"Bad moments don't make bad mom's" To all my beautiful mom friends out there, failure in moments is a part of the journey, as long as you fail moving forward. These moments should not 'define' our ultimate journey. I have heard the term 'mom guilt' from so many different people and pages and the best thing you can do for yourselves mom, is when this dark thing hangs over your head, is to forgive yourself. And forgive quickly.
I remember sitting on my deck one day and lamenting to myself about choices I had made regarding my one child specifically. I had so much regret. My husband and I had been facing huge pressures financially at the time of his being a baby and we had made some poor choices that ended up affecting the atmosphere of the home that we were raising him in. Ultimately, I could see that this season (of strife, stress and a a close family member who was extremely critical of this child) had truly ended up affecting his personality, and the weight of this was crushing my heart.
Years later on that deck, God spoke to my heart. He told me, “Nicole, if you continue to raise this child through regret, you will raise an ‘entitled’ child. You will raise a child with a victim mentality. One who thinks that everyone is against him and that the world owes him everything. That he is entitled to remaining the victim in life and he will not take responsibility for his own emotional state or development.”
God continued to unpack the meaning of this statement to me over the next few months and years. However one things I did that day, was to repent of living through the lens of regret, when it came to my kids, or anything for that matter. I forgave myself. And yes, apologizing to our kids when you have done something to hurt them and taking responsibility for your own bad choices and not repeat them is absolutely necessary BUT I could not allow myself to be defined any longer, by choices made in the past that affected my kids adversely. I NEEDED TO GIVE MYSELF FORGIVENESS AND GRACE. God certainly had.
I realized with that child in particular, because of my regret I had given him some ‘extra leeway’ when it came to his emotional responses and choices. This had to come to an end. I loved him. I loved him as much as my other children. And he was as responsible over his choices and attitudes as the others were too. The day I stopped living out of regret was the day I stopped giving permission for that entitlement mindset. Attitudes had to be checked and the poor choice/ ownership of personal responsibility, dynamic had to be majorly set in, with a very short leash. 😊
I wish I could say it was just with the flip of a switch that all our issues regarding this went away. It didn’t. It has taken consistent work, and kind yet firm words. I remember putting him in timeout where he could not come out until he had taken responsibility for whatever he had done. I.e. he had to say the words, “I am sorry. I made a bad choice and that’s why I am in time-out. It’s not your fault I am in time out.” (Which used to be his typical M.O that everything was someone else’s fault.) There were some days, that process took hours, literally. It was hard. It took a lot of energy but it paid off. Today, the process takes seconds. “I am sorry, I made a bad choice. How can I grow in this?”
Bottom line mom, is this. Stop living out of regret. Forgive yourself quickly. Learn and grow as a parent and ask your own children forgiveness if need be. Let us raise our children to become empowered and responsible human beings. And leave the mom guilt behind. It’s not profitable and there are no good fruits that come of it. Be free moms! The rest of us salute you and give you copious amounts of grace, as we give ourselves the same gift.