Are you mothering with guilt?
Mothering is a journey, an adventure that you embark on with no instructions to be found. No one really tells you if you’re doing a good job along the way. You periodically stare at your children wondering if you’re doing a good job, evaluating their attitudes, quirks, and personalities. Does anyone notices all the effort you put into raising your children? Are your choices the right ones? How do you know if you made a right choice?
Parenting Holistically involves more than the normal, take the doctor at his word or just doing what we saw our parents doing. Holistic means treating the whole body, spirit, and mind. Taking into account social factors of life and the spiritual life of our family. Seeing how our decisions effect the whole child, not treating their body separate from their spirit.
Along with my parenting journey, I have found hundreds of choices to make along the way. Some small and seemingly insignificant while others are major life choices that I may have to face in the future. Do I use disposable diapers or cloth diapers? Should I stay at home or work? Do I vaccinate my children or not? Do I discipline with grace based parenting or an old school rigid style? What kind of food do I feed them? The list goes on and on throughout my life as a mother. Often we let mothering with guilt sneak in and steal away our joy of parenting. The guilt tells us we are not enough, we are failing, that mother next door is so much better than we are. These lies start to pile and we find ourselves striving for approval. Comparing ourselves to others is a deadly trap that never helps us fulfill our purpose.
God made us all different. We all have different strengths to offer our children and the world. So how do we ever come to the right choice? I think it’s important for our children to see us making the choice we feel is right. When our children see that we care, when they see that we want to make the right choice and are hearts are for them, it takes the guilt out of decision making. Looking back at my childhood, I don’t agree with all the choices my parents made for us but I see their heart in the choice. In their heart, they were making the best decision they could at the time with the knowledge they had. I can honor that.
Sometimes we have to make decisions for our families that we don’t want to make or we don’t feel ready for. Instead of mothering with guilt, we need to be confident in our decisions. I really believe that making the best-informed decision you can make and give it your heart is way healthier for your family than just randomly picking something and hoping, always questioning the choice you made. Mothering with guilt will take away from your present now moment with your kids.
- Do some research on the topic you are pondering for your family. Read forums, ask advice from other parents and read blogs.
- Check your heart, if you have to constantly justify a decision to yourself it’s probably not the right decision for your family.
- Pray for confirmation. When making decisions for my family I ask the Lord for guidance and often He gives me confirmation on the decision I need to make.
- Believe in your decision! If you have done the above it’s time to stomp out the guilt and believe in what you decided. There is always grace to change your mind later but please stop living in guilt for your parenting style. Make your choice and stand on your decision until your heart tells you otherwise.
Children long to feel loved. They measure your parenting skills by the amount of time spent with them, hugs and kisses and your heart toward them, not whether you decided to cloth diaper or not. Our children will ultimately remember our hearts in the choices, not the choices. Anyone that knows me knows I heavily research my choices. I’ve even been known to change my mind over the years as I gather new information but that’s not what my children will remember. They will remember squirt gun fights in the backyard and games of UNO in the living room. However, you choose to parent, do it without guilt and show your children your heart in the process.
We want to be emotionally healthy for our children so we can pass on the best mindsets and give them a future of success.