A Mom’s Guide To Sanity: Guilt vs. Hope

guilt These two feelings may seem unrelated, but for me as the mother of an emotionally disturbed and mentally ill child these two feelings go hand in hand. It often seems like a tricky balancing act for me to best advocate for my child’s needs. Sometimes my Hope blinds me to signs of pending crisis leading to the dreaded feeling of guilt for not being on top of things this time around. Other times I feel a sense of guilt because that day I lacked the kind of Hope I want to have for my child’s future.

It can be a very difficult and emotional roller-coaster ride between these two very real mother emotions. As a mother it is my honest HOPE to see a child who can live independently of me, with some level of success and peace. When I temporarily lose my hope I feel guilt as if I have let my child down in some way. When I fail to rush to the next doctors appointment or decide to overlook “this issue” for now because I have such great hope we are healing past “that issue” then hope has won and sometimes at a price of later guilt.

Becoming trapped in the cycle of hope and guilt can make the best mom feel as if she has completely lost her mind. The fact is that as a mother I can only do my best, and I will never be a perfect mother. In order to remain sane I have to recognize these two opposing feelings that I can impose on myself.

Hope Guilt and Hope are strong emotions and part of life I am sure. When I completely drop the ball and avoid taking action when I know things are sliding a little guilt isn’t a bad thing it keeps me on my toes. A Lot of Hope is part of the job description of being a mother but to live on Hope alone is simply not practical or realistic as hope does not in itself make my child’s life any better.

My next Blog will outline some of the specific ways I have found to get myself back on track and not consumed by the emotional, mental and day-to-day stress parenting a mentally ill child causes in my life.

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Photo credits for this blog entry: sxc (no use restrictions for these photos)