I was recently explaining to my husband why I had spent money on a purchase for our home “just because” in a tone that screamed “I KNOW I SHOULDN’T SPEND THIS MONEY!”. My husband shook his head, clearly upset that I felt like I had to justify why I would splurge on myself. I think what he heard me saying was “we don’t have the money for me to spend on something fun like this”. A clear jab at his ability to provide (some may call us old-fashioned, but that’s just how we roll).
But, that’s not even the real story here. We have plenty of money. We both work hard. We both want the other one to enjoy the fruits of our hard work. He celebrates when I buy myself something. He TELLS me to spend on myself because I usually won’t do it!
Occasionally, I suffer from unwarranted, unmerited, unreasonable…guilt.
I used to call it “mommy guilt”, but you don’t have to be a mommy to experience it. Women from all walks of life can suffer from it, and it can be crippling.
I’m just wondering, do you ever feel that way too?
I’ve admitted that this is still an occasional struggle (I’m much better now than I used to be with this), now let me tell you what I’ve learned thus far about this “mommy guilt”.
*It’s quite common among mothers, especially moms of littles.
*It’s a mind game more than something you would see outwardly.
*It’s a joy killer.
*It’s a stealer of our self confidence.
*It presses us down.
*It’s unhealthy…and our children are learning from our example.
*It’s NOT God’s plan for women to think this way.
*It IS something the devil loves.
I believe the devil knows our worth better than we do sometimes and he does whatever he can to try and keep it hidden from us. I think he uses guilt as a tool to pry us away from God’s promises and the power that the Holy Spirit gives us.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Life to the full!! That is good news!
A full life will involve helping others and our work and taking care of our responsibilities, but part of that puzzle is taking care of ourselves. Nurturing our souls. If we don’t do it, then who will?
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Most of us are familiar with this scripture and we hear the “love your neighbor” part, but do you see where it says “as yourself”?
That. Is. Powerful.
Would you want your neighbor feeling downcast after they’ve just gotten a pedicure? Would you want your neighbor feeling guilty if while their baby napped, they exercised for 30 minutes instead of going right to the laundry pile? Would you want your neighbor, your friend, your relative, to put off spending time in God’s word because they felt that was time spent selfishly?
I’m talking about turning off your phone for 30 minutes and taking a cat nap, putting in your ear buds and walking laps around your subdivision, giving yourself time to read through a good book. Maybe for you it’s painting, writing, giving yourself a manicure, calling a friend on the phone while you’re on your porch alone. Maybe it’s splurging and buying yourself a rooster for your kitchen (isn’t he handsome?)
If you had 30 minutes a day to yourself, what would you do? Take a minute and let yourself go there…without guilt.
“The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
Part of building a home is filling it with love, is it not? How can we love others if we do not first love ourselves?
Let’s choose to be wise and build something strong in our homes.
Women are the thermostats at home, not the thermometers. We have the ability and privilege to set the tone. Let’s make it one of confidence and strength and value.
Let’s be intentional. Mind. Body. Soul.
*Schedule that yearly check-up
*Check out that library book
*Paint that picture
*Snap that photograph
*Join that Bible study
No. More. Guilt.
You are important and so is the task before you. Be the best that you can be and let God fill in the spaces you are unable to fill on your own. He will meet you right where you are.
And on the days that we blow it, we are still important and so is the task before us.
Especially on the days that we blow it, let’s be on guard for the guilt that will try to slip in. Let’s love ourselves first so that we can then love our neighbor, our children, our spouses, our friends and our enemies.
Think of this…when our children are beating themselves up over something, whether it is warranted or not, don’t we try to encourage them and lift them up? Don’t we desire to see them come out on top of that attitude and see the value in themselves?
This is what God desires for us. We are His children. We are precious in His sight. Let’s remember our worth in His eyes.
And in the words of Ms. Aibileen Clark, remember this too…