It’s Time To Replace Mom Guilt With Self-Forgiveness

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“Let’s talk about mom guilt.

I live on a border town. Half of my town is in one province, and the other half is in another. With two different time zones. We do all operate on the same time, but cellphone towers don’t know that.

Yesterday at some point my phone connected to a different tower and the time on my phone changed. But I had no idea. So, at 5:30 I picked up my kid from his dad’s, got him ready for judo, and got to class for 6:15.

Here’s the thing. It was 7:15. I was an hour late. To make it even worse, this was the first class I was able to take him to. Usually my mom takes him, but last night I was going to get to watch him. To say he was excited is an understatement.

To say he was disappointed we didn’t make it is an even bigger understatement.

I have never felt like such a bad mom. There was a rock in the pit of my stomach. I thought about buying him a new toy, a treat, going for ice cream – but instead. I took a deep breath and I said, ‘I’m sorry Dominyk. Mom made a mistake tonight. I didn’t realize what time it was and I was late for judo. I hope you can forgive me.’

And you know what he said? He said, ‘I understand sometimes moms make mistakes, but I am so disappointed I didn’t get to go to judo. I was so excited for you to watch me, but next week we’ll make it, right,, mom?’

Right, bud. I forgive him when he makes a mistake. So, when I made a mistake, he could forgive me. So why can’t I forgive myself?

As mothers, we stretch ourselves so thin. We put impossible standards in place and we beat ourselves up over every slip. But why? Why can we forgive our children, our partners or anyone else in our lives, but never ourselves?

I made a mistake last night, but I am not letting it steal any more of my joy. I will make it up to Dominyk. Next week. When we are on time for judo and I am actively engaged and cheering him on through the whole thing. So if you dropped a ball today, forgive yourself. Or you’ll drop more from the guilt.”

Mom takes a photo of her son practicing judo with another kid
Courtesy of Logan Church

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Logan Church of Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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