Pretend like we are best friends, drinking hot chocolate (coffee is disgusting) for a second. Imagine that I am your usually very mellow bestie who likes to make you laugh. I’m incredibly awkward and silly but today, I’m feisty. Got the picture?
I get the privilege of meeting with women pretty frequently. It is my favorite thing in the whole wide world. I LOVE sitting one on one and hearing people’s stories. But the conversations I have been having over the past two weeks have left me shaken and angry.
I have been studying “assignments” and had fully prepared to have my first blog relaunch post be about them. After meeting with this last mommy though, I had to put that to the side. I will post it soon but this has to be said, so here goes…
The biggest ongoing struggle I face is mommy-guilt. Evidently, I am not alone. I go to the Lord and ask Him to take it and then I pick it right back up before I leave the conversation. I even have a friend (bless her heart!) who I call and I don’t even let her get out a “Hi” before I yell, “TELL ME I’M A GOOD MOM??” It’s happened multiple times.
And do you know what the Lord exposed in me this week? I act like mom guilt is my friend. I caught myself saying to someone this week that, “It’s just part of being a mom.” I felt a firm rebuke from Him as it was coming out of my mouth.
Think about the words mom guilt for a second. What does that mean? That means I am a mom who walks around feeling guilty. Guilt is the voice that tells us that we’ve done something wrong. Guilt is supposed to show us where we have messed up and then lead us to repentance. We aren’t meant to keep carrying it. Shame is what happens when we won’t let our mistakes go. Shame is the voice that says I am something wrong. So here I am trying to teach my girls how to walk in victory, but I am making guilt and shame my friend.
Who is the author of shame? Is it Christ? Certainly not. When I am carrying mom guilt, I walk around believing lies and project those lies onto other people. Believing a lie is making an agreement with the enemy. He speaks a lie. I believe it. I carry shame. I sway from my potential. The enemy wins.
Here are a few lies I’ve heard from moms this week:
- If I am a working mom, my kids won’t know that I love them.
- If I am a stay at home mom, my kids will struggle because we won’t have as much money as other families.
- I can’t let my husband help with the baby because I am the only one who knows what my child needs.
- I can’t handle my toddler.
- I can’t handle my preteen.
- I can’t handle my teenager.
- Insert your lie(s) here _______________.
A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow! John 10:10 The Passion Translation (TPT)
I think we need to get feisty about this and not carry this junk anymore. It is not ours. It does not belong to us.
In case you’re like me and you need to hear it: YOU are a GOOD Mama.
You were given the child(ren) you have on purpose. You are the one designed to shape them. Our assignment with our children is to raise them in the way they should go and prepare them to be launched into the world. That’s it. We only have so many years with them. It is our responsibility to steward that time wisely and then trust Jesus.
We will not do it all perfectly. In fact, the ONLY parent to have never done anything wrong is God the Father. You will mess up. Don’t stay bound in guilt and shame when you do. Go to the Lord, ask for His forgiveness, have Him show you what you can do better next time, apologize to your kiddo and move on. (Just to clarify, I am speaking about parents who are providing, loving and safe. If you are facing abuse, please seek help immediately.)
One of the gals I got to meet with recently was needing encouragement about her mom guilt. I tried to find the right words to speak over her but I was dealing with my own insecurities in this area. As we were getting up to leave, the Lord showed me this picture and I want to share it with you too, bestie 😉
My friend was in the park on a beautiful day with her family. Her kids were playing and she was off to the sidelines holding a basket. I saw her throw the basket down and take off toward the playground to swing with her babies. When I shared this picture with her she said, “Yeah, but it feels so heavy.” I told her the basket I saw her carrying was empty. She had been missing out because she felt like it was her job to hold the basket.
It. Was. Empty.
There was no purpose in it.
I encourage you to take a look in your heart. Ask the Lord what lies you are believing and then throw them off.
My loves, we are missing out on the joy and privilege of raising our kids because of empty lies. We are called to be victorious, powerful, atmosphere-shifting women. It’s time for us all to throw down our empty baskets and enjoy our little ones.
Race ya to the swings!