Surely this has happened to you too. . .you have an "aha!" moment, something that feels revolutionary and then after a moment you think, "That's so simple, I can't believe I didn't think of it before." Tell me I am not alone in this!
So I had one of those moments, and because it NOW seems to obvious, I'm wondering how I can explain so that you will appreciate what an empowering moment this was. Let's start with a couple questions.
What causes your Mom Guilt? (Or Dad Guilt...wait, do Dad's have Dad Guilt...hmmm, there's a pondering for later.) I digress, what causes your mom guilt? Think for a moment about specific instances were you felt like you were not doing enough, or being enough for your children. Imagine specific moments when you felt like you were failing somehow as a mother. Don't you hate those moments? I know we all have them because I think about it all the time: either my own mom guilt or as someone else is sharing a story about their mom guilt. We are either commiserating or laughing (after the fact).
I have a friend who is re-evaluating her life and her values (yes, she is in her 40's, but I'll avoid the mid-life crisis jokes since she reads my blog). One of the things that she told me was on her mind was identifying more clearly what it meant to her to be a mother. What were her values and goals? Specifically, what were HER values as opposed to those imposed by society or culture. I thought it was a great question.
As I pondered how I would answer those very same questions, Eureka! The answer to Mom Guilt. I realized with clarity that most of the time when I feel "Mom Guilt" it is because I am trying to comform to someone else's ideas of what the "perfect mother" is.
I am no June Cleaver. And yet, many of my acquantainces are. I mean that in an affectionate way. It makes me feel like a grasshopper among ants. Yet, when I really took some time to crystalize what my goals and values are as a mother, I felt good, very good. I AM succeeding in the areas that matter most to me. I have some visible weaknesses, but the things that matter the most to me are where I really shine. More importantly, that is where my children shine as well.
Amazing! So simple and yet profound. Try it. Sit down and ponder what YOU think are the most important roles of a mother, and how are you doing in those areas? I think you will be pleasantly surprised about what a great job you are doing, in the areas that matter most to you.
THAT is what I call sucess!