Why I am grateful for "Mom Guilt"

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Motherhood. It is the hardest job in the world, but also the most rewarding. I have been trying to write down my thoughts on how wonderful being a mom is for weeks now. The funny thing is, every time I go to write about it I have a hard mom day. You know, those days when you run out of patience and your kids are constantly fighting or throwing fits? Those days when bedtime can't come soon enough? I have had a lot of those days over the last few weeks. How am I supposed to write a post on how much I love motherhood when somedays it's really hard?! Has anyone else ever been there?

I tend to be extremely hard on myself when it comes to my skills as a mother. When I have days like
that I feel awful inside. After my kids are asleep and my sanity comes back, all I want to do is wake my kiddos up and tell them how sorry I am. I want to tell them how much I love them and that I will be better tomorrow. I ask the Lord for forgiveness and to help me be a better mother. Then I start the mental list of all of the things that I want/need to be better at. My kids deserve the best - and I need to be that for them. I make lists of all the things I want to do with my kids and read article after article on how to be a great mom. I wear myself out with all of the guilt I place on myself for not being perfect.

And then I stop.

I know that I am a good mom, because I know that everyday I give my very best. Somedays my best isn't at the same level as other days - and that's ok. I'm not perfect. No mother is. I may do things differently than every other mom out there. My house may be a mess and my mountain of laundry that needs to be folded might be higher than the bed. My kids might eat macaroni and cheese for dinner multiple times in one week and they might have syrup in their hair from yesterday. I might stay in my pjs all day and realize at bedtime that I never even brushed my teeth that day (yes, it has happened). I might take a nap when my kids do instead of picking up the house because I am exhausted from getting up 5 times a night. I might let my kids climb in bed with me in the middle of the night because I'm too tired to fight that battle, and I want to hold their hand while they sleep. I might raise my voice at my little ones when they don't deserve it and I don't play on the floor enough.

Everyday I am trying to be better than I was the day before.

People have told me over and over again that I should know I'm a good mom. Deep down, I do. But here is the thing - if I thought I was a perfect mom I wouldn't feel the need to improve. I might not spend so many hours pouring over books, reading articles, and searching the internet for ways to help my children and ways to teach them what they need to know. If I just knew I was a great mom, I might not be humble enough to ask for the Lord's help each and every day. I might not be so worried about making sure they learn everything they need to know to stay strong in such a cruel world.

As weird as it may sound, somedays I am grateful for the "mom guilt" I place on myself. I am grateful for it because it means that I am still trying to be better every day.

My kids deserve that from me. 

Being a mother is a sacred calling. It is one I wouldn't trade for anything. I am lucky enough to be at home with my kids, a blessing that brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. My kids deserve to have all of me - every exhausted piece. Heavenly Father has trusted me with them and I need to be there for every moment possible. I am grateful that I can be. For me, it is what matters most in this world.

I hope on this Mother's Day you celebrate the mother that you are. Whatever your situation, whatever your skills, whatever your weaknesses may be - celebrate it all. Your kids love you. They need you. You are wonderful.

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