Mom-guilt is the WORST guilt. After a recent bought with illness, I had to wrestle this most worrisome of self-reproaches. Mom-guilt crept up often as I tried to get rest, let the kids cook, and not let the chaos of my unkempt home get to me.
I was sick enough that an outer space alien could have easily taken up residence and claimed our home for his base, and I would not have felt the impact, so forgiveness is an alien entity I’m going to have to let in.
Climbing my way out of the chaos and regaining my strength, I’m finding that I need to be nice to myself or I’m never going to feel better. (Maybe not “never”, but it’s going to take a while.)
As we tackle the challenges of giving our families the “perfect” Christmas and making all of our relationships as meaningful as possible, I encourage you to accept that most alien of notions, the notion of self-forgiveness.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself. The mom in E.T. had an alien living in her house for days and didn’t notice.”
While isn’t not likely a creature from outer space has secretly taken up residence in your home, I am certain that there are situations that have occurred or are in the process of upending your perfectly laid plans. Please remember that we really can’t control everything (even though we try), and forgiveness is one thing we can most definitely provide for ourselves when we are less than perfect.
Forgiveness and understanding are both foreign favors we are not usually willing to grant, but I think it’s time to remember even in the movies moms make mistakes. Real-life situations are not scripted and there isn’t a playbook for forgiveness, so make it up with grace and compassion as you go. Be nice to yourself. Don’t let kindness and compassion be outsiders. Send Mom-guilt and self-doubt sailing on a one-way rocket out of here and make the world a better place because you were nicer to yourself.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Dad guilt can be pretty rough too. Dads, be nice to yourselves as well.
P.P.S. If you do have an outer space alien in your home, still forgive yourself.