I really didn't understand the power of guilt until I became a mom. Then everything I do or don't do can cause the feeling of guilt. Did I discipline correctly? Did I move the baby from the bassinet to the crib too soon? If they aren't sleeping at night and my friend's kids are, did I do something wrong or did they? Will anyone have a lasting scar from that choice I made to do the dishes instead of keep a promise to play Candyland?
Then there is another layer of guilt that comes with taking care of yourself as a mom. Will I really go insane if I don't get a break? Will they have lousy eating habits if they have fast food once a week or more? If I take the time to do what I want, what other important things will get put off?
All of these questions roll through my head fairly often. I have a wonderful husband who is an excellent father. He often reminds me that everyone will survive. Do I think I have too much power? Most days I feel like I don't have enough. Negociating with my boys for toy clean up and trips to the potty, when I am sure that most mothers out there just tell their kids to do something and they just do it.
The trouble with guilt is that the enemy (satan) has taken the truth of Holy Spirit conviction and added a twist. With the conviction that I did not follow through with my promise to play Candyland comes the awareness that I am setting the example of following through (or not) with commitments. The enemy's twist on that is my children will be heartbroken because I selfishly decided that they were not important enough to me to sit down for 15 minutes and play with them. On the surface, it seems ridiculous to believe the latter, and yet, often I am following that line of thought for a few minutes or even hours before I realize I have wasted time and energy on feeling guilty. Having asked the Lord to remind me if I am indulging in such ridiculous thoughts I have become more aware of responding to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, asking for forgiveness for my unwise choice (both to the Lord and my children - those are great teachable moments) and then moving on with life.
My current struggle that has had me in tears is weaning my youngest just before he is six months old. The guilt of not giving him all he needs of my milk, seperating myself from him that way so early, and forcing him to adjust to the bottle of stuff he acts like will kill him is breaking my heart. The truth of the matter is that I have been praying for years about my weight and what the Lord would have me do about it. He has finally answered my prayers and is providing for me the time, opportunity, and healthy products to take the step of breaking down a stronghold in my life that is easily 15 years old. I KNOW this is my time. He has clearly told me and confirmed it. SO - part of that process is weaning what will likely be my last child earlier than I ever would have thought. BUT, if the Creator of the universe can provide for me, surely He is well aware of the needs of my children! I must trust Him to meet their needs in spite of my failings as a mom anyway, why not in the area of weaning too?
I also took another major change a little hard last night. I started back on the birth control pill. For some of you that would not be a big deal. However, I have not taken the pill since December of 1992. Since that time I have spent years trying to have babies and trying to have some sort of normal cycle. My whole world has been about having babies. Now I have 3 and it is time to move on. Again, I know it is the Lord calling me to make the change-even going back on the pill (He knows I can't handle a permanent solution at the moment)-and focus on what is next - becoming an energetic, healthy, fit woman who is a mother of 3 sons, wife of my beloved husband and minister of the Gospel. I can't completely explain what this transition will be like - I don't dread it. I am just very aware that the many changes my Lord is calling me to is for His glory and for the benefit of my family.
So, as usual, please keep me in your prayers and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I am thankful for your time in joining me along this journey.
Who am I?
- Jennifer - Live Courageous!
- I am a wife and mother of 3. I have been married to my best friend for over 25 years and our children are 12, 11 and 9 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost a dear friend to a tragic death. I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for most of my life. The Bible and my relationship with Christ has been essential to my surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by joining me in this process of life. I thank you for showing up to read what I have written.