Stop Feeling Guilty

Andrea FortenberryFamily

Do you ever look at other parents and feel like they’re winning and you’re losing at this parenting gig? Do you ever feel guilty for all the things you aren’t doing?  

Me too.  

Social media feeds our parenting guilt and insecurities, doesn’t it? We constantly see things like:

  • The Pinterest-worthy homemade organic lunches our friends pack for their kids, when we send our kids with money for a hot cafeteria lunch.
  • The expensive theme-park vacations other people take every year, while you struggle to save for a staycation.
  • The over-the-top shenanigans of everyone’s Elf on the Shelf at Christmastime. Your kids don’t even have an elf.
  • The amazing chore charts and reading programs other children succeed with, while you’re struggling to get everyone clean clothes and semi-regularly bathed.  

But here’s what we need to remember: those are the highlights of people’s lives. With social media, we can control what other people see and we usually only like to show the ways we’re succeeding, not failing. These images are but slivers of real life, which is actually beautifully messy and imperfect most of the time, especially while raising children. 

So when we compare our parenting, home, lifestyle, etc., we’re really not comparing apples to apples. Our lowlights against sometime else’s highlights are sure to make us feel guilty and insecure. It’s never a fair comparison.  

Really, we shouldn’t be comparing anyway! Each child and family are different and have unique needs and qualities, so the way we raise our families won’t be cookie cutter. Instead of feeling insecure about our differences, let’s embrace them. Let’s celebrate what God is doing in our lives and the lives of other families.  

Instead of focusing on all that we’re not doing, let’s focus on all that we are doing. 

  • Are your kids loved?
  • Do you feed them every day?
  • Do you help with their needs?
  • Do you invest in their growth and development?

You’re rocking it as a parent! You are exactly the parent your children need. You were intentionally hand-picked by the Creator of the world to parent these kiddos. Stop comparing what other people are doing to what you’re not. (Just so you know, other people aren’t doing some of the things you’re doing for your kids. It all evens out.)

You are enough for your kids. Stop feeling guilty about not parenting like other people. Keep seeking God’s wisdom and keep on loving your children in your own unique way. You’ve got this!