Wednesday, April 4

guilt. of the mother kind.

it comes and goes.

and it crept in real strong when story was about two weeks old and hasn't left just yet.


i know i'm not the only one and i know it's not uncommon after bringing a new baby into our lives.

for me, it's not as much comparison with other moms as it is me versus myself. and sometimes that's the worst. 

it has been a freakishly warm winter here in upstate new york. we had one snow storm the day before halloween and one random snow storm in februray that melted the next day. and that is IT. we normally are still shoveling oursleves out of it in early april. thank you global warming... or something like that.


something about not being able to take the boys outside to enjoy all this sunshine has hit me hard. i don't know why this affects me more than everything else but, it does. we live in a little house and the boys are playing, and i use the term playing very loosely, in the same 1000 square feet every day. i go back and forth between thinking oh they are just kids, people live in smaller homes than us, and oh my goodness. how are they going to survive another day in here?! there is no happy medium. and i'm pretty sure i'd feel the same if we lived in a mansion.


if the baby isn't eating then she's pooping or sleeping or giving me some reason to stay put just where i am. just opening the door and going outside with the boys to let them run and play and explore doesn't feel like an option to me right now. and that sucks. for them and for me.

(i also can't believe i am analyzing this i can't take my kids out to play issue so much. i'll blame it on postpartum hormones.)

but this isn't the only way i feel the mom guilt.

i feel it about their food. every single one of my friends kids eat, like, raw vegetables and healthy oat bars only sweetened with agave nectar.

um. not my kids. they don't even eat. let alone eat vegetables.

the last vegetable they ate was a veggie chip.


sometimes i feel the guilt over not enjoying story's baby-ness as much as i should or could be.

i am not the mom who beams down at my baby in joy while she is nursing, i am usually checking to see if we have hit that 10 minute mark so i can switch sides. or tweeting. or eating and dropping rice on her head. if i'm honest, i often times start the countdown til i will be done breastfeeding. and i don't mean that feeding. i mean… i'm dreaming of when she's completely bottle fed. the pain has subsided, praise the Lord, but i just feel like a better mom when it's over.

and a lot of times i don't want to get on the floor and play. and i wish that the boys would just play together. nicely. like get along with each other. there's a thought!

and, a lot of times sometimes, i just want to sit and be alone and, sometimes, that makes me feel guilty, too.

and guilt for the times i get angry and frustrated that they are acting like children. cause that's just what they are. little children.

and little sinners. 


and that's just what i am too. except i'm a big one. a big sinner.

and i can't do it all. and most days i can't even do close to it all. but when i submit myself to Jesus, He tells me, "you crazy girl, why are you even trying to do it all? you can't. but with Me, with My help, you can mother, and serve, and teach, and love a whole lot better. and when i give you grace, you give them grace."

isn't it funny how that works? when i am in prayer, in the Word, and right with My God, my kids act a whole lot better…cause i'm acting a whole lot better. 

and the times that guilt seeps? it's the enemy trying to steal my joy.

well, i'm not gonna let him do that today.

so, sweet moms of little ones, i am here to remind you (myself) that this is just a stage of parenting. that one day that sweet baby won't constantly be attached to your breast. that one day you will sleep though the night. that one day your kids will enjoy playing with each other. and one day they won't be home all day long, either. and that lie that we aren't mothering well enough is just that. a lie. give yourself a break. let go of the unattainable. we will always fall short but, when we love and serve our precious Jesus, He shows us how to love and serve our precious children.

you're doing a great job.

93 comments:

  1. You are doing a great job!
    It will get easier.
    And your boys will never remember anything but the love their mom and dad gave them.

    And well, there is counseling for all the rest-- just kidding.

    As much as we love sweet babies, it always seems like the first few months crawl by.

    But Brody and Foster went through it and Baby Story will too.

    You are doing a great job!

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  2. i wish i could just crawl right through this screen and hug your neck.

    your children are blessed to have you as their mommy.

    and you are blessed with three precious and beautiful children.

    it's okay to be alone sometimes. don't feel guilty about that. we need alone time.

    maybe we should have a little skype date . . . .

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    1. i wish you could come hug my neck too!! and YES, we need a skype date for many reasons. :)

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    1. i still owe you an email. i am AWFUL! i promise it's coming soon -- it's all in my head, just a matter of typing it out ;)

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  4. I loved this. As a momma waiting for baby #2 to arrive soon I'm going to start feeling these kinds of feelings intensify very soon. I really love the encouragement. I just found your blog and I'm so glad I did =) I'm your newest follower.

