Will My Kids Turn Out Okay?

Will My Kids Be Okay

During my first few years of motherhood, I had this horrible fear that I was going to mess up my kid. I questioned everything from his diet to the laundry detergent we used to make sure we made the perfect decision.

Crazy, I know. Then he went through a phase where all he wanted to eat was noodles. Much to my horror, I was forced to reevaluate.

It wasn’t long before we had another boy and my oldest reached the age of “why.” Instead of me questioning everything, he did. We’d laid a foundation of Christ’s teachings in our home and taught him about kindness, forgiveness and helping others, but I worried he would soon question the things that mattered most.

I avoided talking about certain topics or biblical principles because I didn’t think I could explain it in a way he would understand. I tried to plan out conversations and make sure I knew all the answers, but we all know life doesn’t follow a script, right?

When my youngest son reached the toddler age, I realized we were dealing with a whole new set of challenges. He was headstrong and fearless, and although he hadn’t reached the age of “why” yet, he brought out behavior in my firstborn that I’d never seen before.

My normally gentle, calm-spirited kid became aggressive and mischievous.

As I watched other calm, well-mannered children at story time, I’d try to keep mine seated and swat their hands when they moved the felt characters on the storyboard.

One day when I was feeling particularly inadequate we were shopping for Christmas decorations. It also happened to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year: Black Friday. My husband and I explained how the stores might be crazy because people were shopping for gifts and told the boys to stay close.

Then, out of the blue, my husband asked our oldest if he thought gifts were the meaning of Christmas.

“No, Christmas is about celebrating Jesus’ birthday,” he said without hesitation.

Now, I realize what you might be thinking. You may think he was reciting what he’d heard or saying what he thought we wanted to hear. I know because I had the same doubts.

But what I’ve realized in this journey called motherhood is in the middle the doubt, the frustration the fear of the unknown, one of the best things we can do for our kids is show up.

Instead of going on autopilot or avoiding the hard conversation, I can be present. Instead of giving in to make life easier, I can stand firm in the decisions my husband and I make together.

And when we do these things, I can listen to my son tell us the true meaning of Christmas and know he’s speaking from the heart. I can have confidence that the Spirit of the living God is working in him and through me to form the man he will one day become.

Sometimes all it takes is showing up to show my kids what matters most.

And despite all my mistakes and wondering if we’re doing it all right, they surprise me when I least expect it.

 

Linking up with these communities: #LiveFreeThursday, #RaRaLinkup

Are We Forgetting the Most Powerful Counselor We Have?

let's not underestimate

I have a confession to make.

Several times a year when I gather up the boys’ toys to donate to the Salvation Army and Social Services, I make sure they are either at school or asleep. Doing otherwise results in the inevitable cries of, “Oh, I forgot about this!” or “Oh, my favorite toy!” even though they haven’t played with it for a year.

Until my oldest son surprised me. And in an instant, I realized I should never underestimate the power of the Spirit to work in a child.

My husband and I were in the family room going through toy chests when I heard the pitter-patter of little feet.

“What are you doing?” my firstborn asked. My heart dropped and I told him a half-truth. I was organizing the toys. Which, technically, I was. But when I looked across the room at my husband, I could tell we were both thinking the same thing.

We needed to be honest. He was old enough, and he could help. I held my breath as my husband explained we were gathering toys to give away.

“We want to make sure other kids who less fortunate have a good Christmas too,” Daddy said.

I explained that we wanted to give our best so we could honor the families who would receive these gifts. As I looked at the amount of stuff lying on the floor, I knew we had been blessed with much. But did my son? I waited to see how he would react.

Then, he amazed me.

He began gathering things and placing them in the bag, which was nearly full already. Not just thoughtless items but items he and his brother played with and loved. And what surprised me most? He didn’t want to stop.

As I watched me son in awe, all I could say repeatedly was, “Thank you.” To my son, yes. I told him how proud I was and how grateful we were for his giving attitude. But inwardly I thanked God.

Often, I think my husband and I are doing this parenting gig alone. I feel inadequate on a daily basis and I second-guess decisions more often than I’d like to admit. I forget there is a third party involved, which although invisible, is the most important influence in my child’s life.

I forget about the Holy Spirit.

When I pray, asking God to help me be an example for these kids he’s entrusted into my care, he listens. When I ask him to fill in the spaces where I am lacking, he hears me.

Even when I don’t know what to ask for or how to pray, he sees.

And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

Romans 8:27 NIV

Let’s not underestimate the power of the Counselor who lives in us.

The same power which arose Jesus from the grave is accessible to us everyday, if we are in Him. We simply have to believe. We have to ask. We abide in him and seek even those answers we may not like.

And when he moves and stirs hearts in those moments we least expect it, we fall on our knees, we give thanks, and we know with new certainty: our help comes from him.

 

Linking up with these communities: #RaRaLinkup, #IntentionalTuesday, #TellHisStory

Uncovering the Lies of Postpartum {Part 3}

uncovering the lies of postpartum

Friends, we’ve reached our third and final part of this series on the lies we tell ourselves and hear from others as new moms. My prayer is that you’ve been encouraged or given a helpful word to share with another mom who is struggling. This journey is filled with so many highs and lows, but it is so much sweeter when we have a community to help us along the way and speak life into our dark places.

Today we will talk about the lie # 3: You have to mother like those who’ve gone before you.

uncovering the lies of postpartum-3

I did not purchase a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. It wasn’t on my gift registry, and it never found a place on the bookshelves lining our family room.

Although I did buy a book outlining the various stages of pregnancy and postpartum, I soon realized there were no written words which could prepare me for this calling in life. During the first few weeks and even months, I floundered around searching for those maternal instincts I was supposed to have and they were nowhere to be found. It was as though the mothering gene had skipped my spot on the family tree.

My baby cried incessantly and everyone wanted to offer advice as to why. He was hungry. He was wet. He was teething, gassy or colicky. I didn’t know whose voice to listen to and the magnitude of all of them echoing in my ear sent me into a panic.

I was convinced a monkey could do a better job taking care of my child, and the recommendations of experts from books like Baby Wise left me feeling more dismal than equipped. As I dealt with the effects of PPD and tried to take care of my son, God sent a friend who kept reaching out and pursuing me even when I was a recluse who barely left the house.

She told me things would get easier. She gave me encouragement when I wondered if I was doing anything right. But most of all she was there. She was a steady calm in the chaos of this new season and didn’t retreat when I had nothing to offer her but my presence.

Eventually, my role as a mom began to feel less like a set of ill-fitting clothes and more like me. I still had good days and bad ones, but I was seasoned enough to realize the bad days didn’t define me. The more I forged ahead and continued waking up each morning, putting one foot in front of the other and loving my child, the more I realized something.

No one else can create your formula for motherhood. It is as unique as your DNA.

Sure, we can take sprinkles of this direction and that one, using the advice of others in a process of trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn’t. But in the end, if we trust the abilities God gave us and believe that ultimately, we know our child better than anyone else, we will find a rhythm that is completely our own.

And as we keep dancing and learning new steps as we go, the result will be nothing short of the beautiful.

Uncovering the Lies of Postpartum {Part 2}

uncovering the lies of postpartum

Happy Tuesday, friends! Last week we kicked off a mini-series on some of the lies we tell ourselves, or are told by others, during postpartum. My hope is that by discussing some of these, moms will see that they are free to explore this beautiful journey in their own unique way and find what works for them.

Last Thursday we discussed the lie that you have to do it on your own, which can take on many forms. I talked about my struggle with PPD and how I believed asking for help was somehow admitting weakness.

Today we we will talk about lie #2: You have to share your first mothering moments with the world.uncovering the lies of postpartum 2

The iPhone made it’s grand entrance shortly after my first son was born. Although I immediately wanted one, I held out for several years before taking the plunge into the world of smart phones. Crazy, I know.

Now, as I peruse Facebook, I can instantly see the status of all of my pregnant friends and know when their babies enter the world. There are few things that make my empty uterus jump more than the sight of a newborn on the screen of my phone, complete with squinted eyes, wrinkly skin and that pinkness that says, “I’m new here.”

And then there’s the moms. I see their tired faces and their bodies, still stretched from the life they once held, and I think how brave they are. Not just because they brought new life into the world, although few things braver than that, but because they are sharing it.

Make-up or not, they are letting people into a sacred moment in their lives. They are giving a little glimpse of the miracle which just took place.

I get it. After the birth of my second child, I was sharing pictures all over the wide world of social media. But after the my first son was born in 2006, well, let’s just say I’m glad smart phones hadn’t made their grand debut.

The first pictures taken of me after my emergency c-section remind me of a scene from Night of the Living Dead. Not only do I dislike sharing them with others, I don’t even like looking at them myself. I can see the shock and the grief on my face. I can remember the anxiety and the lost feeling.

I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know when the last time I slept was.

But in the midst of the uncertainty came an unexpected gift: my mother-in-law. She cooked and she cleaned. She rocked her new grandson and fed him during the 48 hours I couldn’t. And she didn’t take my picture.

As a person who has a difficult time asking for help, she offered me more than I could have asked for in my fragmented words. But I didn’t have to ask, because she simply gave.

New moms, expecting moms, and moms who have been there and back again, can I tell you something?

You have permission to forge into the life-changing journey of motherhood without an audience.

You have permission to bond with your baby without the an electronic device beeping notifications every five minutes. You can leave the dishes in the sink, keep your bathrobe on until noon and fluff the clothes in the dryer on repeat.

Jesus tells us in Matthew to, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV) Friends, this isn’t just a physical rest but a spiritual rest. It’s a heart that is free of striving, people-pleasing, and weighty expectations of others.

So here’s my promise. If you want to share those first moments between you and your baby, I will enjoy them with you and marvel at those tiny toes and fingers. But if it’s weeks before you post your first picture or host your first “meet the baby” ordeal, I will support you with grace upon grace.

This road is hard enough without us feeling the pressure to be social media-ready and host-ready within days of birthing a baby into the world. We need support, yes. And I’m sure most of us want to share the joy of this new chapter with others.

But let us do it in our own time, in our own way, and without any added weight on our shoulders. Let us rest in knowing even if no one else sees, the Creator does.

 

Linking up with these beautiful communities: #RaRaLinkup, Intentional Tuesday, Coffee for Your Heart

Uncovering the Lies of Postpartum {Part 1}

uncovering the lies of postpartum

I don’t know when it was exactly, but several years into this journey called motherhood I realized there are lies we moms often believe after we have children. Some of them are lies we tell ourselves. Others we’ve heard from social media, family members who may mean well, and our peers.

No matter what the source, these fabrications can steal the joy of what can be one of the most meaningful journeys of our lives. Over the next week I will uncover a few of these with you and offer you truths to combat them. After battling postpartum depression and anxiety for over a year following the birth of my first child, God  gave me a heart for struggling moms.

I pray by sharing some of my experience, you will know that no matter what your struggle is, you are not alone.

Which brings us to lie #1: You have to do it alone.

ask for help

There is something paralyzing about knowing another human being’s life depends on you.

My five minutes of bonding time with my firstborn was followed by the announcement that my grandmother had died, days of crying (both from me and my baby) and an insatiable newborn appetite my petite frame couldn’t satisfy. Since my birth plan had followed the same path as all other mothering plans I’d made and ended in an emergency c-section, I grasped onto the one sacrament of motherhood I had left: breastfeeding.

But the more I looked at my son, the more the weight of responsibility crept into my body. One morning after returning home from the hospital, I sat in the rocker nursing and felt a tightness in my chest. I struggled to breathe.

The doctor’s office thought it was a pulmonary embolism, which, by the way, can kill you. No pressure to get to the ER. Just feed your baby and get there as soon as you can.

Thirty minutes later I laid in the Radiology Department and waited to be injected with dye which rendered my milk unsafe. “Failure,” played on repeat in my head. I couldn’t even give my child what he needed to survive.

Instead of feeling relief when my mother-in-law called to say my son had taken a bottle, the tightness in my chest turned to a deep ache. I was dismissed from the hospital with no diagnosis, an order to pump for 48 hours, and a pamphlet about obesity.

My insides had been cut open less than a week prior.

Over the next few months when the family was gone and my husband returned to work, a veil distorted my perception of reality. Although I was aware of it, I didn’t know how to get rid of it.

Rather than invite, the sunlight threatened. One day I remember looking out the window at the mountain peaks east of our home, convinced my spouse and child would be better off without me.

I counted the minutes until my other half walked through the door with pointed precision. Morning filled me with dread. Morning meant I’d be alone again.

Somewhere in the midst of my dark my husband saw me and knew I was still there. He encouraged me to seek help. But the darkness whispered lies, and for months I believed them.

“Seeking help is an admittance of inadequacy,” it said.

“Seeking help will make you one of “those people.”

But who were they? And more importantly, who was I?

There is no place darker than the soul who thinks she needs no one.

One night I laid in bed and cried the only prayer to God I could muster: “Help.”

