Posts tagged mom guilt
I Can't Control My Kid. There, I Said It.

I have no control over my kid.

There, I said it.

But guess what I’m learning? It’s ok. Did you know that a human can’t really control another human and have a healthy relationship? And no one can control you unless you let them. What we need to focus on is controlling ourselves.

 
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Check out the quote from Danny Silk’s book Loving Our Kids on Purpose, “You can’t control other people, and nobody can control you but you.” He goes on to say, “The ability to manage your children and yourself toward the goals that you have in being a parent rests in the ability to tell yourself what to do and do it no matter what they’ve done or are doing.”

But ya know what is reallllllllly hard? Self-control. Just by existing as a human, it’s super hard. Then add on a job, a spouse, several other key relationships, lots of expectations, temptations, and curve balls. HA. Good luck to ya, my friend. Sprinkle on a couple kids and I seriously dare you to survive one single minute with sound mind and a spirit of self-control without working hard to achieve the goal.

Oh wait, did I tell you that your chicken is burning in the oven, one kid is trying to jump from the couch to the coffee table and back while the other is performing some sort of hand washing ritual that soaks the floor, the counter, the mirror, and still somehow never manages to get the hands clean? Oh, and there’s the Amazon package delivery guy ringing your door bell that sets the dog to barking and the baby to crying.

But don’t worry, I still haven’t really piled on top the pressures of maintaining a reasonably clean home, the fact that your family needs to eat dinner every single night (what IS that?!), and the laundry pile that grows day after day after day. And you probably have some hopes and dreams, maybe some emotional stuff you’re working through, maybe a full-time job.

I’m literally exhausted just typing this out. You’ve probably stopped reading already for the very same reason. But if you’re still with me, let me share with you a couple key takeaways I’m *trying my best to implement from the truth that at the end of a very good day, the only person I can say that I’ve controlled decently well is myself.

It’s all about choices:

 
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Fear or Love: “When we allow the mistakes of others to manage us, to dislodge us from the goal of being loving and respectful, what we are actually submitting to is a spirit of fear.”

  • What does that mean for me and you? Self-control looks like being as loving and respectful as we can during heated exchanges with our kids over anything from mismatched socks to the toast they said they wanted and you made for them that they shunned because they obviously didn’t want that toast.

  • What does that NOT mean for me and you? That our kids don’t suffer the natural consequences of their actions. And that’s where we have to get creative (and read the rest of the book, because this is not a book report!).

Helpful or Hurtful: “[Our] words are spirit and [we] carry vision for [our kids]. [We] carry it in [our] hearts and in [our] lives. [We] carry what it is that [we] want them to have.”

  • What does that mean for me and you? That we have the choice to breathe life into our kids at their worst moments. When our kids look into our eyes, no matter what is happening within and around them, they need to see that we believe in them!

  • What does that NOT mean for me and you? That we’ve got to be perfect at this. That we aren’t honest with our kids. That they don’t suffer the natural consequences of their behavior.

This is so hard for me! I’m a really emotional person. And I’m a bit fiery, too. But I can only control myself (on a good day), and it’s my job as a mother to teach my kids how to operate under the freedom that they have, and model it well. And that truth spills over from mothering to every other relationship we have: we cannot control another.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Keep in mind, this is one philosophy taken from 2 pages of an entire book. I haven’t painted the whole picture (because I’m not Danny Silk, and if you want the whole picture, I’d suggest you pick up a copy of the book!)

Listen, you are a really great mom. Perfection doesn’t usher in peace. Never has, never will. But let my words seep into your heart today, no matter what you’ve got charging down the pike. You can do this. You’re not alone. You’re the best mother for your children, and at the end of the worst day, I guarantee they’d agree with me on that one.

You are loved, friend!

If You Aren't Using This ONE SURVIVAL TACTIC When You're Sick, Are You Even a Real Mom?

I’m sick. I mean, it’s just a cold, and I don’t mean to be a whiner, because I get that people, maybe even you, are receiving health news much worse than “looks like you’ve got an endless amount of snot that keeps pouring out of your nostrils no matter how many times and how long you blow your nose.”

I mean, where does it all come from? Lord have mercy!

But I digress. And I’m here to tell you one quick thing before I go to bed at 8:30 p.m. for the 6th night in a row (thank you, Nyquil…you’ve never let me down, even after all these years).

 
 

There is ONE THING that all sick (insert: pregnant, lazy, busy, stressed, and actually sick) mothers use when they bite the dust. And how do I know this magical thing, you might be thinking? Well, of course, I took my woes to the I Am Mother of the Year Facebook groupand this ONE THING kept floating to the top of the list.

So listen here, mama. If you aren’t yet employing this miracle, life-saving strategy, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

You guys. This. Is. Genius. And I can say that because I didn’t come up with it.

It’s called (drum roll, please………………………………………….)

THE PANTRY RAID:

If you’re a sick mama (that means anything from having the sniffles, to barfing, to being overly or newly pregnant, or had a bad day at the office, etc.) you do not have to feed your children dinner. Instead, your employ the good ole fashion pantry raid, whereby your kids get to eat anything from your pantry that is within reach. And you call it dinner. And you call them fed. And you call yourself a hero.

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Don’t believe me? Just check Section 9, Page 1,387 of the Parenting Handbook, where mothers from around the country have chimed in on this very matter:

  • Jessica: Whenever I bite the dust, it’s a pantry free for all. Popcorn, pop tarts, granola bars, chips, cereal (dry of course)... whatever you can reach, you can eat.

  • Cassidy: TV all day. And eat what you can find/reach!

  • Katie: Candy and chips only for food.

