Some of the links might be affiliate links. See the disclosure policy here.
Some of you might have read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. You can get your own copy of the book here. Lately, I have been plagued by my own selfish thoughts of parenting. I thought I might write them down in the form of a Screwtape letter. This is a Screwtape Letter for a mom of littles. If any of these thought sound familiar, then know you are not alone! However, it is so important as mamas that we fight the lies that threaten our faith.
Just in case you haven’t read Screwtape Letters, it is written as a letter from one demon to another to encourage the lesser demon in his efforts to derail the faith of the believer. Their main goal is to keep the believer away from the “enemy” (which to them, is God).
Screwtape letter for a mom of littles
My Dear Wormwood,
I am delighted to hear that you have been successful in keeping the mama from getting sleep. It’s a perfect plan getting her to stay up late taking care of things that she feels ‘has to be done’ before the next day. Get her distracted into thinking that sweeping the floor, folding laundry and wiping down the counter one more time is more important than getting sleep. Be careful though, lest she use that time for something other than grumbling and feeling sorry for herself. If she uses that time to praise the enemy, listen to podcasts that encourage her or even…prayer, then you are worse off than if she were sleeping.
Might I also suggest that when she does put her head on the pillow finally, you try to get her mind focused on herself and how much easier life was before she had kids. If you are feeling really snarky, get her dreaming about life before kids AND marriage. Don’t let her remember how marriage has blessed her and made her a better woman. Keep her mind from being grateful for the little sleeping babies in the other room. If you can keep her mind focused on herself, you’ve won. If that strategy doesn’t work, then get her worrying. Worry is one of our best tools we can use to keep these Christians from focusing on the enemy. It is a way that we can get even the best Christian to forget the One they serve. Cloud her mind from remembering all the promises that the enemy has made about taking care of her, and the commands not to worry. Make her worry about everything; the kid’s getting sick, her husband dying, the finances, etc. When you run out of ideas, you can always get her to worry about random noises she hears in the house.
Whatever you do, DON’T allow the mom of littles to get up earlier than her kids. Convince her that sleep is way more important than getting up and spending time with her Bible. Tell her that God loves her and knows this is a tough age, so He would want her to sleep in. Just as our Father Satan, deceived Eve in the garden; deceive this mother into thinking that she really doesn‘t need time with her Bible and she can just pray as she goes throughout her day. Then, of course, make sure she is so distracted with diaper changes and fussy babies that she doesn’t even think about praying. Remember this lie and repeat it to her often; a loving God doesn’t want her to miss out on sleep and rest by spending time with Him.
Make sure the baby wakes up fussy. A happy baby in the morning, usually makes for a happier mama throughout the day. Get creative with how you start her day. A diaper so full of poop that it runs down the baby’s leg. A toddler who wet the bed. Spilled milk. These tiny inconveniences are really nothing, but the mother will think they are enormous. That’s good. You are doing well. The more the mom thinks about herself and her own trials, the better you are doing.
When the little ones ask to play with the mother, remind the mother of all the things she has to do. There are dishes in the kitchen, lunch to be made, laundry to start, etc. She will feel so overwhelmed that the idea of playing with her children will seem lazy. This is a great time to play into that lie. You want the mom to think that if she is lazy, then she is a bad mom and wife. You want her to think that productivity is the best thing she can do for her family, so her kids can get forgotten in the bustle of chores. While she is so focused on the chores to be done, she won’t be looking at the disappointed eyes peering back at her. She will completely miss the look of rejection as her child walks away. This is a great time to work on the child, convincing them that they are worthless (but that’s another letter).
A note of warning; should the mother actually choose to spend time with her children, that could be very dangerous. When the mom spends time with her little ones, it reminds her that any inconvenience is worth it. It helps her to see beyond herself and remember that her main job is to raise godly children, not have a clean house. It also helps the children feel loved and secure, which is the opposite of what we want.
Snuggles. Those are also dangerous. They seem so innocent, but they can cause so much damage to our cause. When a mom snuggles with her children; they both feel love and comfort. It unites them together and cements the bond even more. Do everything you can to prevent this from happening.
When her children ask questions about the enemy or Christianity, fill the mom with doubts. Make her think that she is not equipped or qualified to handle the questions. Fill her mind with simple answers that do NOT point to the enemy. When the child asks who made the sky, have the mother think of a cutesy answer about fairies, rather than use that time to teach her children about Creation. When the little one asks about babies, let the stork be the only explanation she uses. You get the idea.
When she does have a free moment to herself, don’t let her use that time to read the Bible. Tempt her with social media. Make sure she sees posts about how perfect other families are and how hard other mamas are working. This is the perfect time to fill her mind with doubts and lies about herself and her own self worth. Convince her that if she wants to be loved, she must be the best mom. Make her think that being the best mom means throwing the best birthday parties, giving her children lots of gifts and spending lots of time in the car running her children to all kinds of activities. Let her believe that this is where her self worth is found. If her children are busy and their houses full of stuff, then they will be happy and she will have succeeded. Don’t let her think that her children need more time with her than running to activities. And certainly, don’t let her believe that it is HER job to teach her children about God. Tell her that is the job of the church. While she is on social media, you might also have the chance to let her see other mamas who are super thin. Comparison is a great tool to use. When she sees those pictures of other women, she will automatically compare them to herself and focus on how she doesn’t meet up.
Above all else, keep the mom focused on herself. Fill her heart with complaints and self pity. And do NOT let her get near to the enemy. Keep her away from friends that would encourage her in her faith. Keep her from opening her Bible and do everything to keep her from talking to the enemy. Remind her that life with little ones is exhausting, annoying and far less than any of her hopes and expectations. Do not let her think about the joy and fulfillment she gets from this job. If she begins to feel joy as a mother, if she has friends that encourage her in her faith, if she starts reading her Bible and praying for her children, then you are on your way to loosing all hold you have on her.
I will check in on you soon to hear how you are progressing.
Your Malevolent Uncle,