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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mommy Monday ~ How to handle mommy guilt

I am really loving all the responses I am getting for these Mommy Monday posts.
Please feel free to message me with any topics you would be interested in me writing about!

Tonight, I want to talk about Mommy guilt.

I think it would be safe to say that every mom has, at one time or another, dealt with this feeling.
You know exactly what I'm talking about...

*You snap at your kids.
*You get to the end of the day and realize you haven't spent as much time with them as you wanted.
*You let them watch the entire season of Penguins of Madagascar...in one day.
*You are pretty sure they haven't had fruits and vegetables all day. Ok. All week.
*You drop them off at daycare, or a babysitters.
The list can go on and on and on.

It can be any of the above things, as well as a million others that I didn't mention.

I am going to lay two ideas on you that will hopefully help you as far as this whole feeling of guilt goes.

First of all, 

You need to know the difference between guilt and conviction.
Here's what I mean.

Guilt is this horrible feeling that comes over you and makes you feel worse and worse about yourself.
It is totally non-productive. 
It doesn't normally drive you to do things differently, it only seems to drive you straight to starbucks. ha!

Conviction, on the other hand, is "the act or process of convincing."
What that means from a Biblical perspective, is that we are being convinced that what has just been done is right or wrong based on absolute truth. That absolute truth, of course, being God's Word.

What conviction does differently than guilt, is it drives us to understand our weakness in ourselves, and then to understand our strength and power in Christ.

So guilt is self-imposed.
Conviction is Christ-imposed.

Guilt pushes you to focus on YOURSELF, your downfalls, and your weaknesses.
Conviction pushes you to focus on GOD, His strength, and His power.

Guilt makes you want to lay down and not move.
Conviction makes you want to get up and move forward.

Guilt moves your towards yourself.
Conviction moves you towards God.

Guilt is from satan.
Conviction is from God.

Because they can feel similar, the way to really tell which emotion you are feeling, is to see where your ending point is. 
If your ending point is self-centered, and you are are putting yourself down...it is guilt.
If your ending point is Christ-centered, and you are building up who you are in Christ...it is conviction.

Now that we have an understanding of that...

The second thing that is going to help you is this.

You need to have specific, firm expectations of yourself ahead of time.

A lot of times, the guilt we feel is completely based on what we expect of ourselves based on what our friends are doing, what our parents did, or what the magazines and books are saying. It is not even an issue of right or wrong!

Plain and simple?

Get over that.


Look. I think the moms that come to our home school group and set their kids all up with nicely packaged baby carrots, little baggies of celery sticks with natural peanut butter in them. Chicken sandwiches on whole wheat bread are the bees knees.
I really do.
But because that is not an expectation I have set up ahead of time for my kids?
I proudly open that can of spaghettios and say...hey! 
Ya got your tomatoes in there, your cheese, and some carbs.
Wash it down with some chocolate milk. (Not organic.)
And have a good one!

And it's fine, because I am fine with it.

Don't allow yourself to feel guilty over something you didnt want for yourself in the first place!

Now...what about those times when you do something like snap at your kids, or wen you start feeling guilty about them being in daycare?

It's the same principles. When you get upset with your kids and then start feeling bad...use those feelings of conviction to push you to action. Apologize to your kids. Make it right and move on.

If you decided that you want to (or need to) work which means your kids are in daycare and you feel a peace about that? Stay confident in your decision! Don't allow feelings of guilt to come in if it is not a sin issue! 

One more thing.

Speak truth in your heart.

That means you aren't even allowing yourself to think guilt. 
Guilt is such an emotional drain! 
Get rid of it in your heart before it even starts coming out in other areas in your life! 

Say no to guilt. 
It just stinks. 
And it ruins everything anyways. 
Free living, baby! Free living!

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