Mama guilt.It's real, isn't it? A constant companion.
Not tough enough. Not soft enough. Not stern enough. Not wise enough. Not cool enough. Not fun enough. Not strict enough. Not around enough. Not away enough. Not entertaining enough. Not serious enough. Not spiritual enough. Not accepting enough. Not... enough.
It began even before our babies arrived-- the how-to books, the parenting manuals, the educational toys/tools, the opinion of the experts. The list goes on and on.
And as if it were yesterday, I still remember waddling my baby belly down the parenting isle of Borders Book store.
My eyes searching to and fro amongst the hundreds of "perfect-parenting" books, determined to transform this never-been-a-mama-before person into the Super mom of all super moms!
That is, until she was born.
If only she would of cooperated with the books format, this book woulda worked!
If only she would of slept through the night, this book woulda worked!
If only she didn't fall her sweet face purposefully on the cold, hard cement floor in the Target toy isle screaming and kicking as watchful bystanders judged my parenting, this book woulda worked!
As my children grow into young adults themselves, I recognize the only book in the parenting isle of Borders Book store that cold January afternoon, should of been one with the title of LOVE.
Too simple for such a demanding, exhausting, pressing, challenging job as parenting?
I used to think so, until my tired eyes were given sight to the truth that Love is the main ingredient our precious little ones require to grow, to thrive, to nourish their parched and needy souls. It IS enough. You are enough.
As I glance out the sun-filled window next to this chair, I see the flower bed my daughter is beginning to plant. And just as a flower can have all the right necessities- the garden, the dirt, the fertilizer, the light- without the main component of water, it'll wither.
Yes, love is no respecter of education, position, economic &/or financial status, age or race.
The gift and ability to love is oozing out of every pore of a mama heart regardless of her past, her history, her finances, her positions, her super-mom status.
We could read every right book, know every right parenting style, travel to all the right places, post all the right pictures, buy all the right toys, have all the right schedules-- just as the flower has all the right ingredients. But without the water, without the Love, it will wither. They will wither.
"Love covers a multitude of faults." (1 peter 4:8) WNT
Isn't it our "faults" in parenting that weave the ugly root of mama-guilt into the deepest reservoir of
our fertile hearts? Yes, only LOVE can cover our "multitudes of faults."
We will fault our children. It's inevitable. Yet, the only ingredient that'll fill in the gaps and cover our faults in parenting these sweet ones, is LOVE.
The books, the classes, the advise, the tools, the toys, the manuals- they're all good and helpful resources- just as light, dirt and fertilizer are to a flower. But the main ingredient is the life-giving water of Jesus in the form of love, for God IS love.
So no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm BANKRUPT without love. -1Cor. 13 (MSG)
And you, precious Mama- you have love and you give love in abundance. God, in you, is supplying your babies with the main & perfect ingredient necessary for them to thrive, to endure, to grow, to persevere, to be fully and wholly nourished by the Only Perfect Parent of Jesus Christ.
He gives us permission to unglue our tightly fisted grip from the keeping-up-with-the-Jones' mentality and the I'm-not-perfect-enough false condemnation, which all place us in exhaustion mode on the treadmill of mama guilt.
Your love for your babies is enough. Your love for your babies covers a multitude of inevitable mama-faults. Your love for your babies hold the key ingredient for their souls to thrive. Your love for your babies is not to be underestimated, for it has unequaled power and generational impact.
Yes, join me as we hop off and breath.
Breathe in the purest, most simple, most potent, most truthful, most refreshing parenting advise we will ever receive- and one we've been supplying in overflowing measures to our little one's since the day we first learned of their arrival--LOVE.