One day last week, my daughter had an epic poopy diaper (you know the kind I’m talking about, mamas) and by the time I realized she needed a change, her little bottom was red. So, the next day, I decided to let her go diaper free and heal.
That afternoon, I laid her down for a nap until a couple of hours later she woke up, saying “Mommy! I went tee tee!”
I had a facepalm moment when I realized my mistake and saw that both she and the bed were soaked. I lifted her from her crib, took off her wet clothes, put them in the wash, and popped her in a warm bath.
Shortly thereafter, her brother came home from school and the afternoon was a flurry of snacks, activities, and play.
That night, when I laid her down in her crib, I kissed her forehead, told her I loved her, and it wasn’t until I sat down at my computer after both of the kids were asleep that it hit me – I had forgotten to change her sheets.
Immediately, I went into mommy-guilt hyper-question mode: Why didn’t I change the sheets right after I got her out of bed? How could I have forgotten? Should my husband and I go in and change the crib now? Should we wake her up? How could I be so thoughtless??
Followed by the inevitable negative thought that we’ve all felt too many times: I’m a terrible mother.
I sat down and thought about this recently and wondered how things would feel if, instead of feeling guilty, we gave ourselves some grace. What if we thought these things instead:
I make mistakes and so does everyone else.
I think all too often we think other moms aren’t making mistakes, which makes us feel down on ourselves and sends us downward spiraling into a guilt trip. So, let me say this, mama – if you’ve done it, someone else has, too. You’re not alone. You’re human. We all are! We all make mistakes, forget to do things, and say and do things we later regret. The best we can do is to focus on this next point…
I love my child.
You do. You love your child deeply and in a way that no one else ever has or ever will. You roll out of bed and plant your feet on the ground each day committing yourself to that love. You believe in your children, no matter what and that makes you pretty darn awesome…
I am awesome.
Say this one out loud because you are! You are awesome. You love and care for your children, while also maintaining a household, juggling carpool, working hard for your family, mending boo boos, and encouraging your children through each stage of life. You are an awesome mom.
As moms, we are masters at guilt tripping ourselves. We hone in on all the things we could have done and should have done differently. We analyze our parenting and constantly worry if we are making the right choices, the wrong choices, or somewhere in between. The truth is, though, motherhood doesn’t come with a manual, nor does being human! Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we make mistakes. But we are all doing our very best each day and that is what matters most.