    - Sarah
    A Girl In Transit

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  5. i loved this post. you are doing a great job momma. praying for you. :)

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  7. "I am enough.' I have to remind myself of this when I start feeling the guilt. I am really starting to feel the pain of them growing up super fast and looking back, I wish that I would have enjoyed more of their baby years. For now, they are over and sometimes it makes me sad. Anyway, thank you for your honesty, I assure you that you are not alone! Thank you for the sweet reminder too. So thankful for God's grace!
    I am a new follower from Casey's blog.
    Have a great day!

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  8. you are enough!
    i struggle with the taking outside thing. for different reasons.
    it.is.ok.

    you're doing wonderful things, your little ones can walk through this season with you, they love you!
    praying for you, sweetie. love you so much!

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    1. i LOVE you friend :) you are an inspiration to me!

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  9. THANK YOU! I struggle with pretty much everything you described often. It is so wonderful to be reminded that we are alone. We are not the only ones who feel this way and struggle with these things. Just admitting your guilt and wishing you did things differently makes you an amazing mom! :)

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  10. I have these same thoughts all the time! Gratefully, children are resilient and forgiving.

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  11. You're babies are beautiful!
    I'm a new follower!

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  12. what i love about this post is your honesty. when i was where you are, i could never admit to myself that i couldn't do it all. and that guilt! oy! yes, its just the enemy stealing our joy. you are on the right track mama! your boys and little girl will love you for you. all this "now" will be water under the bridge "later." take heart! and keep Jesus close.

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    1. thank you friend :) i appreciate you and your words!

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  13. this is wonderful.

    if we can do nothing else right on any given day..
    i hope its enough just to smile at my kids and for them to know i enjoy them.

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  14. Girl, I am just glad to know that I am not alone in ALL those struggles! I get so exhausted with my two year old, that I 'ge fallen into the habbit of just turning on the Tv.... I hate that I do that.

    It 's just a phase, for you and your boys.... summer fun is just ahead!

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    1. we are not alone :) and yes, i cannot wait for summer!!

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  15. You are such an encouragement & your words are beautiful!

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  16. ::Applause:: In moments such as this, I stop & question myself "Am I doing my honest best?" If I can answer yes (which is mostly always the case) then I just let my guilt go right out the window with all those thoughts because if I can say that I am doing my best,then I'm ok. And they will be too.

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  17. totally relate to the other kids eating veggies part. what?! i like, feel like a failure or something because my kids don't. ah well. we all fall short, right? : ) annnnnnd i didn't know you lived in upstate ny! where?? i was born and raised in saratoga!

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    1. no WAY! i live 20 minutes from saratoga!! it's one of my favorite places :)

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    2. wow - very very cool!!!!!!! i seriously had no idea! did you graduate around there? i was class of '02.

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    3. yep! i graduated from Shen - class of 2004. lived in clifton park my whole life and my hubby and i bought our first house in halfmoon!

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    4. haha, ol' school rivals. : ) my parents are in saratoga, my brother lives in malta, and my sister lives in glenville, i'm - in western wisconsin now! unbelievable how small this world really is.......it's so fun to make connections like this! God bless you, danielle!

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  18. I love this. Thanks for sharing.

    P.s. you don't have to respond on here. I will be horrible at checking back. Just wanted to leave you some love and let you know I appreciate your honesty.

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  19. LOVE! we are all struggling no matter how pretty the picture looks on the outside...and satan tries so hard to steal our joy. praise the Lord, we have Jesus!

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  20. you & your heart are beautiful & your honesty is refreshing always.
    and that's right ladies don't let the enemy take your joy.

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  21. I'm so thankful for this post!

    My baby boy was born in late October and our whole winter has been THE SAME. I feel guilty for my 2 year old, just sitting, "playing", in this 1,000sq feet of space. I feel guilty that when my 2 year old was a baby I enjoyed her SO MUCH and documented every second of her baby-hood, and with my baby boy, well, I havent.

    The warmer weather has been nice, but up in Montreal, it's still been winter so outside playing often wasn't even an option, which helped a bit with the guilt... but yeah, still lots of it floating around.

    guilt that doesn't honour God and often points to pride in my own heart.

    thanks for your honesty Danielle!

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  22. so well said, my wise and loving friend!!! it took me having 4 babies in 5 years to realize i can't stinkin' do it all! i am going to share this post with all the new mamas i know...this will help them "keep the enemy from stealing their joy"!! love you SO much!! (oh and by the way, i'm an introvert and to this day, i still LOVE my alone time...so i totally get that. lemme take your babies so you can have some, ok? for real. any. time.)

