As a mama, I feel tasked with one of the most important jobs in the world. I am raising tomorrow’s leaders. I am trying to develop character while creating good habits. I feel like my job is so huge and yet, I do not feel equipped. I am often plagued with feelings of guilt.
I feel guilty for not spending enough time with my kids, and missing those special moments with them. I feel guilty for spending too much time with them and therefore stinting their independent play.
I feel guilty for disciplining, I feel guilty for being too lenient.
I feel guilty for putting them to bed early and making them miss out on extra playtime, I feel guilty for letting them stay up too late and get overtired.
Guilt is not an uncommon feeling for me during the day.
I know I’m not the only mama who feels as if I am not doing this mama thing right.
Yet, when I take a step back from all those guilty thoughts, I realize that I am doing a few things right.
I see that in the moments when Benjamin hugs Gracie and tells her, “I just want to love on you.”
I see it in the moments that Levi plays independently and doesn’t need to be held every second of every day.
I see it when Gracie talks to her ‘children’ (aka her stuffed animals) in a way that is sweet and tender and I realize she is pretending to be me.
I see it when all three children play together and enjoy each other.
I see it when Benjamin gives kisses to Levi when he is upset.
I see it when Gracie tells me that she wants to go to heaven so she can be with Jesus.
Yes, there are some things that I am doing right as a mama. Probably, the main thing that I am doing right is getting out of the way and letting God love these children through me. Any time I have a parenting win and a successful day as a mama, I know it wasn’t me. It is the Lord loving His little ones by using me as a vessel. On the flip side, I can tell those days that I feel extra guilt in my parenting, is a direct result of trying to do this mama thing on my own effort and power. I just can’t do it.
I hope and pray that my children can see the love of God through me. I am blessed with the chance of being able to see the love and grace of our God through these little blessings.
Being a mama is full of all kinds of thoughts, feelings and internal battles. I need to aim to spend more time focusing on the successful moments and getting out of the way to let God do His work.
And then there are moments like this:
I had just washed out a poopy diaper into the toilet when Benjamin came in to see what I was doing. He stepped up to peer over the toilet bowl and see what I was doing. He asked if he could flush the toilet, which is one of his favorite things to do right now. I told him he could, and as I walked away, I heard the toilet flush followed by his sweet little voice, “Goodbye poopy, I love you.”
I guess a little humor in our parenting also helps.