Two weeks ago, I had a mommy meltdown. We began Lana's bedtime routine, which usually looks like this: I feed her, we give her a bath, Louis puts her PJs on and then I sing her a song while rocking her for a few minutes. Lastly, we place her in the crib awake but drowsy. She talks to herself until she finally falls asleep. This is the best case scenario and sounds way more magical than it is. But that was not the case two Sundays ago. She refused to sleep: she was screaming in her room while Louis held me; I was crying in his arms. True story. Parenthood doesn't always guarantee being on the upside of things.
In a perfect world, I am on top of the world with all my tasks—laundry, cleaning, meal planning, cooking, running errands, keeping up with naptimes and having a social life. But the truth is,
I was crying because I was overwhelmed with the workload of the week ahead and the to-do lists that never seems to shorten. I am not only a business owner, I'm a mother and wife first. The meals, cleaning and parenting are my main responsibilities. My husband does a great job at picking up where I left off but I wish that wasn't the case. I wish I could do it all. I was crying because I felt like a failure. Mom guilt is the voice that whispers what I do wrong all the time, the voice that robs me of my joyful moments.
Can I be real with you? There is a pressure to constantly defend my parenting, especially to the previous generation. It is tiring and quite frankly, shouldn't be. It feeds the guilt monster. It amps the volume when I compare myself to the imaginary person in my head. It doesn't build me up—it tears me down. Comparison truly is the thief of joy.
After a talk with my husband, where he puts everything in perspective and becomes the voice a reason, my mind was finally in a place to see truth.
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I find rest in Him. Mom guilt dies in the pools of His grace. I realize that I was chasing after perfection instead of chasing after the things that matter; holding my child a little tighter because teething is a challenging season. Or that dishes can wait because I was there for a friend who needed me. Is living life an excuse to be lazy? Of course not. But wanting to be perfect is an afflicting burden that I am not meant to carry. His yoke is easy because He carries it with us. We don't sink in our frustrations, we rise. We stand on the truth we know.
This is the truth I stand on: I am already giving my daughter what I myself did not have: a loving home for her to grow up with both her parents that love her (and each other), the opportunity to be at home with her, and the rewards of a life fully surrendered to the Lord.
So moms everywhere: silence the voice of guilt with grace. Stand in the truth that you know. Seize the day—you're doing great!