First of all, I don’t know why the new issue of Parenting Magazine seems to show up in my mailbox once a month. I suspect there is a mom out there who has judged me the worst mother in the state of Florida and has taken me on as a mercy ministry. She probably sponsored my subscription hoping the articles will help me.
But I don’t read it.
I make it a practice to throw it in the recycling bin along with the other 90 percent of the mail that lands there. This time, though, I had grabbed the mail on the way to wait for a child, and since there was nothing else decent in the mailbox, I had kept it in the car.
Then, on the way to school this morning, one of the headers on the front cover caught my eye:
5 Things Moms Don’t Have to Feel Guilty About
ONLY FIVE? (I have recently prided myself on upping the number on my list to 7 and a half.) I couldn’t wait to see which ones this author had discovered.
But at this point I was driving so I asked my 11-year-old to find the article.
While she looked, I mused, “Why isn’t it 5 things Moms and Dads no longer have to feel guilty about? Is it because Dads should not feel guilty about them, or because they would never bother to feel guilty about them?”
The list deeply disappointed. I wouldn’t have felt guilty about the mothering failures she described:
…either because I would never have done them – oohh…mothering righteousness!
…or because I don’t find them worth my shame…
…or because I had long ago gotten over feeling guilty about them (well, for the most part).
But since you are probably dying to know, here they are
- bribing your kids;
- having a messy house;
- ignoring your kids;
- letting your kids watch videos;
- not having family dinners…
Okay, I confess. I would feel guilty about some of those things. But by that point I had realized–and you probably know this too…
Guilt, whether over things we shouldn’t feel guilty about — or over sins we truly should…
IS SUCH AN ENERGY-SUCKER.
And, as I’ve written so many times here before, because it’s the only life-giving parenting “TIP” I know that truly “works” on mom-guilt…
The good news of the gospel is that Jesus Christ died for the real guilt and shame we experience over our true failures as moms (and Dads). Real mom’s liberation comes from knowing the hope of forgiveness and renewal…
- when I have ignored my children because I’d rather scroll through my friend’s Facebook feed,
- or bribed my kids because I’d rather they like me than suffer the conflict of requiring them to do something they should do (like put down the candy in the grocery aisle),
- or — something not on her list — treated them like fools by yelling “WHO DOES THAT” when they fingerpaint on paper laid over carpet…
So, here’s the real reason you and I don’t need to feel guilty about that list in Parenting Magazine — Christ has already died for it. He beckons us to come to him, to lay our sins upon his shoulders and to remember the righteousness and hope for change we have in him.
Want more good news about liberation from parenting guilt? Try these articles!