There was no lightning bolt moment or sudden rescue from the pit I was in but I remember walking out of the OBGYN office a year after my surgery and a prescription for a second antidepressant.

I dreaded taking it. I dreaded the insomnia, the loss of appetite and zombie-like state I recalled from a previous medication.

As the western sun shined that evening and turned the Wasatch Front to an amber glow, I knew I had to make a phone call. I found a trusted counselor’s phone number on our church’s website.

Sometimes admitting you need help is the mightiest thing you can do.

And when I spoke the words out loud and voiced my need, I took a step toward something that had waited for me in the light. I moved toward hope.

 

Linking up with these beautiful communities: #LiveFreeThursday and Grace & Truth

When You Second-Guess Yourself As A Mom

second-guess the past

My mastery of second-guessing myself didn’t end when I became a mom. If anything, it became worse.

I second-guess what the kids ate for lunch. I wonder if my three-year-old should be writing his name by now, like some other children his age. When the endless sibling rivalry turns physical I think, “Didn’t I teach them better than this? Will they ever get along?”

Sometimes the worst critics are the ones running on repeat inside our heads.

We teach our kids to share, to love their neighbor and show respect. But when we don’t see the fruits of our labor we question whether anything we say is sinking in. We’re told in Proverbs to “train up a child in the way he should go” but when we don’t see visible results, we wonder what we’re doing wrong.

Instead of living in the present, we second-guess the past.

A couple of weeks ago, God gave me a push of encouragement along with a wake-up call. My husband and I had tucked the kids in for the night and were settled into our comfy spots in the family room. With the soft orange glow from the table lamp we read our devotional app and talked about its subject, prayer.

The teaching gave a blueprint. Begin with thanks and repentance, then present your requests to God in Jesus’ name.

As we sat there talking my mind went to our kids. Were we teaching them enough about prayer? My husband, as if reading my inner thoughts, said,

“Do you know what our son did tonight?”

“No.” And I secretly wondered if I wanted to.

“He thanked God for a good day at school and time playing at home. Then he asked God to place his hand on Coco and heal her.”

Coco, our dog, had been struggling to walk for last couple of days. At fourteen years and counting, she wasn’t as limber as she used to be.

Listening to my husband describe our son’s prayer, eyes welled up with tears. Here was our seven-year-old, modeling the exact form of prayer Jesus used with his disciples. And he wasn’t thinking of himself. He wasn’t asking for a new Lego set or a video game.

He was petitioning on behalf of our dog.

Even through all my doubt and questioning, God was working in the heart of our son. We were doing what we could do, but God was moving this little seven-year-old’s heart in ways only he could.

When we second-guess the past, we often miss what God is doing in the present.

Parenting is a tough road. There are days when we wonder if anything we are saying or doing is making a difference. In moments of frustration it’s easy to play the past on repeat.

That night, God gave me an invitation to live in the now. To be present with my son as he prayed and grew and loved.

No matter what the future held, I didn’t want to miss it.

 

*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday and Grace & Truth. Come join us and be inspired.

The Lie We Tell Ourselves As Moms

moms who care 2

“Summer is wearing me a little thin,” I confessed to my friends while the boys wrestled in the family room. “I’m running out of things to do to keep these kids occupied.”

They poured out grace with their words and my weary soul drank it in, but I still felt the singe of guilt. Why was this so hard? I perused pictures of smiling mothers on Facebook and Instagram and wondered about the story the pictures didn’t tell.

Was I crazy to need a break? I looked at my calendar and realized a writing conference I planned to attend was coming up in a couple of short weeks. It was as though God was sending a beacon of light to my tired, frazzled being and I held onto it like an anchor.

But the closer the date became, the more I questioned myself.

Were the boys going to be okay? My in-laws graciously offered to watch them, allowing some much needed time with their cousins. Still, my worrier brain continued to race in a state of overdrive.

I wondered about bedtime and dinner and my son’s food allergies and would they miss me?

Perhaps the trip wasn’t a good idea. I recalled a time a couple of years ago when my three-year-old, then one, had gotten sick while staying overnight with the grandparents.

We guilt-laden moms convince ourselves the world will fall apart if we take a day to recharge. But often, a day to refresh is exactly what we need.

Moms who take care of themselves are better equipped to care of those who love them.

So why do we so often convince ourselves otherwise? We neglect date-night with our spouse because of the kids’ sports schedules. We neglect seeing a doctor even though insomnia is affecting our home life, attitude and relationships.

