The mom guilt is a force to be reckoned with. It’s like a pill we take daily, sometimes, right? We’ve talked about it before. Blame it on comparisons (bad!!!! More guilt), wrong thinking, your mom–take your pick. But it doesn’t matter where it comes from, we all deal with it to one degree or another.
There’s one “mom guilt” I struggle with the most. I shared it on Instagram the other day: I have been terrible at having consistent family meals at the table. I get on a “kick,” and I do it a couple of times in one week. I know it’s not just MY responsibility, of course, but I know full well that I set the tone for our family at dinner time. If I’m feeling lazy/tired/busy, dinner (IF I cook) gets shoved onto plates and shoved into faces wherever they sit with barely an “eat ’em up.” There’s no conversation or connection, and more importantly, I’m not sharing with them what God is doing in my heart. I was reminded recently that not all family time HAS to be spent around the table, and I agree. In fact, I love making my minivan a “war room,” as Jacque K. describes in her article found here. For me, that means my van is often a “war room” whether or not my children are present. We’ve had some of our best spiritual conversations driving in our beat-up Honda Odyssey. (aka my hubby’s swagger wagon) But there’s nothing like the dinner table, is there?
So tonight, for the first time in…too long, we had dinner at my pretty farmhouse table that my sweet husband built for me. Our conversation was lively and, for a moment, I felt like a “fun” mom. We played “Would You Rather” and discussed our days. Both kids laughed happily and (mostly) cleaned their plates.
For tonight, my major mom guilt is relieved a bit. The picture I have in my head of my own parents and family around a dinner table sort of matched my table tonight. It was a good feeling. Tomorrow, I’ll have to fight again to prioritize that precious dinner time, but I’m starting to see that it’s not really “guilt” I’m experiencing, you know? It’s almost more like my future self is crying, “Don’t waste the years. You think you have endless nights from which to choose whether or not to sit as a family and connect. But you don’t. These precious little ones grow so quickly. There’s not enough nights left as it is. They’ll have sports practices and friends and licenses and cars and…they won’t be available. Do it now. You’ll never regret it.” I think “future Becki” is right. So I’m choosing not to feel guilty about what I can’t fix from the yesterdays. Instead, I’m just going to do better today. And tomorrow. And next week. And I won’t get it right EVERY night. But I’m going to keep trying. They’re worth it, and our family is worth it, and if I can use my dinner table as a bridge to their souls, where faith is rooted in their hearts forever, I’m definitely going to try.
What’s your biggest “mom guilt“? Do you struggle to eat as a family together each night? Is there a” future you” that whispers warnings to you, too? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Or email us. We’d love to hear from you.