Monday, March 12, 2018

Mom Guilt | Dethroned

I'll just straight-up admit that I'm a second guesser. Like, seriously: I need a week to decide what cup I'm "feelin" for my morning tea. ... The red one with bursting florals, or the calm little brown one that's quiet and homey. Or, the --  I'll stop while the stopping's good. But, hey. They all fit different moods. Don't laugh.

Funny, but it's not really the big things in my life that I question. Whether or not to vaccinate my child doesn't keep me up at night. It's more the things that only I would ever know about, like: Would a good mom have forgotten an extra pair of socks in the diaper bag? Would a good mom offer anything less than a from-scratch breakfast on busy days? Would a good mom forget to read her one year old a bedtime story? Would she? And I pick myself apart, deliberately, slowly, in the dark, alone in my thoughts after it's all said and done.

One day, while I was knee-deep in guilt, I realized something.


Simple enough, right? But I meant it in a whole different way than I'd ever thought before. I had tried to only think positively about my efforts, to just shake off the drab and dreary as "Being too hard on myself - pah!" and be okay. That doesn't work in the long run.

I hear a lot about how hard it is to be a Mom (and it is) and to be pregnant (and it is) and to keep a household running in the middle of a crazy-busy life (and it is.) I'll be the last woman you ever catch saying "Her house is dirty because she's lazy," or, "That girl could be on time for church if she wanted to." I struggle every day to meet the simple "Homemaker's" criteria of keeping the laundry avalanche at bay, getting something delicious on the table by 6:00 pm, and making sure everyone is bathed, clothed and in their right minds sometime before noon. I love this life; but that doesn't mean it runs smoothly every day - for you, me, and anyone else. "Good days and bad days" is a catch phrase among new moms and veterans alike.

Having said that, it's impossible not to mention the truth on the other side of the equation. This world is smothering itself under a thick fog of "self acceptance" and "love." Patting ourselves on the back, we sigh hopelessly and sit down with our phones to mourn the impossibility of a decent house. We make excuses for the unhealthy "fake and bake" suppers. There's not time. There's not energy. Nobody could expect anyone to really do everything in a day...or a week...or a month.

But I've noticed this one thing. Nobody is ever going to hand anyone an extra hour to get a prayer life. The schedule doesn't magically open wide because I'm determined to make healthy meals for your family. A peaceful atmosphere isn't going to show up because you wish you didn't yell so much. Your family is something Satan is fighting to destroy; so don't ever think an apathetic attitude is going to bring the results you want to see. If you feel guilty, the only way to stamp it out it once and for all, is to get up and do something about it. 

Really, shame over dusty baseboards can be fixed in fifteen minutes after the kids go to bed. You want to cook healthier? Pinterest is loaded with ideas for quick, wholesome suppers that you can be proud of. Want your home to be a peace of heaven on earth? YOU CREATE THE ATMOSPHERE and let everyone else slowly fall into it. And really, you'd be surprised at how clicking off of the Facebook account would open up more time for nurturing and creating happiness.

Yes, there's still bad days to match the most noble of intentions, but at the end of those bad days, you can rest in knowing that you tried and tried hard.

There's no guilt in that. 

There was so much freedom in this discovery, as I paused in my listing of imperfections. Instead of hoisting my burden and struggling forward again, I started going through the bag, addressing one thing at a time and listing the remedies. All it takes is a little honesty and a little determination. Wallowing in guilt is one option, sacrificing a little to overcome is the other. I think it's worth it.

What about you?


Anonymous said...

this is beautiful and something I was really needing thank you so much Anna!
- Rose

Anonymous said...

So very true and I’m so proud of you! Too often we really just like to complain instead of apply the remedy. This reminded me of the “Pull out the tea cups” post you wrote so many years ago. Can’t help but laugh when I think of it! Love you.

Anonymous said...

So beautifully put!! And yes, that is very true!!

God bless you sis, you're doing a good job!

~Hugs from Texas~

Anna said...

I was just thinking about that post the other day😂