Wednesday’s post about managing mommy stress generated a lot of great comments and suggestions. In case you havent had the time to read through them, I wanted to quickly share all the great tips mentioned which help manage the stress of being a parent, because I have to be honest…. just reading over this list made me feel a little less stressed!
Praying without ceasing……..Engaging in fun activity……..Getting away……..Reading scripture
Daily devotions………………….Singing praise songs……………Soaking in a hot bath
Time out – with chocolate….. Reading Books…………………..Coffee time…………Time with Friends
Cheerful music & dancing…..Giving smiles and hugs before fussing
Focusing on blessings………….Baking and enjoying yummy smells
Keeping list of our kids best attributes or good things they’ve done so we can refer them during stressful moments
I always love to hear how we all have different opinions about what helps us calm down or soothes our spirits. But as I read through the comments and noticed our differences, I also picked up one thing I think we all have in common:
We love being mothers and grandmothers. But we are also human, and at times get stressed, irritated, impatient or unloving.
And then we feel guilty.
And that guilt makes us feel like failures as parents, and we may even begin to wonder what God was thinking when He entrusted children into our care. We look at other mothers and feel “less than”, as we secretly beat ourselves up. After a while the feelings of guilt become so heavy, it becomes hard to shake them off. Thus the cycle of stress continues.
But we don’t have to get caught up in this cycle. We can focus on God’s unconditional love and merciful forgiveness of our sin, instead of focusing on all the ways we fall short. We can choose to focus on all the good things we bring to our children, instead of the times when we lose our temper.
Do we really want to let the enemy keep us trapped in a cycle of feeling unworthy and discouraged, simply because we had a weak moment and messed up?
Life is too short to waste time feeling guilty over things that God forgives in a heartbeat. Our children grow up too fast for us to waste time condemning ourselves instead of realizing that our children love us, even when we are not perfect.
Just like God does.
I am the first to admit that when I know I’ve hurt my child’s feelings or lost my patience, guilt overcomes me. I immediately think that my sin will alter their self-confidence and scar their hearts forever and a day. Yes, I tend to get a little overly dramatic and over emotional at times. Just keepin it real. But maybe you can relate to those feelings too.
So let’s choose to spend time wisely by remembering that God is a compassionate Father, and the reason our hearts hurt when we hurt those we loved, is because He instilled that compassion in us – and that is a very good thing. With compassion comes understanding, love and mercy.
God gives us all of those things, and forgives us and loves us no matter what. And so do our sweet, precious children, young and old.
So out with the mommy guilt today – and in with God’s acceptance, love and approval. After all, the more we soak His truths into our hearts, the more we can pour them out onto our children.
Let’s hop into the weekend with the below passage tucked into our hearts, and try to keep mommy guilt at bay.
Psalm 103:8-12 NLT
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
Congrats to the randomly drawn winner from Wednesday’s comments for a free copy of my book Stressed-Less Living:
Kathy who posted at October 17, 2012 at 9:29 am – If this is you, send your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org!