Ugh, this post may be a little dramatic, so bear with me. I am realizing more and more that when it comes to making decisions, I am really bad. Furthermore, when its decisions regarding choices for my children, I am even worse. It seems like lately that every decision I am required to make leaves me feeling anxious, guilty or just frustrated. The anxiety from these larger decisions is spilling over into my day to day life as well and it is really taking a toll on me (and probably everyone else as well). There are currently two major things we are struggling with deciding on that are weighing me down completely and I feel like no matter what I do I feel that dreaded feeling that has plagued me since first becoming a mother – guilt. Guilt has appeared to become my best friend since first giving birth to my oldest daughter and it has clung to my hip for most days since. While going to college, everyday that I left Gabbi to go to class there was guilt. When I skipped class to just spend time with her, guilt was there. When I finally got a full time job with decent pay after graduation, guilt in full force. When I decided to leave my job to stay at home with her, guilt was there (especially when going over our finances and every month as I pay my student loan bill). When I couldn’t give her another sibling when she began asking for one, guilt. When I did give her another sibling and she started to feel a little jealous – guilt. Now there are two and the guilt can be overwhelming….Every time Autumn cries when I lay her down I feel bad, when she cries when I am leaving the house I feel bad, when she falls down I feel bad. When they are sick and we can’t fix it, when they are sad, when they are overwhelmed, when they are hungry and we can’t cook fast enough….GUILT. Are we doomed as mothers to constantly feel this way, day in and day out? I hope not, and I truly don’t believe that this is the way that God intended us to live.
I know that my feelings stem from intense love for my children. When something is bothering them and I can’t fix it, I feel horrible because I don’t want them to feel upset. When decisions have to be made regarding doctors, education, discipline and other things, we feel overwhelmed because we want what is best for them and because we have such a short window of time to make these decisions for them before they are off making them on their own. Don’t get me wrong, there is overwhelming love, joy, happiness and all around fun in our home on a day to day basis. Our family is truly blessed in that. But how do I continuing enjoying these years of motherhood without looking back and realizing that I seemed to feel bad about something most of the time? Why, as mothers, do we often feel inadequate? Like we could, or should, be constantly doing more? Maybe I am alone in this, but I really doubt that. I think that one thing that I really have to become more aware of is my tendency to compare our decisions and potential outcomes with the decisions and potential outcomes other families have made, no matter how much I love or respect that family. Every family that God has put together was put together to serve a different purpose, to fulfill a different part of His will. I need to become more aware about how our family make up is different than others, except that, and move forward with decisions based on that. I also need to come to terms with the fact that a choice that is made for my family may not work out the way we/I thought it would, and I need to be okay with that. I also need to let go and give things to God more often. As a woman who seems to need to be in control of things a lot of the time, this is a daily struggle for me. I try to give things away to Him, but I tend to hold onto a little piece of it, you know – just in case I figure it out on my own. Harboring guilt and inadequate feelings as a mom, the most important title I will ever hold, is only going to lead me to feel anxious, overwhelmed and at the end of it all, unhappy with myself. I don’t want these years of my life to be so filled with stress that I don’t remember how much I enjoyed them. So today, I am letting it go. I am going to allow myself to enjoy this season, to make decisions, to be okay with the outcomes, to stop comparing and to most of all, trust the Lord more and more each day. I am going to just be a mom to my children and a wife to my husband, mistakes and all, and give up trying to be perfect, trying to do everything and seemingly succeeding at nothing. I wouldn’t want to look back on all of these years and feel guilty ….