Even though my worried mind continued to run through worst-case-scenarios, I went to the conference. I had a room to myself, took uninterrupted showers for two days, and swam laps in the hotel pool without panicking about the kids drowning.

I came away from the weekend recharged, both spiritually and emotionally. My cup was full, and I poured life into my family and friends instead of constantly asking for forgiveness.

Over those few days, I learned a valuable lesson: My family doesn’t fall apart when I’m away. Yes, they miss me. Yes, they are glad to see me when I return.

But they would much rather have a joy-filled, rested mom than one who is over-tired, edgy, and stressed. When I don’t take care of myself, it affects everyone else around me.

Today, if you’re running on empty but feeling guilty at the thought of taking some time for yourself can I encourage you to listen to that voice telling you to take a break?

Maybe it’s coffee with a friend. Maybe it’s a movie with your spouse, a pedicure, or a weekend away with your women’s ministry.

The options are as different as our personalities. But the need to recharge is the same.

Be refreshed, exhale, and love on those closest to you even more. You will not regret it.

 

*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday to encourage and be encouraged. Come join us.

On the Days When Your Patience is Wrecked

everyday mundane

“It’s hotter than a microwave out there!” my seven-year-old exclaims as he runs back into the house. Despite my frustration, I can’t help but laugh. Where does he get his flare for the dramatic?

I put away dishes and my mind races to find something for my boys to do. Little brother sees Jay and wrestles him to the ground. After gasping for breath and stumbling off the floor, my oldest chases him through the house until little one crashes on the floor, screaming.

I wonder how it’s possible neither one of them has a concussion. I wonder why it’s so difficult to keep them from killing each other on these endless summer days.

“How about we put some more water in the kiddie pool?” I say, trying to muster some enthusiasm. I remember the previous day when my youngest bit through his tongue after falling off the side of the pool.

My nerves are so thin they’re transparent. When my toddler requests his 100th snack for the day I feel like spreading out the remains of our fridge on the floor and telling him to help himself.

Why is this so hard? How can these little pieces of me that bring me so much joy one moment send me clamoring for a piece of sanity the next?

In my silent pleas to God, I think he must be losing his patience with his overtired mama. I ask him for peace. I ask him for strength.

Yes, I ask him for patience too. And please don’t tell me asking for patience is asking for a trial to test my patience. I’ll keep on asking for it anyway.

In the middle of all my pleading and venting to a God I’m sure is chuckling at some of my kids’ antics, he gives me a hug. And it’s wrapped in the tiny package of my oldest son.

“I’ll never say ‘no’ to a hug,” my big boy says with a smile. He wraps himself around me tight and I can feel the tension in my body release.

In the middle my meltdowns and nerves over my kids, God often wrecks me with their grace.

They don’t hold it back. It flows out of them as naturally as water from a riverbed.

I see myself as the exhausted mama who can’t hold it together but to them I’m superwoman, dispensing an endless smorgasbord of snacks and kissing countless boo-boos.

God reaches down in the middle of all my ordinary, lingering summer days and says, “I’m here. Don’t give up. Don’t quit.”

Some of God’s greatest miracles are not in the thunder and the noise, but in the everyday mundane.

When we recognize those moments and allow them to linger just a little more, we catch glimpses of his glory. And as take it in, his glory reflects in us with new radiance.

 

*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. Come join us and be inspired.

Mothering from Scratch: Book Review and Giveaway

IMG_2686

My first year as a mother was one of the most difficult years of my life.

Before I discovered I was expecting our first child, my husband and I moved over 2,000 miles away from both of our families. After coming home from the hospital I tried to jump into my role as a new mom with confidence, but loneliness, depression and isolation sapped the life out of me.

With time, God used the support of other women and a loving church to bring me to a place of hope, but I wish I’d had a book like Mothering From Scratch during those difficult months. Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo breathe life into the soul of this weary mom with their words and let me know I am not alone.

The authors begin the book by describing their own struggles with motherhood and the solutions which didn’t work for either of them. One of the traps many moms often fall into is comparison. Melinda and Kathy show with grace and truth how comparison will only lead to feelings of inadequacy and failure, and will not solve any of the problems we face as moms.

New motherhood requires and new formula, and discovering this truth frees us to be the moms God created us to be.

