Mama Guilt…

A Mama malady of our time is the topic of reflection today…It is so lovely to have you here…shall we begin our time together…

I have prepared a special tray just for us, it has vintage cups, tiny sugar bowl, milk jug & freshly baked Gf scones with homemade strawberry jam for our treat. We are sitting at my dining room table which is positioned in front of a double sliding glass door that looks out onto our front garden.

Our tea blend today is an unusual one that I think you may enjoy, it is called Orange Pekoe, I have the teapot, so, as I pour our tea or would you prefer coffee…we will begin reflecting on today’s topic…

Mother guilt seems to be a malady of recent times

Although, it may have always been… I have observed this in Mamas both young, old & across different cultures & whether they are birth, adoptive, step or foster mothers.

Let me explain what exactly Mother guilt is; it is the feeling we have not done or doing enough for our children. 

It is a very unpleasant feeling for any Mama…who has & is doing her absolute best for her children, whether they are young or now adults….within the knowledge, life experience, circumstances, health & energy, resources & maturity she has…at any given time along the way

road walking cute youngSo….why do we feel this way… It comes down to what we either continually expect of ourselves (I am guilty of this one) or the pressure of expectations that are continually placed upon us….or maybe a combination of both…

Over the past 50+ years media in all its forms has had a huge part to play in this malady & the expectations that are placed upon motherhood…I grew up with movies & programs…

Where the mother always had the perfect house, her children were always clean, neat, well mannered & well behaved all the time…she was the perfect mother, wife & cook, always had a smile on her face & the perfect words on her tongue for every occasion…she did everything perfectly to keep the family running smoothly…

The actual reality of motherhood, of course, was never shown…

That imperfection, exhaustion & messiness reigns with raising children….in all its glory! Conversely, mothers who fell outside of this perceived “normality of perfection” were judged & found wanting!

Which I am here to tell you…is all of us Mamas! As hard as I tried & I can tell you…try I did! I could never attain that level of perfection… I was not the perfect Mama…

My children may have started the day clean, neat & tidy…but by the end of the day they were not…I taught them good manners & what was acceptable social behavior, I gave them a solid foundation of God’s love but children are children…they mess up, just like us adults do!

While of course we want to do our very best for our children…absolutely & without question! The main thing they need & want from us is….relationship!

They want to be with us, spending quality time with us, watching us go through both the good times & the challenging times…so they too can learn what a real role model of resilience looks like…imperfect & messy but keeps trying….& in observing us…meeting & overcoming the challenges of life…they learn that they can too….

Hopefully going on to lead their best lives in the good & the challenging times that will inevitably greet them as adults!

So, Mamas let us who have done & are still trying to do our very best for our children, whatever age they may be & whatever capacity we may have…do away with Mama guilt in all its manifestations & see the real priorities…

Spending quality time with our children & grandchildren when we can…& enjoy the precious moments of relationship…for what it is…imperfect & messy……but loving each other within it with kindness, patience, respect & tolerance!

I hope you enjoyed our time together & the Orange Pekoe tea…

Until next time…

Jennifer

 

Jennifer is a published author,  discover more in The Book Nook

 

 

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41 thoughts on “Mama Guilt…

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  1. I am grateful for all the “substitute” mothers in my life, too. They demonstrated all these things which my own mother could not. They allowed me to be a good enough mother and now grandmother.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jennifer – Oh – momma guilt – yep, I know that one all too well. thanks for sharing some good thoughts on how to overcome the guilt and by the way, I prefer tea, and your orange pekoe sounds divine! thanks for stopping by my place and leaving a comment and an invitation to stop on by for some tea . I am glad I did. I sure hope you also took the time to link up with #TuneInThursday this week while you were there visiting. 🙂 I would sure love to have you – (Maybe you already did and I just didn’t see it… ooops and sorry if that is the case. ) Enjoy your weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is amazing that no matter what the child’s age somehow we mothers still feel guilt about not doing or being enough for our family. This post is a lovely reminder about what relationships should be. You should repost it on Mother’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is definitely a malady for us Mamas… Thank you Bernadette, our Mother’s day is coming up next month too! When is your Mother’s day in your part of the world?
      I’ll have to work out how to repost! Lol! Still learning!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennifer, I think most of us have felt overwhelmed and lacking in the Mama department on so many occasions. I am blessed to keep my only grandchild three days a week! With all of life experiences, I now realize just enjoy the moments, they pass too quickly! I love tea and scones with you, great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wise words! It is easy in all kinds of areas to feel guilt because of the pressures we put on ourselves or the expectations of others. As you say, love is the most important thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jennifer, throughout my entire life, all of my problems have been dealt with over a cup of tea, so I was pleased to discover your lovely blog this morning at the Creative Mondays Link Up. (My current post is one of my favourite tea sandwiches.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, tea time is such a great focus to share, I always offered my clients one before our sessions together. It helps to create a relaxed & yet productive time!
      I’ll check your sandwiches out!

