Four years ago, I wrote this heart felt snippet about mom guilt. I was only about 6 months postpartum after having my first daughter so the mom guilt was just starting but I’ve learned so much since then!
The first few months of being a new mom, I honestly didn’t struggle or deal with mom guilt. I was wrapped up in one thing: my new baby. Those first few months were quite a blur and everything I did revolved around our baby… feeding, pumping, recovering from a c-section, eating everything in sight, crying alot and cuddling even more. Those things summed up my life. And while I did love every second of it (minus the PPD, of course), I held out hope that my life wouldn’t always be consumed with these things. But it felt like a lifetime away. And then one day, I woke up and the newborn stage was over. It went just as quickly as it came upon us.
Josie wasn’t needing to eat every 2 hours anymore and I eventually stopped pumping and moved onto formula (hallelujah!) and I knew that thing were getting somewhat easier. And that’s when a new frenemy knocked on my door: mom guilt.
I was recovering and able to do things I used to do like workout, blog, take pictures, and read my Bible. I was starting to come out of the fog of postpartum depression and anxiety. Life felt normal again. Besides being pregnant again already, haha, but that’s another story for another day.
As I was trying to create a daily routine, I found myself feeling so guilty when I wanted to do anything for myself. Mean little whispers filled my ears… “You’re not a good mom!” “You have a baby to take care of, you don’t have time for anything else!” “You always need to be giving your baby attention.” “If you don’t play with her or hold her 24/7, she’ll never feel loved!” I had no idea where any of these feelings were coming from. I’d never felt them before. I feel like I’m a great mom, super loving and attentive. I know my baby better than she knows herself. Yet, anytime I tried to do anything that didn’t involve Josie, I would feel like a total failure.
Every time my husband and I would go on a much-needed date, I would think about Josie almost the entire time. I wondered if she knew I was doing something else without her… as if a 5 month old thought about things like that. I own a photography business and any time I had to be gone to shoot a session, I felt the guilt creeping back into my head.
I barely put any effort into my quiet time with God because I was so consumed with holding my baby constantly. I didn’t open my laptop to write once for seven months because I felt like any time away from Josie, even though she was right beside me playing happily and carefree, was going to mess her up somehow. The mom guilt is real, y’all. But I knew that I didn’t HAVE to feel like this. I really wanted to shut it out. I at least wanted to stop listening to that guilt in my head.
I realized that any guilt, even mom guilt, is from the enemy. Guilt is never from God. In fact, Jesus took away all guilt when He proclaimed, “It is finished.”
For me, I had to accept that truth and live it out in my own life… as a mom and beyond. I hated carrying around the heavy weight of mom guilt. Jesus reminded me that that burden is not mine to bear. He wanted it. So, I gave it to Him. And I give it to Him daily, hourly even.
The enemy of my soul still tries to get to me fall into the lie of mom guilt. When I soak myself in God’s truth and in prayer, I can fight against those lies that I am not a good mom if I simply do something I enjoy. I still have to tell myself not to worry when she is playing happily in the floor beside me and I am reading or writing. She doesn’t mind. I shouldn’t let it bother me either. Date nights are needed! I should never feel guilty for putting my husband first. Don’t let the enemy lie to you either. Jesus came to take those burdens of feeling unworthy or not good enough. In Christ and only because of Him, I am FREE. And so are you.
I will not let Satan steal my motherhood and I will not let him steal my joy even for a day. Because my today belongs to God and I find all my hope in Him as a mom and outside motherhood. Jesus redeems every part of our life for His glory. He is worthy, mama, even when you feel like you aren’t.