i hope you've seen that awesome blog post circulating Facebook & Pinterest "46 Reasons Why My Three Year Old Might be Freaking Out" http://jasongood.net/365/2012/12/46-reasons-why-my-three-year-old-might-be-freaking-out/ (there you go in case you haven't seen it). It's funny because it's true... which happens to be my favorite type of funny!
This has inspired me to make my own list of 46 reasons... topic the ever present, never helpful mom-guilt...
She ate the last banana
She didn't sign the permission slip that was left in the backpack
Her baby slept through the night
The laundry hasn't made it to the dressers
She locked the bathroom door (& then looked at Facebook while in there)
She stayed up too late
She checked her email while the baby nursed instead of holding eye contact for the full 17 minutes
She has secret ice cream
She didn't work out
She did work out
She feeds her offspring processed foods... some even containing red dye #9
She truly doesn't even remember which dye color & number is the poisonous one that she's not supposed to feed her offspring... she's just guessing on the name for her blog post
She grabbed coffee with a friend... Then because she turned down coffee with a friend
Her kids are playing happily on their own
She hasn't started her baby on solids yet
Her baby started solids before 6 months (multiple babies, remember?!?)
She didn't notice that her son's pants were on backwards until after preschool
She makes her daughter sit through having her hair french braided
The TV sometimes comes on during the week
She doesn't read enough books... play enough games... coach enough sports teams...
She grew tired of "knock-knock" jokes 4.5 years ago
She didn't snuggle her baby enough
She did snuggled her baby too much and now the house qualifies for the show "clean sweep"
She corrected her children for talking with their mouths full while she had food in her mouth
Her baby "cries it out"
Her child's foot was in a shoe 2.5 sizes too small & she was clueless
The baby's diaper leaked
She says things like "you don't need sweets every day" to her kids... while having aforementioned "secret ice cream"
Bed sheets don't get washed as often as they should... & neither do the people who sleep in the beds
She has a limited rotation of dinners that she can make
She does/doesn't work outside the home... the guilt doesn't care which choice she made or her reasons for her choice
She throws away "art work" multiple times a day
She keeps too much stuff & doesn't have an easy, convenient storage system for all of it
She is cranky from lack of sleep
She turned the monitor down & got a good night's sleep
The child didn't make the team
She takes too many pictures & doesn't "live in the moment" enough
She doesn't give in
She does give in
Her 1st grader doesn't know how to tie her shoes... because she doesn't know how to teach her
Her kids bicker
She sometimes tunes the children out
She's not as great as other mom's appear
She cheated so her kid could win the board game
She puts on "baby TV shows" for her infants so she can take a shower
... the list could go on...
Non-moms won't understand... because honestly us moms don't understand. It doesn't make sense. It's not beneficial to moms or to those in direct contact with us. We can all council others on not being "too hard" on themselves, but we struggle to silence our own negative mental nagging.
But that is an important struggle to not give up on. We need to let go of guilt by first releasing the idea that there's a "perfect" parent status that we can attain. We need to admit that we aren't perfect, we do make mistakes, we are as messy as life itself. We need to put our hope in a God who is bigger than our messes, wiser than our ignorance, and perfect enough for all our imperfections.
Romans 8:1 states "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". i recognize that the context of this statement is that the author is confessing that he often feels like he's losing in the battle against sin. but i'm thinking that if our faith in Jesus can free us from condemnation that we truly deserve because of our sins, then it's more than enough to also free us from our unfounded self condemnation... we just need to let it.
By refusing to be overwhelmed by guilt that can easily be inserted in each & every decision we make, we can actually enjoy parenting. Let's get better at taking the advice we give others. Let's surround ourselves with those who will give us that good advice. And most importantly let's trust Jesus to be enough & simply seek to follow Him in our mothering.