      Like

  7. Mama guilt is so insidious that it can strike when your kids have left the nest! As I watch my daughter interact with our grandson, I feel guilt because I don’t remember taking such delight in her and her sister when they were young. Well, it’s never too late! I delight in them (and our grandson, of course) NOW!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree Anita, all my girls are adults with their own families & I still feel it at times, especially when they are unwell, or struggling with a challenge in their lives & I can’t be there because of chronic health issues of my own, although I try my best when my body allows….

      Now, I enjoy the quality time we have together when I am able…

      Like

  8. I needed your encouragment today – my parenting and my kids are not perfect. We have a good relationship for which I’m so grateful – still need to pray more and talk less, however!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sometimes I think it’s not just momma guilt but female guilt. I see young women without children judging themselves harshly. I do feel the tide is turning though about showing only perfect moms. I remember when Roseanne first came on tv and it was so refreshing to see a non-perfect family.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve really struggled with mom guilt over the years. I write my sons a letter each year, since they were children (they are now all three adults). And every year I find myself wanting to apologize for certain things I didn’t do right, that ultimately might have harmed them. I think this is because of my great love for them and my desire that things go well for them in life. But the struggle they face–dysfunction and all–is used by God to refine their faith and character. So I try to let go of the guilt and trust the One who cleanses me of that guilt. Thanks so much for this touching and meaningful post, Jennifer! Nice to meet you too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to have you drop by!
      I agree God meets us in our dysfunction & works with us to His plan for us & our children…
      There is a lovely saying;
      A mother was lamenting over the waywardness of her child…crying & blaming herself for it. God suddenly stood beside her & with His arm around her shoulder said “Child, don’t think being an imperfect Mama has caused this, I am the perfect Father & look at my children & the choices they make!”

      Like

  11. Social media has ramped up the mama guilt to an alarming high. It’s time to give — and receive — less comparison and more compassion. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Momma’s guilt sure can cause a ton of discomfort. Slowly but surely I have learned the meaning of, “I did my best.” Thank you for sharing and pointing out expectations are usually what gets in the way. Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Link-Up.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Such good reminders here, Jennifer! I’m the mom of two little ones, and all too often, I struggle with this! Thanks for the reminder that a relationship is what they need most from us! This blessed me today!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Jennifer, coming to you from last week’s Grace Moments link up (oops – a week late). I clicked on your post because of the title – Mommy Guilt. Boy, do I have it! I have had to learn that some of this also comes from Satan as he is trying to steal joy from our families.

    You said, “They want to be with us, spending quality time with us, watching us go through both the good times & the challenging times…so they too can learn what a real role model of resilience looks like…imperfect & messy but trying…”

    This is so important. I try to remind myself not to let Satan rob me of this most precious relationship (and the time I have to establish it – now when they are young so they’ll still want to hang out with me some when they are older). They don’t care how clean the house is or if I had a chance to take a shower today – they just want to be with me – “imperfect and messy.”

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Heather,
      You’re welcome! Lovely to have you drop by! Yes the enemy does love to rob us of truth & get our eyes off God’s priorities – relationship!
      Glad you were encouraged.
      Jennifer

      Like

  15. Jennifer, I am with you – we must leave Mama guilt behind. I, too, grew up in an era where perfection was the “norm”. My mom’s house was immaculate, her dinners were on time, and she always had treats made for the kids. She didn’t work outside the house. I worked full time, and always felt harried and half-put-together. I did devote a lot of time to my kids, however. It’s time to let go of the guilt!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jennifer,
    I can be the queen of “Great Expectations” – of myself and others. Problem is…they set us up for disappointment every time. Having now grown children, I can look back and see all the things I could have, should have done differently. Beating myself up does no earthly good. I need to pray and ask God to fill in the cracks. Great reminder!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I agree Bev, hindsight is a wonderful thing but we don’t have that at the time, do we!
      We need to move forward in God’s love & forgiveness, loving our adult children with His love in whatever way we can.
      That may well be to be just being a faithful prayer warrior before His throne of grace for them each day, believing that our prayers for them will be answered in His timing.
      Blessings to you too! 😀

      Like

  17. This has definitely been on my heart as I try to fight comparison. It’s unfair to ourselves to stack our failures against someone’s triumphs as manas on social media. They’re portraying the best of their day; I guarantee they also have rotten days when nothing seems to go as planned. Taking breaks from social media when I notice the increase in mom guilt definitely helps to combat that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, comparison is a counter productive exercise Elena…it only produces discouragement & anxiety. You have a good strategy though.
      As a professional counselor I can tell you No One has a perfect life especially Mama’s no matter what they put on social media!
      We need to remember this 😉
      Lovely having you drop by today!

      Like

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