park that day. It could be that feeling of guilt that you gave your child a piece of candy instead of a strawberry. It could be that feeling of guilt that you didn’t read one more book to them. It could be that feeling of guilt when you turn on an educational show for your child while you breathe and make supper.
I DO IT ALL OF THE TIME AND I AM A SELF-PROCLAIMED FRIEND OF GUILT.
And I have got to stop it.
But how? Here are a few things that I know I need in order to “unfollow” guilt’s influence on my life:
- Give myself some grace. The same grace God gives me everyday. There are times when Mazy needs a timeout. Not behaviorally, but time to lay down, relax, and learn, not just from me. I am so thankful for PBS and YouTube! The things Mazy has learned from shows on those channels, has amazed me. The other day she sang the ABCs to me. She is 2 1/2. The LMNOP may sound like a new word, but nevertheless, she almost got through the whole alphabet. Yes, we sing them with her too, but I know without a doubt she learned most of it from Sesame Street and her Little Baby Bum YouTube show!
- Accept reality. We’ve got to eat! I mean we could eat PB&Js at every meal for the simple ease of making food, but I enjoy that time before supper, standing in the kitchen, with my fav Christian radio station playing in the background, as I make food for our family. Okay, now I’m making it sound like it’s a 5 course meal. Folks, it’s not. I know, I was making it sound all glamorous, but I need that time too, just like Mazy does. And it’s OKAY.
- Monitor. I monitor what Mazy watches. We do not watch the news with Mazy up because of what she might see and hear. Also, commercials can also be disturbing as well, hence why PBS (35.2 – all day they have young children’s shows on) and YouTube are our fav channels!
- I am a daughter of THE King. I let so many other things in my life, run my life, instead of THE King. When I sit back and think that as a mom, I am a daughter of THE God, it puts my heart at so much ease. What does that mean? That means God loves me for WHO I am. For who He created ME to be. which leads me to my last point…
- I am not perfect and nor should I strive to be. What I should strive for is to be the best of ME. God doesn’t want our perfect. He wants our flaws. And my mom-guilt is my flaw. Not my turning on the TV.
Needless to say, I am a working on this. Do you deal with mom-guilt? What do you beat yourself up over the most? I used to beat myself up over what Mazy ate. She was picky, like every child is at some point it seems, and she didn’t want to eat vegetables. And to be completely honest, Mazy hasn’t eaten vegetables in over a year. She won’t eat them. We’ve tried and tried, folks! And you know what? She is still alive and well! I used to almost be in tears as I tried to put them in everything under the sun, but she always picked around them and/or spit them out. Finally I realized, I have got to let this go. I have got to let go of the mom-guilt. She still doesn’t eat them, but she is healthy, happy, and loved more than she will ever know.