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Do you ever feel like you’re so busy as a mom that you aren’t giving your children what they really need? As a busy modern mom, I used to struggle with Mom Guilt. I learned how to get over Mom Guilt for good so I don’t go into a tailspin every time someone utters one of those well-meaning phrases like:
“Savor every moment.”
“Dishes and dusting can wait.”
“Your babies grow up too fast! Enjoy every moment with them.”
“You should eliminate “hurry up” from your vocabulary and just walk with your children at their pace?”
How to Get Over Mom Guilt
Mamas, can I be real with you for a minute?
I love my babies. I mean it–I adore them! I can’t stand to be apart from them for very long, and I have the best time in the world when we are doing things together. It’s one of the main reasons I chose to homeschool.
But Mamas have to get stuff done too!
Sometimes all the well-intentioned advice about slowing down and savoring time with our children just adds to the Mom Guilt.
Mom Guilt. It’s that nagging feeling that you’re not doing enough. Not quite good enough. Not enough…
The fact that you’re here reading this tells me that you want to enjoy your children’s childhood. They are one of the most precious things in your life, and you have a huge desire to be with them. I know that you would never think that working is more important than your child so I feel confident in saying this to you:
It’s Ok to Be a Busy Working Mom
Whether you’re working in the home or at a job, you’re doing good things.
And successful mamas of the past have been doing the exact same thing.
Ma Ingalls Wasn’t a Helicopter Mom
Do you remember Ma from the The Little House on the Prairie series? If you haven’t read the books you’ve probably seen at least a few scenes from the beloved Michael Landon tv series. Remember those moments of prairie life that inspired you? Laura and Mary working and playing happily and peacefully–for the most part.
At the end of the day, the family would gather in the sitting room and listen to Pa play the fiddle. The family spent those peaceful evenings bonding before bedtime.
But Ma was getting stuff done!
Even when the family gathered to listen to Pa play the fiddle, Ma kept busy with sewing, mending. She worked hard from sun-up to sun down.
She was not out romping in the fields making wildflower crowns with her daughters. Did she want to? I’m sure she did! But there was food to prepare, laundry to wash, animals to tend to…houses to build (remember that one time when the log fell off the house as they were building and crushed her ankle? Ouch!).
Spending her days taking care of her family made her a great mom, not a distracted one.
Classic Role Model Mamas Were Too Busy to Play
June Cleaver didn’t beat herself up because she was vacuuming the rug instead of tossing the ball with Wally and the Beaver.
Claire Huxtable didn’t cook supper every night and wasn’t always there to welcome Rudy and Vanessa and the rest home from school.
Molly Weasley has magic on her side and yet she uses her spare time to fight evil rather than scrapbook her red-headed children’s baby days.
Biblical Examples of Motherhood Who Weren’t Always Attentive
Hannah sent little Samuel off to serve the Lord as soon as he was weaned.
Moses’ mom knew that letting someone else raise him was the only way to save his life and secure his future.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, well, there was that one time when 12-year-old Jesus was missing for like 24 hours before she even noticed. Excuse me Mary, what sort of mother…. (kidding!)
How about that elusive Proverbs 31 woman? She rises early to prepare food. She provides for her household and servants. She invests. She crafts. She decorates. She works!
She isn’t watching her children every waking minute, and yet, they arise and call her blessed!
Don’t get me wrong, your children most definitely need you.
They need your care. They need your affection. They need your attention.
They need the advice of a person who loves them unconditionally and knows their personalities better than anyone else!
But children also need space to explore, free time to test their limits and get creative.
Have you ever noticed how your child’s play changes when you’re in the room? I remember as a child feeling shy and my imagination hampered when adults were present.
Children need you to wash their clothes and cook their food as much as they need you to “watch this cool trick”. AND they need space to perfect that cool trick before you watch!
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We find balance by giving attention to the right things at the right times.
I’m always on a mission to find the balance between getting stuff done and focusing on the most important things in our life. I know it can become a distraction, a burden, but that doesn’t mean we have to cease all productivity.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV
There is a time for work and a time for rest.
A time for cleaning and a time for reading stories.
A time for cooking and a time for splashing in the bathtub.
A time for hustle and a time for stillness.
Ma Ingalls may have worked all day, but she ended the day in restful relational time with her family.
Be present in the moments!
And, when you are rocking the baby or reading to the toddler, or tossing the frisbee, alter your awareness. See yourself as they do. Lock it away in your memory.
But when the duties of homemaking call, do not be ashamed to answer them with your full attention also!
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23 ESV)
If you work at your tasks with all your heart, and then cease from your striving, you will find the balance in your motherhood, in your life, that God intended for you. And your children will arise and call you blessed.
Tell me, do you ever feel guilty for not giving undivided attention to your children?