I’ve found that "mom guilt" is more accessible than it should be and easier to yield to than I am willing to admit...
Here’s the truth. Mom guilt started way before motherhood; this is not something that magically appeared after giving birth to a fun size version of myself, it has always been there. There’s always an array of guilt, we have just done a great job at putting words in front it. Now there's- job guilt, wife guilt, friend guilt, food guilt, shoppers’ guilt.
Guilt is guilt no matter what word we place in front of it.
For me, this started as a little girl who was groomed to meet the unyielding expectations of others. If I dared to not meet them, I would be greeted with rejection, feelings of abandonment and words that affirmed I wasn’t good enough. These repeated moments wrote the words to a novel I was never designed to be a character in.
Through these exchanges, I learned how to easily deem myself guilty. The judge was my unresolved issues of the past throwing down the gavel, validating my charges and sentencing me to guilt prison.
This isn’t new, it’s just matured....
The term "mom guilt" has conveniently given guilt permission to grow with us into motherhood and occupy space in different areas of our lives.
So, how do we choose God's grace over "mom guilt"?
If you’re anything like me, you are serious about motherhood. You’re a ride or die kind of mom. Motherhood is the best hood. You understand that there are no do overs and that you have a grand opportunity to get it “right”.
With all of that being said, let me tell you a story. I was drowning in tasks at a job I grieved going to everyday and forgot to take my son his lunch. I had said "yes" more to work than to my child whom I loved more than anything.
The eight minute drive from work to pick him up from school felt more like an hour commute because I was stuck in the traffic of my thoughts. I had already predetermined his disappointment, embarrassment or how he must’ve felt abandoned by the one he trusts the most. Yet, when I arrived at his school, he ran to me full speed with the biggest smile. He was simply happy to see me and listen to all of my apologies.
His simple and gentle response was, ‘It's okay”.
I was perplexed because I could’ve sworn that the world ended three times.
It’s safe to say that the unrealistic expectations of perfectionism as mothers often comes from a fear. For me it had been a fear of failure. For you it may be different. I have allowed fear to snatch my right to make mistakes so many times.
Just like my precious boy who was happier to see his mother more than the meal I promised, therein lies grace. The grace that we as women deserve to extend to ourselves.
I hope those two words reach a place in your soul and repair the fragmented areas caused by the belief that you failed. There is no failure in the presence of grace.
The truth is there is no shortage of grace, but there is a shortage in receiving it. Jesus Christ took the responsibility of paying the HIGH price for grace and it is our responsibility to accept it moment by moment. My son and I have a grace statement that I want to share with you, you can borrow it free of charge.
“This is my first time being a mom and this your is first time being a son.”
Remembering this statement has given us permission to fall into grace. Guess what? Sometimes we forget and it takes a minute or day or week to remember. Sometimes it gets messy before we get to grace. But eventually, we get there.
Grace is the determined divine destination for us all.
Zaneeka is an author, speaker/minister and coach. She is also the founder and host of iEdify Women's Summit and the author of “What If I Believe Everything God Says About Me?”. Above all other roles she is most proud to be a daughter of God and the mother of her son. Zaneeka is known for her love for people and laughter, encouragement, and the desire to see the lives of others transformed from the inside out.
Don't forget to grab Zaneeka's book and register for the iEdify 2022 Retreat in the BAHAMAS! The pictures below should take you exactly where you need to go:
Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, public speaker, and musician. She serves as the Director of Communications and Donor Relations for the student sports-centric nonprofit she and her husband, Gage, run called Twelve. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to two little girls, Lina and Lili. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.