Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mommy Guilt - Things I have Learned

Hello Friends,

I hope you all are well on this wonderful hump day wednesday! Things are ok here...I have a really sore knee (I've had knee problems for as long as I can remember) and have been busy, but things are good! I met to type this out yesterday, but got sidetracked with a 9 month old who's learned that rolling is fun! I apologize for making you wait!

Ok, on to mommy guilt - some final thoughts from the book I was reading: "Motherhood, The Guilt That Keeps on Giving." What a great book and I have really enjoyed sharing thoughts with you from this book. I know we all struggle from mommy guilt and I know we can all use some insight as to how to deal with it. Remember, there is true guilt and false guilt and one of the key ways to work through guilt is to identify true vs. fake. I would say most of the time what we feel as mom's is fake guilt. For example, my son has really dry skin and I feel terrible and guilty that I don't rub lotion on him all the time...I feel guilty that he got hurt today when he was napping, he had rolled down to the bottom of his crib and had his arm stuck and twisted in the slats. He was fine, no broken bones, just a scary boy, but I felt bad that I hadn't heard him crying sooner. FALSE GUILT. I have this daily, several times a day and I think through trough the guilt I do have, very rarely is it actual true guilt. True guilt is obvious and false guilt is very vague.

If there is true guilt in the midst of the false guilt, there are ways to work through it. First, you must acknowledge it, then confess it, then ask forgiveness and accept that forgiveness and then finally make amends and work through restoration. Praying is a good place to start, pray for forgiveness and accept that God has forgiven you! One quote I liked in the book states: "Purposely choose to say no to the guilt forgiven when it beckons." I really liked it because I know I tend to dwell and churn and allow this to fester inside (not just with mommy guilt, but with all guilt). I really want to learn and practice this concept more. I think if I allowed myself to truly feel forgiven and accept God's grace, I would be much happier and less worried. Sure, there will be on going consequences of true guilt, but by accepting my forgiveness and the grace extended to me, I think the consequences will be easier to deal with. Truth is, as Ms. Barnhill said, "It's hard to feel forgiven." I will be the first to admit that.

At the end of the book, Ms. Barnhill talks about some heart connectors, 6 things that will help you and your family to grow closer together and live in "Graceland" (and no, I am not talking about Elvis here!) Ways for you especially to heal a heart that may feel burdened with guilt, positive things, things that will help you learn that God extends his grace to you and loves you. Here are the 6 connectors the author mentions!
1) Give a compliment - they go a long way and will not only make those you compliment feel great, but help you feel great too.
2) Reach out and touch - not necessarily go around hugging everyone, mainly, being there for others, loving them, being the shoulder to cry on, the listening ear, the venting bag!
3) Surprise your family with random acts of extravagant love.
4) Don't neglect your network - this is my struggle, I get too worried about bugging people and I don't allow my network of friends to be there. When I am down and out, rather than calling someone to talk to them or ask them to hang out, I sit here and allow myself to be sad and lonely. WRONG...we need to not do that. I shouldn't be afraid to say, "Hey, I am bored today, if you aren't busy, want to go to a park?" I get so afraid of rejection or putting a burden on my network of friends, I don't allow them to love me when I need it.
5) Involve your family in loving outreach.
6) Keep your mind and heart open for gifts of Grace.

So what have I taken from this book? Well, I have learned that I am not guilty for I would tend to believe. I have learned that we all go through it and we all deal with the shoulda, woulda, coulda's. I have learned that God's forgiveness is for everyone and that he loves us no matter what. I have learned that I need to accept the forgiveness, not dwell on past guilt, move and allow grace to work in my life. I have learned that I am a good mom, I may not always get it right, but I certainly do not do a lot wrong. I have learned that I will feel guilty, but I have learned ways to work through that guilt. I have learned that God is a god of Love, consistence, patience, fairness, mercy, and truth! He wouldn't have entrusted my baby too me if he didn't think I could do it. He knows better!

Does this mean I won't feel guilt, nope - I will continue to feel guilt and probably let it eat bother me, but at least I know ways to move through it. I won't be perfect that moving through it, it will take a while, but I will get there. I will allow God to lead and forgive and extend Grace when needed. I will make mistakes, its inevitable, I am human - I am not perfect!

But, I can do it...and I hope you can too. I plan to purchase this book and have it around when I need a pick me up! I am thinking of attempting to do a giveaway of this book in the future...not 100% sure about it, but I would like to.

I hope that you have learned some stuff too. I have other books I will share wisdom from as I read them! And I am sure mommy guilt will still be a topic on my blog! :)

Ok, the critter is crying, must be lunch time! Have a good one friends!


Heatherlyn said...

The 6 tips are really good. Anyone who embraces them will have a much happier life.

Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing this- I have been looking forward to it! I really do appreciate the six tips, too.