The other day I was listening to an entrepreneur, and mind you, a HIGHLY successful one…..
and she was talking about her life and how she took control by being her own boss and really learning to put her talents to use. This particular podcast was geared toward helping others find balance, and learn to conquer the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Thats great. It really was, but not my point.
The point is that she is a mom.
And MULTIPLE times during this great teaching podcast, she referenced overcoming guilt, and that feeling that, “I’m a bad mom” when choosing to pursue a career that required a few hours of the day away from her kids.
Now, not only did this pop out at me because I have FELT the same way- I don’t feel it now- but I started remembering how many times I have heard women say those words. That they had to overcome a guilt factor when choosing to use their talents that reach outside of their divine nature of mothering…. and you do know we have those, right? Women DO have talents and gifts and people to touch outside of their homes…. just making that clear. 🙂
So this guilt. This thinking that “mom” needs to stay home all day, or be 100% engaged in home making skills, nurturing growing minds with cute homemade flashcards and homemade paper plate bunnies for Easter time is a little overboard. Sorry for the sarcasm— but I don’t do crafty, and I am amazed at the women that do, but feel NO guilt whatsoever, or feel my family suffers from the lack of homemade crafts. And I honestly see and hear women that DO. They are constantly COMPARING. Its crazy!!!
So here is what I want to chat about…..
Whats a “MOM” anyway?
Well, we know that “mom” is an endearing word, for the more proper word, MOTHER.
What defines “MOTHER”…. well, lets do the classic act, and see what Webster had to say on this matter……
I found SEVERAL things:
Mother as a NOUN: a female who has given birth; a female parent
Mother as a NUN: religious leader in a religious community of women
Mother as a VERB: to mother something
Mother in the URBAN dictionary: The woman who loves you unconditionally from birth, the one who puts her kids before herself and the one who you can always count on.
And actually, MANY more interpretations.
Basically what I got from this “research”….. and from my own spiritual thoughts and pondering, is that any woman can be a mother. Whether she has bore children or not. Think about it. Its TRUE.
And at the VERY basic sense, a MOTHER is someone that cares for others, in a motherly way.
So lets lay it out there. Why do SO many women that have careers get berated or spoken to condescendingly or looked upon by their friends differently because they have chosen to bless lives beyond their own flesh and blood? What is this “guilt” that this entrepreneur talked about? What is this constant statement made when I hear women leaders talk about their careers, this “I felt like a bad mom.”
But back to the original issue—- this “I feel like a bad mom.”
So lets say you are a “mom.” You’ve got kids. And you decide that you have abilities and gifts that need to bless others outside of your home— then you know that your work is the will of God, and you will learn to respect your work hours, turn it off when you’re done, and be amazed that God empowered you to do BOTH.
You guys, being a mom just means that you have children, or that you care for children, or whatever it is that helps you feel, as a woman, motherly.
I find that when people “feel like a bad mom,” they are talking about things that have NOTHING to do with loving children, and making them a priority.
What I find most consistently these women are talking about are these things:
-Laundry piling up
-Dishes not getting done
-Meals being late or made by fast food chains they KNOW are not healthy
-Nutrition for their kids—- they KNOW that they are feeding them poorly
-their own stress levels attributing to their inability to keep control
-yelling at their kids from too much going on at once
-Inability to volunteer as many hours as the next mom at the school
-gaining weight or losing weight or having headaches all the time from poor lifestyle choices
And you know what? ALL OF THOSE THINGS have nothing to do with your ability to LOVE your kids. These things? These are choices that YOU have made, and YOU alone. And that guilt? That you are placing as a guilt for being a “bad mom”, has nothing to do with being a bad mom. So stop saying it. Last time I looked, the definition of being a mom did not include household management or weight gain. (And remember…. dads can do laundry too. 🙂 )
And if household management falls into your daily jurisdiction, it is a choice you made, and a responsibility you are agreeing to take on daily. The guilt you feel in this regard, is simply from not taking responsibility for your choices, and its affecting your true nature to present yourself in life as the best version of you. Think about it. What if you took responsibility for your choices?
What would that look like?
Some things to consider:
Learn about health and nutrition, and start living healthily—— and guess what? Your kids will naturally do it too.
Start putting in a load of laundry each morning and set an alarm on your phone to go change it to the dryer, and then have a child fold it after school before playing. And guess what? Your kids will see you taking care of it, and they will naturally do it too.
Start waking up before your kids to exercise and get ready for the day and give the world your best self. Your kids, your co workers, your friends, deserve to know that best you! Why give them less? You know what your best you looks and feels like. Take the steps to be there, and do be the best YOU. Your days will go so much better, and guess what? Your kids will learn to take care of themselves too.
You can CHOOSE to change the things you claim guilt over. But you know what is awesome? Its just a choice! YOU get to choose to control those things. But, yes, if you don’t, those choices, like all other choices will COMPOUND, and can prove disastrous for your family. But its not your work or your business or your kids that cause the disaster. Its just you. If you have chosen to model your family after this manner, with the mom in charge of the household function, then you need to take responsibility for that, and make a plan for it. But again, this is just a material choice. Your choice to be a great mom, and show up for your kids is a different role, and again, the choice is YOURS.
Stop comparing to the neighbor or your perfect sister. Just focus on YOUR family, and what YOU know is best for them. Motherhood is amazing. We know our kids better than anyone else. You need to be their advocate in life, their biggest cheer leader, their confidant, and their leader.
SO this feeling like a “bad mom” is a blanket statement made by women that are simply not choosing to take responsibility for their choices in household management and personal health. It has little to do with being a MOTHER—- anyone can do that, and I choose to believe that most mothers, are doing their BEST to love their children. When the laundry piles up, or the dinner gets burned or not made, that has NOTHING to do with your ability to love your kids and be amazing for them. It just means that you didn’t make the choice to take responsibility for those things that day. And you can do better tomorrow.
So if you feel guilty about your household responsibilities that you agreed to take on, you have the power to take control and do something about it. But please don’t berate YOURSELF or anyone else for being a “bad mom.” When your kids love you, feel safe, have clothes on, are fed, and are happy in their lives. When those things are happening, you are a GREAT mom!!! And being a GREAT mom is way more important than the laundry. Be more silly. Be courageous. Life is FUN, and life is Adventurous! Your choice.