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    1. mmm okay. you talked me into it. ;) ha! i love you friend! and you are so good at doing (almost) all of it. you are an inspiration to me!

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  23. D, i think this might be my favorite post from you.
    i'm so thankful for your perspective and love of Christ.
    you inspire me friend.
    i promise not to let the devil steal my joy today!
    xoxo

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    1. i love you friend, like really really love you.

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  24. I love how honest you are and hope you know that you are an AMAZING mom!! I have so much respect for you and love that you are humble enough to see your shortcomings and know that they are made perfect with the help of God. Love it. You are joyfully in my prayers! xo

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    1. thank you for this danielle, and for your giving heart!

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  25. thanks danielle. i am often eaten up with guilt - so many insignificant things that really don't matter. it's nice to know i am not alone, and get a little encouragement from another mom. :) i wish you a beautiful day - perfect just as it is.

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  26. Oh my goodness!! Can I just say..THank you! and AMEN! I have the same guilt, about the very same things. I swear that my children are being deprived of a childhood because they dont get enough outside time or play time iwth mommy. But that's not true, is it? It's just so hard to take my 3 year old daughter outside with a little one who crawls around looking for things to stick in his mouth and will only sit in a pack and play for 15 minutes at a time. ::sigh::

    God bless you and your beautiful children. and Rock on sister! You're doing a great job.

    xoxo
    Tatiana.

    p.s. sorry I don't comment more often

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  27. So thankful to read this today.
    It's timing is in God's perfect plan. Thank you for writing.
    Laura Wilder

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  28. i loved this post, danielle. you showed us some of the realities of motherhood...all of us mommies can relate and, just as you are proud of us, we are so proud of you.
    story is so gorgeous!
    way to go, friend.

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  29. you ARE doing a great job. glad you're feeling His grace. :)

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  30. i just love you danielle. you always make me laugh. or cry. or crylaugh. i love how real you are. it is awesome.

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    1. crylaugh is the best, so glad that i can make you do that :) thank you friend!

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  31. yes. girl. amen. about 2 sentences into your post I started listing all the things I wanted to say to you to make you feel better... and then you said them all. you are so right. keep at it.

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  32. wow i feel like you're inside my head. i have an almost eight week old and i feel bad not taking my 20 month old daughter outside. sometimes we don't leave the house for days. ugh. and i'm planning on nusring my son till he is one. i do have a countdown going. I have 44 weeks and one day left. and i feel bad for not enjoying him more like I did with my daughter. i feel like the poor kid hardly gets any attention from me other than feeding him and making sure his butt is clean. and when i do have to sit down and nurse i'm reading blogs or on twitter or whatever else.
    but you're right. praise the Lord for grace. all this guilt is of the devil. i hope my kids know i'm not a perfect mom but hopefully someday they can say that i was a godly mom. one that extended grace to them because Jesus gave me grace. what a beautiful thing! okay well that's enough. (oh and have you read the book "Lies Women Believe?" it's had such an impact on me and how i view myself as a woman, wife, mom, and so on.) Love your blog!!

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  33. *SIGHHHHHHH* I literally let out a deep breath after reading this and got a little teary eyed. Because there were those moments I felt the very same while nursing Vernon and didn't feel like anyone understood (because everyone loves those moments and I was just a bad mom, so I thought) and it wasn't the same as it was with Elsie, and that's because I didn't have another kid. It was her and I. I compared everything to the other baby stages and cried everyday about how I was giving Elsie the shaft on life by not being able to play with her, go to the park with her or even have the energy to read with her. Wow what a year can do and how now I wished I would've loved and cherished his baby moments just a wee bit more. But instead of dwelling on what I didn't do or could've done (darn that enemy always trying to find a way to bring me down) I choose to love the moments now. God is so merciful and that is what brings tears to my eyes now. Not what I'm not doing but what God IS doing for me.every.single.day.
    You're right give yourself a break. We all need to. God is gracious so why aren't we with ourselves. Love you sweet friend.

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  34. Danielle,
    Thanks, for ALWAYS being so honest! I don't have kids and I keep hearing how hard it is, but this is the first time I actually understand how hard it is. I hope that I can share my understanding with my friends and help them just to love and adore their little ones that they've been blessed with.
    xo gillian

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  35. Sweet mama. O how you remind me of me in this post.
    I especially felt guilt in those first months with a brand new baby.
    You are a good mama.

