Children are really great at attempting to manipulate with guilt. They know our buttons and are very aware of what tugs on our heart. My teenager is very skilled at using guilt to try and get his way. He'll say, "I never get to do anything fun" or "You never spend any time with me". He knows that it's important to me that I spend time with him, so he uses that to pull on my heart strings. Stay strong and secure with who you are as a mother and these attempts to make you feel guilty will fall by the wayside.
We are Not Responsible for Everything our Children Do
Just because we gave birth to our children does not mean we are responsible for all their behaviors. Children have a mind of their own and often don't listen to the wisdom we give. We can be the best mom and our children will still make mistakes that take us by surprise. One evening I was babysitting my friend's little baby. The evening was going along just fine until I had to feed the baby. My 3 year old was sitting next to me, watching me spoon the barley cereal into the little guy's mouth. I was holding the bowl in one hand and the spoon in the other. Don't ask me what provoked my child, but in 1 second flat, he had smacked the bowl of cereal out of my hand. The bowl of cereal, on its way to the back of the couch, ricocheted off the baby's eyebrow, leaving a big bump on his head. Cereal was everywhere, including in the baby's eye. I now had a hysterical infant and a laughing preschooler. Call it jealousy, or call it curiosity, but I can assure you I never taught my child to behave like that. Although I was horrified by my child's behavior, I knew that I was not to blame for his outburst. I am his mom, and I am responsible for teaching him right from wrong, but I cannot always control how my children behave.
Unless you are severely neglecting your child or setting a very bad example for your children, there is no reason for you to feel guilt. God chose you to be the mother of your children, and He doesn't make mistakes. God does not expect you to be a perfect mother and he does not expect you to raise perfect children. So relax, have confidence, and enjoy the journey of motherhood.
Lori Radun, CEC (C certified life coach for moms. To receive her FREE newsletter and the special report !0155 Things Moms Can Do to Raise Great Children, go to http://www.true2youlifecoaching.com)