"Mommy Guilt"

I hear the word “guilt” so many times every day that it literally makes my tummy turn. Articles, blog posts, books, TV shows, Pinterest articles, Twitter feeds...on and on, all talking about “mommy guilt” or trying to promote "mommy guilt" in other moms. I read an article today called “The Best Parenting Tips Ever from Child Psychologists” and #8 was “Get used to the guilt”. Now, I do agree with most of their points in that article..but not this one.. thanks to our savior Jesus Christ, WE DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE WITH GUILT- (say that 10 times out loud)!!! Thanks to Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us, we are free from Guilt- He took our guilt and shame upon himself and WE ARE FREE. I thought I would share 10 things I think through when I feel guilt sneaking up or when I hear of “mommy guilt”.

  1. YOU, along with every other human being in history, except Jesus Christ, are a sinner. (Romans 3:23) You will make mistakes, you will mess up, you will cry, you will fall, you will fail, you will yell, you will crumble, you will spill things, burn things, ruin things, miss things, drop the ball on things...and then, you will seek the only one who knows every hair on your head and every hair on your babies head and ask Him for strength to do it better tomorrow than you did today. You might have to ask forgiveness from God and your kids/spouse- but you will wake up tomorrow and get to start FRESH! If our Creator can remove sin as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12)...surely we can forgive ourselves and move on.
  2. Forget yesterday, forget tomorrow- live NOW. Do not let the enemy steal your joy TODAY because of something you did YESTERDAY (but yes, do repent- he will lift your burden). Do not let him steal your joy TODAY because you are worried about TOMORROW. (Matt 6:24)
  3. “Cast ALL your cares upon Him because He cares for YOU” (1 Peter 5:7) There is supernatural peace straight from the Holy Spirit when you confess your sins to God and seek His forgiveness and when you give him ALL of your cares or anxieties. There is also a burden lifted when we humble ourselves and ask our children or husbands to forgive us. I have had to learn this the hard way so many times, it is MUCH harder to carry the burden of sin than to simply seek forgiveness and release it to the Lord. The Bible says, "His yoke is easy and burden is light"! (Matt 11:29-13) Don’t hang on to the burden of guilt- hand it to God! Be honest with your kids and show them that “ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” (Ro 3:23) EVEN mommy- your children will have to learn about taking responsibility for their actions, repentance, forgiveness, kindness and grace- model it for them! 
  4. Guilt/Fear IS NOT FROM GOD. (2 Tim 1:7) When you entertain guilt or fear you are receiving that from the enemy. Use the initial feeling of guilt to draw you to your knees immediately and move forward as a forgiven daughter of the King. Use the guilt to change your ways and learn. Use the guilt as a reminder to simplify. Use the guilt as a reminder to apologize. Use it...then lose it! 
  5. Celebrate ALL of the good things you did today: all of the ways you served your family, all of the smiles, hugs, kisses, encouraging words, the moments when you instilled a foundation of faith in your children, the lessons of repentance and forgiveness you taught them, the food you provided them with to nourish their bodies, the miles you traveled taking them places, the moment you set the phone down to play, the book you read to them...some days, there might be a lot of bad moments...but I would bet there is good stuff too! Lets stop saying “this is a bad or horrible DAY” when something goes wrong and say “this is a bad moment” and ask God to turn it around!
  6. The best way to avoid a horrible guilt-filled day to begin with is by spending time with God. It is supernatural how quiet time with the Lord changes my day. When I play worship music in the background all day...it changes the mood. Ask Him for His fruit- Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. (Gal 5:22-23) They are ours by the blood of Christ for the taking- ask for them and practice them...every.single.day! Know the difference between guilt and a nudging from the Lord via your conscience. There is a big difference and those can be confused. 
  7. You can say “No”- do not allow guilt to creep in your life because you are “people pleasing” and you are a “yes person”. There are so many opportunities..fun, exciting, fabulous opportunities..that come along every day. Evaluate your priorities and answer accordingly. If you cannot engage in the opportunity without feeling guilt- don’t do it! If God wants you to do it- it will not come with guilt! Do not receive the guilt from another human being as a form of manipulation...ask God to open your eyes to truth and see manipulation for what it is. 
  8.  If God made us all the exact same life would be boring! You will not fit in everyone's "mommy box". Your very own mother might disagree with your mothering- do not receive the guilt. God gave you a smart mind and he assigned YOU as the mother of your children. He does not make mistakes. In this world of motherhood: some sleep train/others don't, some spank/others don't, some let their children run free in stores or restaurants/others don't, some immunize/others don't, some are car seat crazies/others are not, some prefer home birth/others don't, some do all organic/others don't, some watch TV/others don't, some do public school/others don't, some stay at home/others don't ..you get the idea! We inflict TOO much guilt on other moms- Do YOUR thing girl! Do not let someone make you feel guilty for the choices you and your husband make for your family. They are just trying to justify their own decisions and insecurities. This has to stop! I bet you have found yourself on both sides of this coin...I have and find myself judging other moms far too often. Be secure enough in yourself and the job God himself has given YOU to accept and love other moms and celebrate our differences! That is my goal!
  9. Enlist co-workers (You might remember my philosophy HERE: Who’s the Boss) We cannot do this “mom thing” alone- there is no guilt like the guilt of the woman who feels personally responsible for all things. It is impossible to do it all. It is impossible to do all of the Pinterest crafts, Pinterest meals, read to each child, nurture each child, educate the child, teach the child scripture, focus on the “12 things to say to your child before they are 4” or the “10 things you should never say to a little girl”, the 350 sight words the kids need to know, the laundry, laundry, laundry, keep the husband happy, pay the bills, be the room mom, remember the classroom snacks, sign up for summer camps, pick up dry cleaning, clean the house, host the Bible Study, maintain long distant relationships, working, organizing, volunteer at church, volunteer in the community, go to the grocery store, remember birthdays, write thank you notes....I could go on forever! It is impossible to do it ALL every day- so we allow guilt to creep. Come to peace with the idea that you are no longer as efficient as you used to be (especially with a toddler hanging on your leg) and just do what you can every day and when (not IF) needed- ask for help. Serve God, serve others and enlist “co-workers”- babysitters, family, friends, etc.. It is humbling to admit that you cannot do it ALL, but humbly allow others to serve you and to impact your children and DO NOT feel guilty about it. Be free from the guilt of “Supermom”.
  10. YOU ARE FREE. YOU ARE FREE. YOU ARE FREE. Take hold of your freedom in Christ! DO NOT live in bondage to ANYTHING...not to yourself, not to another person, not to guilt, not to fear, not to pain, not to thoughts, not to yesterday, not to tomorrow, not to the evil of this world, not to your sin....we are FREE from ALL of it through Christ Jesus. Hebrews 4:15-16 says “For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.” You will mess up, approach HIM with confidence and receive his mercy and grace which has already been paid for on the cross- RECEIVE it! 

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