Another area of motherhood the authors address is balancing our role as a mom with pursuing our dreams. Many times as women we think if we do not pursue a goal right away, we will miss our opportunity and never have another chance to do so. Melinda and Kathy talk about the live-giving truth that our dreams do not have an expiration date, and how often we have to put our aspirations on hold to address the needs of our family, especially when our children are young and demand more of our attention.

If God placed a dream within our hearts, he will be faithful to see it through in his time. Doing so does not require us to neglect our families or assume an all-or-nothing mentality.

When we’re in the trenches of motherhood, one of the most vital choices we can make is to seek God’s guidance through prayer, time in the Word and the help of the Holy Spirit. The writers discuss the importance of intentionally carving time into our busy schedules to spend with God and listen for his promptings when making important decisions. Often, our lives become so filled with good, but distracting things that we cannot hear his still small voice. Finding a quiet space, even if for a very short amount of time, can help us become more in tune with his will.

Mothering is a journey where we are constantly discovering what works and what doesn’t, and there will be seasons where we have to readjust our methods as our kids become more independent and move into new phases of life. Being flexible and willing to change is key. Seeking God’s guidance is essential.

If you are a mom at any stage of the mothering journey, I would highly recommend this book. These writers will take your hand and show you that with time, effort, and a heaping spoonful of grace, you can thrive in this God-given assignment.

GIVEAWAY:

As a personal thank you to my readers, I am giving away a copy of Mothering from Scratch. To enter the drawing, simply post a comment in the section below. To be entered a second time, share this post on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and let me know you’ve done so in your comment. I will announce the winner on Thursday, April 30th. U.S. Residents only please.

5 Questions to Help You Conquer Mom Guilt Once and For All

mom guilt

“You do not have to clean like your mother.”

I held the wrapper before me and burst into laughter. As I savored the Dove chocolate and reflected on the promise inside, I realized how true it was. We do not have to be anyone other than ourselves, and yet so often our self-talk tells us we’re not enough.

We tell ourselves if we were better moms, our kids wouldn’t bicker over petty things. A whisper says if we managed our time better, we would stay on top of the endless pile of laundry.

Maybe my perfectionist nature makes me more prone to those feelings than most, but the longer I mother, the more I see that I’m not alone.

The mom guilt needs to stop.

The next time you want to enjoy a movie with your girlfriends or break the spine of a new book, the guilt may lie to you and keep you from enjoying it. And when it does, remember to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is this coming from God? One sure way to test and approve whether something is of God is to look into scripture. The Holy Spirit may convict you, but he will never condemn you. If you’re feeling like you’re worthless or as though you can never get it together, those thoughts are not of God. You are his chosen child, and he loves you more than you can imagine.
  2. Am I harming my kids? Whether it be spiritually, emotionally, or physically, ask yourself if what you’re doing is endangering your kids in any way. I have met women who feel guilty for taking a night to themselves, but they are not harming their kids in any way by doing so. In fact, our kids are better off when they see that their parents lead balanced, healthy lives and know that they’re not the center of the universe.
  3. Is this helping my well-being? Women who nourish their own lives make better moms, period. It took me a long time to realize it, but when I take time for myself, I mother more effectively. When I am burnt out, tired, and depleted of any mental stimulation, my fuse becomes short. I yell more often, say things I regret, and apologize more than any mom should.
  4. What am I afraid of? Often, guilt is also mixed with fear. We are afraid of letting down those we love. We desperately want to please them and falsely believe that the slightest misstep will backfire into something ugly. Most of the time, these thoughts couldn’t be further from the truth. When we are loved, our family and friends want the very best for us and see past our faults to the person within.
  5. Do I see my kids as separate from myself? Sometimes every negative behavior we see from our kids elicits feelings of shame or guilt. We believe we are somehow responsible, and if we were better moms our kids would not be acting this way. Thinking this way is not only completely unrealistic, but detrimental to our emotional health. Our kids are separate human beings who will make their own decisions, which are sometimes good and other times bad. Correct the behavior and move forward.

Friend, if you’re struggling with mom shame or guilt today can I come alongside of you and tell you you’re not alone? And now, can we pledge to do something about it?

Jesus never intended us to carry the burden of constant guilt on our shoulders. He came to set us free. He came that we may have life to the full.

Let’s embrace the blessings we’ve been given and live in the victory that’s already ours.

 

*Linking up with Kelly Balarie and FriendsHolly Barrett, and Holley Gerth to encourage and be encouraged. Come join us.