Engage

Losing Mommy Guilt and Choosing Baby Kisses

Guilt.

The “Motherhood Guilt” creeps in from Day One; well, actually, from before that.  The experts start talking (i.e. we start reading), and we realize how, even as the baby is in the womb, we are doing it all wrong. The guilt keeps growing as the little one comes into this world, and we start to make those seemingly all important decisions: Faber, Sears, Whisperer, or Happiest on the Block? The voices of friends, neighbors, mommas, and even strangers flood us with instruction. Who do we listen to? And, why is our own voice and, more importantly, God’s voice the last ones we consider?

I'm tired of it. (Well, let's be honest, I'm just tired.) But, I am also looking for some ways to change.

Guilt.

The “Motherhood Guilt” creeps in from Day One; well, actually, from before that.  The experts start talking (i.e. we start reading), and we realize how, even as the baby is in the womb, we are doing it all wrong. The guilt keeps growing as the little one comes into this world, and we start to make those seemingly all important decisions: Faber, Sears, Whisperer, or Happiest on the Block? The voices of friends, neighbors, mommas, and even strangers flood us with instruction. Who do we listen to? And, why is our own voice and, more importantly, God’s voice the last ones we consider?

I'm tired of it. (Well, let's be honest, I'm just tired.) But, I am also looking for some ways to change.

You see, my little five-month-old is a bundle of activity, excitement, and smiles. He smiles and laughs at everyone he sees and is about the most extroverted baby I’ve ever met (this produced from two pretty introverted parents who love just spending time at home). However, I’m constantly missing how great he is because I’m worried about why he isn’t taking three long naps, rather than his normal four to five shorter ones, each day. Seriously, I’m choosing naps over smiles.

Then there’s the fact that he gets fussy later in the day, but he’s easily distracted by kisses. Do I enjoy this? No, I’m usually just busy figuring out how I can keep him from getting fussy in the first place, rather than enjoying that I can kiss him until he forgets all about his fussiness.

I’m totally out of whack here, as I’m more worried about schedules and creating the “right” routine. I’ve barely got time to enjoy my child, my husband, or my God. And I finally realized it when I read this blog:

"In and of themselves, schedules and systems and plans – all of those things in which we creatures of habit find comfort – they’re fine and good.  It’s when scheduling is elevated above seeking and planning pushes aside prayer, when the charts and instructions and pre-formed expectations become idols and careful comfort becomes clinging to control – that’s when we run the risk of living under fear instead of following God into freedom.  I’m looking, daily, to let Him teach me the difference."

Some mommy friends and I have been discussing this and what it means really to seek Him and the freedom He can offer. But, how do you get through the busyness of a day and find God in the midst? I’ve been listening to some Bible online during feeding times, but really I want to know some more ways. Give me your thoughts.

Married, single, with or without children. We’re all crazy busy. How do you do it?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a fussy baby to start kissing.

Jamie Lath is a middle child that has no baby picture without her older sister in it. Even with only two siblings, she grew up with family everywhere because all her aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and even second-cousins lived in her hometown. With forty people at her birthday parties (all relatives) and her sister in every picture, she knows a little about community, and it's everlastingness. This has brought most of her ministry focus into meeting people where they're at, listening closely (especially to those who feel voiceless and like no one is listening), and helping them find God's voice in the mix. Jamie graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from the University of North Texas. Following a year of teaching English in China, she returned to the states to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. She received a Th.M. with a focus on Media Arts. Her background in the arts (ballet, writing, and acting) has given her an understanding of how creative expressions can give people a safe place to begin exploring how to use their voice and how it can touch hearts to hear God’s voice. She also blogs at I just called to say "Olive Juice."