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  36. Just so you know you're not alone in the little house thing- my sister has 4 kids in a 1920's 950 sq. ft. house. She also feels like she's going batty at times or that her kids will one day turn out screwed up because they had such a small space to play in. She makes the most of it just like you do- and I seriously don't think kids know the difference. You are giving your kids all that they need- and Jesus is pouring out his love and grace all over them too- so they are not lacking. You can take more of those big deep breaths and just rest in that.

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  37. Just so you know you're not alone in the tiny house thing- my dear sister has 4 kids in a 1920's 950 sq ft house. She too feels at times like she's going batty or that she's permanently screwed up her kids because they have such a tiny space to play in. But she makes the most of it- and seriously I do not think kids know the difference at all. You are giving your kids all that they need- and Jesus is certainly pouring his love and grace all over them too- so they are not lacking. He has them and he has you- just like you said.

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  38. Oh that mom guilt...it can sometimes feel even stronger than the love we have for them, can't it? Thank you for being so honest...I could repeat just about everything you said regarding my children. I feel guilty almost every day for what they did or didn't eat...that is always a struggle. And wanting time for myself or buying something for myself. It is such a good reminder to know that we are enough in God's eyes just the way we are, and that we don't have to try so hard...just be the mother we know we can be. :)

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  39. beautifully raw and honest and just what so many moms need to hear.

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  40. Oh my gosh, I so needed to read your post. I have four little ones, ages 4, 3, 2 and a 3 month old. I identify with pretty much ev-er-y thing you said. It is HARD to do what we're doing. And I never gave it much thought before jumping into this crazy thing called parenthood. And at the end of the day when they're all finally sleeping and I'm climbing into bed by myself because my husband doesn't get home until 2 am, my thoughts go back over the day and all the times I could/should have done more: read to them longer, yelled less, taken them to the park, been more patient, actually make dinner instead of having maccaroni...again, etc. It's absolutely overwhelming. But you're right...what really matters is that we are actively loving these little children and trying to be a little bit better every day. Also, I tell myself repeatedly -- how many memories do I REALLY have from before I was 5? It makes me feel a little better.

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  41. ummmm how am i just now reading this post. but clearly God had me read it tonight because I NEEDED IT. like right now. I love you girl. when i finally remember to ask for help and grace to get through, it DOES get better. but between the constant nursing and colic, and the toddler tantrums, I forget to remember...if that makes sense. I love you girl, YOU are doing an amazing job. i SO wish we could sit and do this mothering thing along side each other in real life (and eat droppings off our nursing babies together) :)

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    1. i know!! i wish for that so bad - you are a blessing, friend!!

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  42. AMEN to all of you wonderful women aka mommie's. I stumbled across Danielle's blog today and for some reason (God's timing) decided to read then to read all the comments. And I am so glad I did. The enemy has been dumping the mommie guilt on me by the bucket full's. My kids are 19 and 20, but both with "special needs". And having been single since my youngest was 2 I have always been the one to do it all. And God provided me with the strength and sheer determination to do what was needed.....Until 2 years ago when I found out I had cancer. I am now cancer free. THANK YOU LORD! but the guilt from the enemy just keeps piling up because I can't seam to bounce back to my ole self. Danielle feel free to delete this post as I just think God led me here to show me that their are all kinds of women feeling the same for different reasons and I just needed to vent, as their are allot of days that I don't get to talk with anyone besides the hi how r u conversations. So know that you are in my prayers and thank you!

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    1. thank you so much for sharing this! you are in my prayers as well! blessings and love.

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  43. THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post. You have no idea how much i needed it tonight, this week at, this moment. I cried as i read it because i has this kind of week (in a house that is too small, while i am too exhausted from work, trying to get ready for easter celebrations, make dinner,laundry,etc etc AND yell at my poor husband about it all). Thank you for reminding me to keep looking to HIM!

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  44. this was good stuff. mom-guilt is so real. i know i've been checking email or blogs and parker is playing (and happily playing, i might add) on the floor but i still think: should i be engaging him?! should i be reading to him? i shouldn't be on the computer!

    (i sound like the makings of a helicopter parent).

    anyway, it's good to get it out. and this was a great post, danielle!

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  45. It sounds like you're doing a great job! Hang in there... having all those little ones is hard for everyone, and it does pass. Hopefully it will be easier to get those little boys soon. We've all been there, and will be there in the future!

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  46. Oops. Meant to say... Get those little boys outside... :)

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  47. well i'm sure glad im not the only one!

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  48. what a wonderfully hard and amazing time this is with a newborn and two other small children! I'm right there with you. thanks for sharing.

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