Mommy-guilt is not an unfamiliar phrase to most; it’s quite prevalent. For some time, many moms found themselves battling it alone and often getting crushed by it in the process. Recently, possibly due to national lockdowns, more mothers are sharing their struggles with it.
Dayna Reed is a wife of 22 years. and a mom of two. She faced and defeated her own personal battle with mommy-guilt and couldn’t stand by and watch other mothers suffer from it either, so she wrote a book.
This NW Indiana mom felt a responsibility to share her story and what she found to be effective and overcoming it.
Everyone can learn a little something here.
Jemia: Why mommy-guilt? Why did you decided to pick that topic?
Dayna: It was almost as if the topic picked me. Only recently have talks about it become more open. I’ve watched the progression of these discussions go from moms being almost ashamed to admit they experience guilt when raising their children, to candidly sharing their struggle with it. Yet, the current discussion is mostly an acknowledgment of its existence without many solutions to overcome it. I wanted to go beyond merely acknowledging it to providing ways to resolve it.
After working through mommy guilt in my own life, I began to regularly find myself in conversations with moms who subtly shared how guilty they felt, or read articles or social media posts that expressed the same. Once I realized how widespread it was, it was game on. I felt moms shouldn’t have to deal with this harassing force that erroneously estimated their performance as moms.
What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?
A couple of new things I learned about myself during this process is that I’m a slow, methodical writer and that music is my muse. What this process was genius at, however, was magnifying qualities that I thought I had mastered, but still needed to work on. Two areas, in particular, were patience and faith. I’m a pretty patient and faith-filled individual who understands that God’s timing is always perfect. This process reminded me there’s always room for growth, as I often became impatient with how long it took me to finish, which led to questions of whether the leading I’d felt to write this book was accurate, especially when the going got tough.
How can this book relate to expecting moms or women who haven’t begun their journey?
If expectant and future moms are made aware of this potential struggle going into motherhood and become familiar with its manifestations and the behaviors that exacerbate it, they’ll have a head start in recognizing it. And by recognizing it, they’ll have a better chance of avoiding its traps. I think of mommy guilt as the ultimate guilt-trip because it comes from a variety of sources.
What can readers expect?
What I’d like moms to take away from my book is that they’re doing just fine parenting their children. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” mom. And while we agree with and extend that sentiment easily to other moms, we must learn to accept it for ourselves. We won’t have all of our T’s crossed and I’s dotted at all times. We will make mistakes. The goal is to minimize the impact of those mistakes by being present, respecting our boundaries, and tossing aside unrealistic expectations of ourselves as moms. Most importantly, we must always remember that there is grace for our mistakes.
I enjoy reading books that are conversational and leave room for personal inquiry. That’s how I approached writing my book. Readers can expect an open, honest conversation that requires a bit of soul-searching. As I mentioned, I wanted to do more than acknowledge the problem. Also, expect insights I gained and practical tools I used to overcome mommy-guilt in my own life as well as new ways of relating to their children.