  • Tiffany: Anything within reach - Cheetos? Sure! Animal crackers? Fine! M&M's? Go for it! Just eat at the table.

  • Victoria: Sat on the couch all day while instructing my 2.5 year old how to feed herself. “Push the chair to the pantry. Open the door. Get the goldfish... there’s lunch!”

Apparently, mothers for GENERATIONS have been using this exact same tactic.

  • Emily: My mom just shared with me that she was laid up on the couch with a terrible cold when I was about a year old. She brought the box of Cheerios with her and kept throwing handfuls onto the living room floor for me like she was feeding birds!

Not so sure about this whole Pantry Raid idea? Not a problem.

Some honorable mentions include survival by:

  • TV. All day ‘er day.

  • Goodbye Diapers. Seriously, if you don’t have energy to change them, why put them on? As a bonus, it induces some extra incentive to have your carpets cleaned.

What’s the point? When mama’s down, mama’s down. The quickest way for mama to get back up again is to soak in All. The. Rest. And that means employing some tactics that probably wouldn’t fly on a regular Tuesday. But listen, not ONE of these moms talked about feeling guilty for doing the absolute bare minimum. Mom guilt won’t help you heal any faster. No one’s snot is disappearing overnight because they felt guilty for throwing Cheerios on the floor and calling it dinner. No one’s vomit has spontaneously vanished because mom guilt made them feel like a complete loser of a human being for allowing their kids free reign over the TV for a few days (or weeks). Mom guilt is a dumb liar.

Thanks to all the moms who helped me feel better for scraping by in my time of sickness. We don’t need to thrive all the time. If we did, we’d never appreciate our own awesomeness, and neither would our families.

So raise your class of Emergen-C for a toast. “To you, mama. For being who you are in sickness and in health and in all the days between. Your sanity, your creativity, your love is unparalleled. And your kids, your family, and your community are better because you are in it. Snot and all.” *Clink clink* And goodnight.

P.S. If you need some practical self-care steps, download your FREE Self-Care Guide here!!!

 
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"I'm Terrified and Struggling with Guilt and Shame" : One Mama's Confession Holds Lessons for Us All

Leslie heard about the I Am Mother of the Year Facebook group on KTIS radio station in Minneapolis, where I have the pleasure of chatting with Andy from the morning show every Wednesday. And what she heard was that we weren’t judgmental. That we were FOR ALL MOMS. That we root each other on no matter our differences. Turns out, we were exactly what she needed at the exact right time. I love when God works stuff like that out.

Here’s what she said, “I'm hoping that this group truly isn't judgmental because I could really use a great group of women for support. I'm 35, separated almost 2 years and going through the divorce process, going through bankruptcy, just started a new job, 10 1/2 weeks pregnant, and going through the pregnancy alone as the father flipped a switch and decided it was best if I terminated the pregnancy. I ended the relationship and am now a bit overwhelmed by everything that's been going on. I recently started attending church services again, which helps, but I'm terrified and struggling with guilt and shame over how this has all come about. Can't say that I would qualify as mom if the year at this point but maybe someday.”

 
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Oh my goodness. If Leslie was looking for support, she got it. More than 60 moms commented to give their shout of encouragement, hope, and prayers to this mama. And she was grateful.

When I reached out to her to get permission to share her story, she was willing, but doubtful that her story could be used to help anyone. And Leslie, friend, this is where you’re wrong!

Here are the two things that stuck out to me about your story that are a lesson for us all:

  • You are hopeful. Your story is evidence that there is hope for us all. No matter our circumstances, no matter our choices or the poor choices of others that impact our lives, no matter if we’re feeling like we deserve it or not, there is hope for us. You, Leslie, have made it your mission to look for hope in all of the right places. You sought community in a local church and online in our Facebook group. You found hope in and for the sweet, unborn baby growing in your belly. You found hope that was strong enough to end what sounds like a relationship not worth investing in. You found hope that maybe someday you would feel like Mother of the Year. (Of course, as many moms mentioned to you, you are already Mother of the Year because you are a really great mom who shows up for her kids!) From where I sit (several states over and a computer screen away), you are staging an amazing comeback! I’m so confident that you will look back on this hard road and smile because God brought you through it step by step. It won’t be easy. Comebacks rarely are. But it will be so worth it and you are well on your way!

  • You are vulnerable. Of course, part of being hopeful is being vulnerable. Author Ann Voskamp has this incredible quote that says, “Joy and pain. They are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living.” I am a firm believer that our stories are the greatest gifts we can give to those around us. None of us have it all together, but few of us are brave enough to be the first one to admit that. When we are honest with ourselves and others, we are able to free ourselves from the lies that would keep us lonely, shameful, and hopeless. And we get the great joy of freeing others who will speak up second, third, or fourth. Leslie, you are one of the brave that has gone first, and for that, we are all grateful. God is in the midst of redeeming your story, and we all need to see that because it expands our imaginations to see how God might redeem our stories as well. All the hurt, the pain, the good and the bad…my prayer is that as your story continues to unfold, you keep living with the knowledge that your life matters, that fear is your enemy, and when you know your worth, you will change your world. Keep taking that next tiny step, and watch God show up big time!

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There’s not much more I can say than that. Thank you, Leslie, for inspiring us with your story. Thank you to all of the amazing moms who did exactly what we have promised to do – encourage, celebrate, and support. I’ve got one overflowing heart over here!

Listen, if you’re lacking hope and not sure what the next step in your comeback story might be, make sure you join the Facebook group, download your free Self-Care guide, and register for the Spiritual DNA online course and live workshop. You will find so much clarity, peace, and hope! One step at a time, mama. And, as always, if you need anything, email me or drop a comment below! You are loved, friend!