This article is by Mercy Connors, Ph.D. and published by AACC
“You are sending someone else?” The condescending tone on the other side of the phone was evident to me. “Yes, if the doctor is not going to be able to do the procedure that day, I will send my friend with my daughter for the doctor’s appointment.” “Ok,” the condescension continued as I tried to hold the tears back from my voice. Of course, I want to be with my daughter for the appointment, but the doctor was only going to check if she needed the procedure; I told myself to try to hold back the flood of, “You aren’t good enough,” coming my way.
Mom Guilt is real, and all mothers feel it. We feel inadequate, unprepared, overdone, and just really overlooked sometimes. Our kids and families are so important to us, and we want to show them that love and concern every day. We do our best, but somedays we don’t have it. Our love tanks, our energy banks, and our overall “I can’t take this anymore” buckets are full. Then that’s when we seem to get the statements, “You work, and have two little ones at home.” “Shouldn’t you be spending more time with your kids.” “You know that the formative years are the most important.” Wow, can moms get a break?
Here is the deal, we are all trying to do our best here. I think we can all agree that sometimes we are supermom and others, we are just mom, but we are the best moms in the world to our kids. You might work outside the home or get grumpy when you get home from work. You may not get all the assignments done with your child for their science class, or you may be frustrated with trying to work and do homeschooling with your kids. You may not have talked with your best girlfriend in months because you are so busy, or you may have burnt half of dinner. What doesn’t change is the love that your kids have for you. Yep, your kids love you even when you are grumpy, tired, frustrated, upset, overwhelmed, and crying. They love you, Mom, don’t forget that. You see their love in different ways. It is that cute look on their face after they just spilled the milk. It’s that laugh as they run from you because they think getting in pajamas on is a game. It is that shy smile as they tell you about this boy they like. It’s that look on their face when they run to you with a skinned knee. That love makes it all worth it. They are important, of course, but so are you, especially to them.
God gave mothers an extra amount of love and grace to be those hard workers and be active in connecting and nurturing even when things are challenging or busy. It is inside us all to be and do more, not because we are inadequate or don’t have time, but because that’s how God loves us, and we want to give that same kind of love to our kids. We want our kids always to know we love them no matter what, that our love is not conditional but freely given, just like God’s love.
When someone does say something like this person said to me on the phone and I feel like the worst mom in the world because I was trying to find a way to take my daughter to her appointment and still do the work God called me to do, I have to remember that I love her so much and that she knows it. She does! If she didn’t know I loved her, she wouldn’t run to me when I get home or smile at me or lay her head on me when she is tired. My kids know I love them, and I am for them; it doesn’t matter what other people think or how they might try to influence my decisions. What matters is them! If they matter, Mom, you matter. Take a rest, give yourself grace, do it better next time, slow down, set your phone aside, and know that your kids love you, and so does God.