I've been reflecting today. Reflecting on parenthood. More specifically, motherhood. I know all mother's deal with guilt at one time or another, but sometimes I truly feel like I'm on an island. A friend of mine recently left her full time job to stay at home with her three kids. I am well aware that although this is the life(being a mom) I have always dreamed of and wouldn't change my "career" for anything in the world, I know that I was raised in this environment so it wasn't a foreign concept to me. However, so many people were not brought up in a household where Mom was at home through out the day. So for them to make a decision to stay at home with their kids, it is probably a much bigger struggle. I decided to write my friend some words of encouragement in her upcoming journey. And her reply caught me by surprise somewhat. She called me "Super Mom". And as I read this I both laughed and cringed at the same time.
Now, I'm not going to lie and I'm going to try to say this without sounding like I'm bragging. But I've been called this before. And sure it makes my ego feel good to hear someone say this about me, but in all actuality when I hear this I am secretly rolling my eyes or snorting in sarcasm. Because when I hear these words said about me, I instantly think "wow, I must really have them fooled if they think I'm a great mom!" My mind instantly starts replaying the fact that I totally lost my cool with the kids over a dirty sock left in the bathroom, or the dinner of frozen chicken nuggets and canned green beans I fed my family one night or the ginormous pile of clothes waiting to be ironed for the last month and a half. Even my dear sweet hubby tells me ALL. THE. TIME. what a great mom I am and I just stare at him in disbelief...because he actually lives with me. He hears me rant and holler over the dirty sock in the bathroom. He eats the frozen chicken nugget meal with canned green beans. He digs his clothes out of that massive pile and irons something himself.
So I ask, how do we combat this enormous guilt we are plagued with as mothers?
1. Try to focus on what we HAVE accomplished in a day/week/month:
"Finally, brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8
2. Be grateful for each and every situation you are in:
"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:4-6
3. Turn to Christ and His Word in our moments of weakness:
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corr. 12:9
Yes, I will still have days where I feed my family a less than gourmet dinner. And yes, I will still have days where I go all Archie Bunker on the kiddos. And you can bet your biscuits there might be a day where I don't invite you in because of the entire contents of our kitchen may still be sitting in the sink with leftover chicken nuggets and canned green beans hardened into a crusty layer. But, I know that in a few years I will look back upon a quiet/clean house and say thank you Lord for giving me this life.