Monday, February 8, 2016

Guilty/Not Guilty

Oh, mommas. My heart hurt so much the other day. Let me explain.

My Munchkin has a little buddy that is almost his same age. His mom and I are both first time moms though she is several years my junior. When I saw her the other week to pass along some extra clothes another friend had shared with me, she mentioned that her tyke was sick with the flu and we talked about how hard it is for little ones. Just days later, she called me. Her little guy had shared and now she was sick and, for health reasons, unable to take typical OTC meds that would have helped.

Learning to love the white stuff ;)
We talked for a while about how hard it is to parent when you're sick. I related how my whole family had been sick a couple months ago and how sometimes you have to just dig down deep and find some extra strength to push through and other times you just need to curl up on the couch and watch the little one play. And that's when it happened. She basically asked me if that was okay, if it was okay for her to rest while she was sick. It seems that was the purpose of her call and it broke my heart. I told her that of course it was okay if she laid down and simply watched her boy play instead of pushing herself to engage beyond her energy. Of course it was okay to take care of herself and heal. My heart broke thinking of how many of us feel we need permission to do what is necessary in the face of what we feel we "should" do.

Being a first-time mom can be so hard. Throw in our own, often unrealistic, expectations of ourselves on top of the already hard work of raising littles and often the mommy guilt isn't far behind. We try to keep going, keep moving, keep doing for the sake of feeling accomplished. As a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) sometimes I feel I haven't succeeded if I haven't been constantly going and doing all day long or if I don't have something to physically show for the work I've done. My wonderful husband has really helped me to recognize this guilt when it creeps up and encourages me by helping me see all that I have done, even if it's "only" raising my little adventurer. Sometimes I simply need to realize that making it to the end of the day with a Munchkin that has been loved and fed is enough, even if my house didn't get cleaned or laundry didn't get done. Besides, who doesn't love a pajama day every once in a while? ;)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29, NIV)

Jesus's way is not one of false guilt or running ourselves ragged trying to keep up with everyone and everything. It invites us to rest in Him, to find our strength and expectations outside of ourselves. It draws us into a relationship, not a frenzy of activity or to-do-lists. So let's link arms with the mommas around us and encourage them as they seek to find rest in the hurricane. Raising littles is hard enough already without piling false guilt on ourselves. Let's help each other to lay that burden down at the feet of our Maker and "find rest for [our] souls".

Soli Deo Gloria,

No comments: