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.