Friday, August 5, 2011

Guest Post: {I'm Givin' it Up!} from Lindsay at EllenJay's

Details on the Pinterest Challenge will be posted later today.
Until then, sit back and be encouraged by our  
Guest Poster, Lindsay from EllenJay's 
as she talks about something we all can relate to.


Today I’m going to write about something that I’ve really been struggling with lately. It’s something that all moms go through, it’s unavoidable, and it’s horrible. Are you ready for it? You sure?

 {Drumroll please….}: mommy guilt.

 Just saying it makes me cringe a little. As a first-time mom to an almost 14-month old, this whole guilt thing is totally new to me. But I’m pretty sure that it’s never going to leave. I’m pretty sure because I know that my mom still suffers from mommy guilt and I’m almost 28.

So then, how do we handle it? Logically I know that guilt is not from God, but emotionally, it tears me up inside. I try to write it off, let it roll off my back, brush it under the rug….but it still lingers. 

 The first time it happened was when the Bug {that’s my daughter…should I feel guilty that we call her the Bug? Like she’s the only one?} was about 6 months old. I had been desperately looking for a decent-paying part-time job and had pretty much given up, so I applied for a full-time job with the company I was working for at the time. During the week or two that I was interviewing for, thinking about, and praying over the job, Miss Bug was cutting two teeth and dealing with the side effects of too many vaccinations at once. No one was sleeping. Not even our dog. I remember driving over to my mom’s house one day and thinking, “Gosh, it would be nice to work full-time and not have to deal with any of this!” And in that moment, I was tempted to take the job and leave my baby in daycare.

And then it hit me. Like a cold slap in the face. I thought, “What kind of mother wants to leave her child in daycare because they’re being difficult or fussy? For a job she knows she doesn’t want or need?” My guilt here wasn’t stemming from wanting a full-time job; my guilt came from being willing to pawn my miserable child off on someone else so that I wouldn’t have to deal with her.  Even though I didn’t actually follow through with it, I felt guilty for even thinking about abandoning my baby in her time of need. 

 Now that the Bug’s a toddler, we’re entering into a completely new phase: discipline. And let me be completely honest: I HATE it. Even though I’m doing it for her benefit, I still hate it. Last week I had to flick her because she kept grabbing a steak knife out of the dishwasher. And she just looked so shocked. So hurt. So startled that her mommy, the one who has always fed, loved, and nurtured her, could also be someone who would inflict pain upon her. It was horrible. I did it to keep her safe, but I still felt guilty.

And sometimes, at the end of the day, I’m just tired and impatient. And I snap at her or speak to her in a way that isn’t always kind. Especially when she tries to stand up in her high chair. For the tenth time. As soon as the words leave my mouth, I feel this twinge of guilt.

I’m not sure how to handle it. Because I’m not perfect and I’m going to make mistakes in my parenting. 

 For starters, I really try not to dwell on it. If a guilty thought pops into my mind, I begin meditating on 2 Cornithians 10:5 {…and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ}. I know that guilt is not from Christ. Condemnation is not from Christ. Conviction is from Christ, and guilt and conviction are not the same thing.

And I’ve also been praying more; praying that God would give me wisdom and discernment in my parenting, praying that God would help me to be quick to think and slow to react, and praying that God would give me the tools to show unconditional love to my child, whether she’s happy, sad, sick, teething, feverish, or joyfully giddy.

And lastly, I know that I need to extend the same grace to myself that I extend to other moms when they’re struggling with the same thing {easier said than done, right?}. I need to not be so hard on myself. Because the truth it that no matter what mistakes I make with the Bug, my love for her runs deep and is unconditional. No amount of guilt is going to take that truth away, but what it will do is rob me of the joy that I find in mothering her, loving her, learning with her, and watching her grow. And that is something that I refuse to give up in return for something as horrible as guilt. 

Will you join me in giving up the guilt? I hope so! Let’s let go of the guilt and enjoy our children today! 

I don't relate to this or anything... ha.
I had MAJOR mommy-guilt on that one.
Still do.
yikes... this runs deep.

By the way... Lindsay is one of our Pinterest Challenge SPONSORS!
{all of the prize packages and details will be posted later today}
She has donated an incredible prize from her ETSY shop
{can anyone guess who her shop might be named after?!}
The Bug did an incredible job modeling your ETSY products, Lindsay!

Go visit her blog and snoop around.
This girl is hilarious!
Especially all her posts on Motherhood.

1 comment:

  1. I highly, highly recommend Laura Vanderkamp's book 168 Hours: You Have More Time than You Think for anyone wrestling with Mommy guilt. (Linds- it was a key text for me in grad school!) I don't agree with everything she says, but seriously, the book helped me look objectively at the number of hours I spend with my children vs. the number of hours I spend working --and here's the key part-- vs. the number of hours women spent with their kids in the past. I still feel conflicted sometimes, but "mommy guilt" in many ways, is a thing of the past. If anything, I feel more empowered to seek alternative ways to make the most of each week (168 Hours) so that both my kids and me can thrive. I'm happy when I leave them in childcare because I know that they're still spending 40-60 waking hours with me each week. They're happy when they get that outside interaction and they know they have (most of the time;) my full attention because I deal with work stuff when they're busy having fun with others. Life isn't always cut and dry, but there's no need for guilt. Make the best choices you can with the best information you have and know that a happy mom makes for a happy home!


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