Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mommy Guilt

Mommy guilt/ envy is one thing that I think all moms deal with. There are no perfect moms. There is always going to be someone who is more _________ than you are. Mommy guilt/envy comes in many forms and many faces.

Yesterday I had an attack of mommy guilt. In the mail we got the cutest invitation for a birthday party from some friends for their son. As soon as I saw it all kind of thoughts ran through my mind. After the initial, "That is one of the cutest invitations I've ever seen!" thought all kinds of self deprecating thoughts came after me, "I'm a horrible mom because... I never organize fun birthday parties for my kids, I never make fun invitations, I'm totally not organized enough to get invitations to people three weeks before an event, etc, etc, etc." This was all magnified because I really don't do birthdays well which always makes me feel guilty and because my baby turns 8 next week and she and her sisters were planning her birthday party and making invitations with crayons and pencils to hand out at church on Sunday afternoon so people could be informed a few days before her "party" (AKA hopefully have a couple friends over and probably paint nails and eat cake). "Oh, why am I not together enough to throw my own kid a birthday party so she has to plan it herself??"

Glenn had just gotten home and he saw the direction of my thoughts and my wonderful husband asked me a simple question, "Did you ever just have a two year old?"

That caused me to pause and reflect. I have just had a 2 year old. For one month. The party we threw when that little guy turned 2 was a big event- we stayed up late several nights before it making fish out of Starbursts and Laffy Taffy for his amazing aquarium cake and creating fun Veggie Tale themed carnival games to play. We had made cute invitations and I made homemade pizza for the 30+ people of all ages that came to help us celebrate that wonderful occasion. I did just have a 2 year old back then. His sister came a month later. I've not thrown a party like that since.

I'm thankful for my dear husband helping me with my perspective yesterday. I'm not a big party person. I feel mommy guilt/ envy often when I see pictures of the spectacular birthday extravaganzas from people who are that they have for their kids and think that I really should do all of that but I don't. I don't have big parties for my kids. They get homemade cinnamon rolls and a favorite meal for their birthday - usually Hawaiian Haystacks. They sometimes have a friend or two over if we've met people where we are living at the time or are not homeless. One child didn't have a cake until a couple of months after the birthday had passed because of the sickness and chaos in our lives that was going on at the time, another child got to celebrate while living in someone else's house two years in a row. As a general rule birthdays are simple events in our home but the kids still feel loved and special and they've never complained they don't get extravaganzas every year.

It is enough. I am enough. God didn't give my kids a great party planning mom but He knew what He was doing and for some reason in His infinite plan He gave them me. Imperfect, disorganized, not a party planner me.

I surrender my mommy guilt and envy to God once again. I can't live anyone else's life. I get to live mine. I am not anyone else. I am me. The me that God created perfectly for His plan and purpose and to glorify Him.

For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (Ephesians 2:10 AMP)

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