Mom Guilt...It's a Thing!

Honestly. The ONE thing that sucks about motherhood is the unbelievable amount of pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect; to have everything together; to have the perfect kid that has everything together; to have the house together. YOU GUYS! It's not real! NOTHING IS EVER GOING TO BE PERFECT! Your life is not going to look perfect...EVER! And if you are trolling social media convinced about "that one girl with the HAWT husband and has the most adorable children", trust me. She ain't perfect either! So do not for one second look at your life and allow those feelings of doubt and guilt to wash over you for not matching what are just snapshots of someone's life. The seed of mom guilt is comparison. It just hides under the disguise of wanting to be better. But many of us misplace the desire to improve our lives with the desire for our lives to look as good and put together as someone else's. Plain and simple...that's just good ole fashioned COMPARISON. And it's blinding you from your own uniqueness and the value your life carries.

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no one can do you like YOU!

Many of you know that I have a daughter with severe special needs. (Read more about our special life here.) I will tell you that she is a blessing to me for SO many reasons. Allow me to go into one of those many reasons. My life looks so drastically different from most other's lives around me, it's completely, and UTTERLY pointless to play the comparison game. I mean, just yesterday I missed a call because my daughter managed to get her hands into a place they shouldn't be and I spent the next 20-30 minutes cleaning up, literally, a crappy mess. This is not the life most people can even imagine. But...IT'S MINE! I type that last statement with a smile on face because I actually have gotten to the place now where I delight in the uniqueness of my life. It's almost like the more different it is from most others, the easier it is to NOT compare it to others'. Sure, it has it's difficult, unexpected, and "Lord, have mercy!" moments! But whose life doesn't? I am a firm believer in the fact that adversities are just opportunities to dig up the absolute greatness hiding inside you. So, I am done complaining over feeling bad about the rough stuff. The rough stuff brings out the good stuff, and the good stuff is what gives your life value! Furthermore, many times it's through the "crappy moments" that your greatness is allowed to come to the forefront. Simply put, YOUR greatness, is something this world needs. But you know what keeps you from seeing your own unique qualities? Looking at other people's snapshots of their lives and valuing their lives over your own. And, if that was not enough damage to your soul and mind, you, probably subconsciously, commence in a mini session of blaming yourself for not having a life that looks like someone else's. You actually start knit-picking yourself! Thoughts like "If I just lose this weight, (fill in the blank)", or "If my house was more put together, (fill in the blank)", or even, "If I could just get my kids to behave , (fill in the blank)" come flooding to your mind...MOM GUILT.

Step number one towards getting free of these thoughts, EMBRACE YOUR OWN LIFE! Even with all it's imperfections, come to a resolved place in your mind that your life is valuable. Step number two towards getting free of these thoughts and STAYING free of the toxicity of comparing, GET BUSY DOING YOU! Sure, there are probably things that you can improve about yourself, your marriage, or family, etc! The desire to be better is intrinsic! It is natural and you should absolutely want to find ways to live your best life! Where that desire gets misplaced has to do with where that desire is rooted. Why do you want to be better? Why do you want to improve those things about your life? Is it attached to pleasing or impressing others? Or, is it to stay true to fulfilling the purpose and divine calling placed on your life by your Creator? 

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true fulfillment is connected to YOUR unique purpose.

This was SUCH an "A-ha!" moment for me when I was smacked in the face with the reality that my life was never going to be what I expected it to be. But I am so very grateful for a certain verse that came to my mind soon after. 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2

I was reminded that my life was given to me by my Creator not to have others look at me and marvel at how amazing I am or how awesome I am. Rather, my life is meant to be an honorable and glorifying act of worship to God first. Furthermore, there will be many things that this world may value in a high regard, but by continuing to be in tune with God and what He has divinely called me to do specifically, I will be happy as a clam in my own life, even with its imperfections. 

I encourage you today to, go ahead and LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE! Maybe this blog post will act as an "come to Jesus" moment and allow you to really ask yourself "Who have I been performing for?". Do you truly value the unique call on your own life? If not, let me tell you, this world is in dire need of something that YOU can offer that no one else can. Relish in the fact that there is something about your life, in it's imperfect mess, that God is able to use to make this world and His kingdom a better place. I can't tell you what it is. Maybe you already know what it is. But whatever that absolute greatness is that's just waiting for you to realize and share with the world, DO NOT cheapen or defile it by allowing comparison and mom guilt to steal one more ounce of your happiness and joy. You're awesome, girl. I dare you to take a brave step into your own, divine, truth. You know what they say about truth, right? The truth will set you free. I don't know about you, but freedom from guilt and the burden of measuring up to man's expectations sounds pretty good to me! 

Rhianna Sanford