Monday, May 23, 2011

Letting Go Of Mothering Under Guilt

Playing the piano with my weeks old daughter!

Becoming a mother has been the hardest job I've ever experienced. You have a little person with you all day long that has the potential to be crying on account of their being hungry, tired, dirty, or hurt. :) And before they start talking you have to figure out which one of those it is yourself!

When I entered motherhood, I knew it was going to be a big job and that I would fail many times. But no one prepared me for what would become one of my greatest struggles - guilt.

I feel guilty because I'm not a good enough mother. I feel guilty because I'm not spending enough time when them. I feel guilty because I want to read to them for two hours in the afternoon but I fall asleep from exhaustion...and the list could go on. I know I experience guilt because I love my children so much. I want the very best for them, and I know that often I am incapable of giving it to them.

One area in my life I used to feel guilty about was crafts. Yes, you read that right. While I can sew, any other form of crafting is like Latin to me. I am terrible at actual crafting, and dread when we do crafts at church! I'll confess, something as simple as folding a paper airplane for my seven year old son taxes the crafting part of my brain :) Ask me to sew a dress up outfit? I can do that. Help me design a paper helmet Mom? Ummm, I'm busy right now.

This used to bother me a lot, until I recently discovered something.

I have talents to pass on to my children besides crafting.

It's a simple thought, but it hit me as I was playing the piano one day. While I'm not as good as I used to be, I love to play classical music. I tell my children what songs I am playing, and when they are in the room I look for lively fun songs that they will want to dance around the living room to. One such song is The Happy Farmer by Robert Schumann. I've created a whole story about a man on a tractor plowing his field and tell it to the children as I play the song. They love it!

Sometimes I play quiet music as they are looking at books, or doing building blocks in the living room. I don't even think they are listening until I stop playing, and they look up and ask me to play some more. And that's when it hit me.

While I can't craft, I am pouring the love of music into my children. The crafting mother may desperately long to be doing just what I'm doing, teaching her children about music, but she may not even know who classical composers are. And while I'm busy raising little music lovers who can't craft, she is busy raising the future artists!

This reminded me of the scriptures in 1 Corinthians that talk about the different gifts that are given to people. We all are blessed with different gifts, and as mothers we will have our areas of strength and weakness when it comes to the different gifts.

If you do your very best the Lord will fill in where you lack. I received my non - crafting skills honestly - my own mother couldn't craft or sew very well at all. But you know what? I adored her, and could have cared less growing up if she crafted with me or not!

Let's mother our children today under the love of Christ, and choose to let go of guilt.

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At May 23, 2011 at 8:48 AM , Blogger Gentleliving7 said...

I would just like to encourage you. I am not artsy at all. I neither craft well nor can I paint or draw. However, I homeschooled my children and I always provided them with plenty of craft and art supplies.I encouraged them to do it even if I didnt do it. Both of them draw and paint very well and do wonderful crafts. They are also writers. It is so easy for us to feel as if it all depends on us. Remember that God is in control. He will take care of everything.
Be blessed and thanks for sharing these sweet thoughts.
Cammy H

At May 23, 2011 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Niki said...

Thank you for sharing this. It's so true. We just need to find those God-given talents and abilities and use them for His glory :)

At May 23, 2011 at 9:51 AM , Blogger Miss Linda said...

This post touched my heart. I can tell how earnestly you yearn to be the very best possible mother for your children. Giving them a legacy of love, showing them what godly parents are, teaching them to love God and to love obedience, that is the greatest legacy you could ever give them. In the light of eternity, the fact that you don't enjoy making paper airplanes pales in comparison! :)

At May 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM , Blogger Kady said...

Thank you for posting this. I really struggle with guilt, though not as a mother, but as a wife. I feel so guilty for how I feel like I fail as a wife. Thank you for reminding me that I don't have to be perfect because when I give my best to God, and thus my family, God will fill in the rest.

At May 23, 2011 at 11:49 AM , Anonymous Paula said...

You really blessed me. Thank you for sharing . I was under tremendous guilt last night and this morning, of which i am working through. Life is so imperfect. I am not crafty and i don't play the piano either. Also, it Seems every piano teacher in my area is full and accepts all children, but, mine. Frustration!! But,the oldest 3: 13, 17, and 20 year old son can cook and can make bread. That is a positive.

At May 23, 2011 at 12:43 PM , Blogger GG said...

You are so right in saying that we don't get prepared for the guilt that seems to hit all moms. Without the Lord to help me when guilt attacks, I'd be hopeless.

At May 23, 2011 at 1:23 PM , Anonymous AnneJisca said...

Thank you for sharing this!! I used to think I wasn't a good wife because I couldn't sew. After about 2yrs of my husband telling me otherwise, I realized that my strengths are elsewhere and it's ok! Now I'm a Mom to 2 young ones and have the things to accept in my mothering. :)

At May 23, 2011 at 2:43 PM , Blogger Heather said...

I didn't face "mothering guilt" until I had my 2nd child. I felt so much guilt for my 1st born, 17 mos. I felt like I wasn't spending enough time with her and then I felt the same guilt for the baby...that I wasn't spending enough time with him.

At May 24, 2011 at 1:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so hard to do!

At May 24, 2011 at 5:29 PM , Blogger Jo said...

We all do our very baest and have no reason to feel guilty. However, I know from experience there are certain event si look back on and which I had done things differently.

And just because you don't excel in one area eg sewing is ok, you are proabaly very good at other things. I am not good at sewing but trying my best and one day I might be much better!!. I wouldn't cook bread out of fear that it wouldn't work, but now I'm pretty good at it.

Guilt don't improve anything, just do you best and trust in the Lord.

At May 25, 2011 at 3:32 PM , Blogger Alexis said...

Thank you for this honest and true from the heart post. I needed this reminder today. Like you I am not a crafter but like you I must have a talent or ability somewhere in me to pass on to my 5 children.

At May 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM , Blogger Southern Belle said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I could so relate to this post and it encouraged me so! Blessings.


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