Mom guilt is irrational
Mommy, can I watch a show?
Mommy, play with me all day long
But play my way or you are wrong
Can I have a few minutes to myself?
Mommy, play with me or I will yell
It’s okay to be overwhelmed
Have grace with your kids, but also yourself
I have been struggling with mom guilt the past few days. M.J. has been having an attitude and I’m worried part of it is that I have been letting him have too much screen time. I’ve heard from other moms that their kids have a better attitude if they limit screen time, but that is so hard to do right now. There are not a lot of places to go play. It’s winter so we obviously don’t play outside as much as we would if it were warmer. Actually, most days, we don’t even play outside at all because M.J. refuses to wear his winter coat and I don’t feel like dealing with it.
M.J. loves watching shows (probably a little too much). I feel like it is partly my fault because I would normally let him watch a show whenever he asked. I didn’t have to entertain him if he had a show to entertain him. Although, now whenever I say I can’t play with him he asks to watch a show. He will play by himself, but he obviously prefers for someone to play with him. He has started getting upset when I don’t let him watch a show or when I can’t play with him. Today, I’m feeling guilty because I let him watch a show because I didn’t feel like dealing with his attitude. But, of course, I’m worried that letting him watch this show will only worsen his bad attitude. How can I limit screen time and also have time to myself? Covid is hard.
“We must remember, though, our children don’t need us to be the perfection of Christ. They need to see us in pursuit of Christ.”- Mom Set Free Bible Study Book by Jeannie Cunnnion
I have been doing the Bible Study, Mom Set Free by Jeannie Cunnion. This is my second time doing this Bible Study, I find it very encouraging. The main theme of the Bible Study is to have grace with ourselves and our children. We all make mistakes. So many moms try to be perfect, but that is not possible. We need to look to God for perfection, not ourselves. We need to remember God’s grace is always there no matter how many times we mess up. This is very easy for me to read and write about, but it is very confusing to live out. I don’t know how to have grace with myself. I mess up time and time again. I also get confused about how to have grace with M.J. I don’t want to be too lenient, but I know I shouldn’t be too hard on him either. What are appropriate expectations for his age? I have no idea!
So, if any other moms feel like this, remember you’re not alone. It’s okay to be honest about your struggles. I don’t think it’s a good idea to complain about your kids in front of them, but it is okay to tell other moms your struggles. When I first had M.J., I felt like a horrible mom because it was extremely hard for me. I’m still a little hesitant to do the baby stage again. When I started being honest about my struggles I realized I am not the only one. Many moms struggle with adjusting to motherhood. It doesn’t matter if you were a kid person or not. Being responsible for another human being 24-7 is scary and exhausting. Adding a baby to our family was harder than Dan or I thought it would be. Having a baby changes your life completely.
You’re not a bad mom if your kids annoy you sometimes. Especially right now. If you’re with someone all the time they are bound to annoy you sometimes. I also have to remember Covid is hard for M.J., too. He wants to leave the house or have people over to our house every day. Of course, that is not always possible. Then, I feel guilty if I don’t play with M.J., but I’m obviously not able to play with him all the time. It’s okay to want a break from your kids sometimes. If anyone has any good screen-free activities a 3 year old can do by himself let me know in the comments. You’re a good mom.
“God loves you no matter what.”
M.J.: “I love you, too, God!”