This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.Psalm 34:4-5, ESV
A few days ago, a blogger friend of mine shared a fantastic article on the topic of mom guilt. (Read What is mom guilt? The Christian Mom’s Guide to Mom Guilt: Part 1 by DiscipleMama.)
Mom guilt. I have heard the phrase thrown about the blogosphere and parenting forums for a few years now. Basically since I began perusing these corners of the internet while pregnant with our first child.
My mom guilt
I had not given much thought to mom guilt until I read through the article by DiscipleMama. As a result, I realized that I have already accumulated some guilt of my own. And with my boys all currently three and under, I am still somewhat “new” to the whole mom-thing!
For example, I feel guilt for:
- Not spending enough time with my three little ones because I work full time outside the home.
- Not helping my husband (an amazing stay-at-home dad) more with raising the kiddos and the household chores.
- Losing my temper sometimes and not having enough patience.
- Most of all, that I did things “wrong” after our second son, Pickle, was born.
Now, on most days — meaning I am well-rested and well-fed — I acknowledge that my first two points are kind of silly. My husband and I fully agreed two years ago that our children were better off with one parent at home, and my job was the one that could cover all of our expenses and also provided health insurance that we needed. It made sense that I would be the one to continue working and my husband would transition into being a stay-at-home dad.
I must interject here by saying: stay-at-home parents are amazing! You do not get the recognition for all that you do. You keep the home running smoothly by doing the majority of household chores, being the primary caregiver for children, running errands, and so much more. In case you do not hear it often enough: Thank you for everything you do!
Where my guilt originated
What I really want to dive into is the last area that I struggle with: that I did things “wrong” after Pickle was born.
At the heart of the matter, it boils down to this: I feel guilty that I was not able to successfully breastfeed him and that, for about six months, I lost my temper often enough that my oldest son began to mimic me. To my chagrin, he continues to exhibit this behavior today, even though it has been over a year now.
You see, after Pickle was born, I experienced postpartum depression (PPD). Now PPD comes in a variety of flavors, symptoms, and severity, and it may not look the same for every woman. For me, my PPD was triggered by severe sleep-deprivation and emotional stress from circumstances outside my control.
So this particular guilt I am harboring is not healthy guilt because even if I knew then what I know now about breastfeeding, the outcome would not have been much different. I would have still been extremely sleep-deprived. I still would have had the stress from complications with my short-term disability.
And furthermore, I still would have had the emotional upheaval of learning my mother had terminal cancer and watching her die. In short, there is nothing I could have done to prevent or mitigate these factors that contributed to my postpartum depression.
Be free from unhealthy guilt
Friend, I do not know the guilt you are burdened with or what caused it. However, I do know that a good majority of us feel guilty about something.
Some guilt can be healthy, in that it helps “motivate us to make things right and change behaviors that we (usually) can and definitely should change.” (source)
On the other hand, much of the guilt we cling to is unhealthy and unhelpful. We need to let it go. Today’s scripture encourages this very thing. Psalm 34:4-5 says: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
Let’s take our guilt to the Lord! Let Him deliver us from it and all of our fears, our worries, and our shame. He wants to make us radiant with His love and glory!Psalm 34:4-5 encourages us to take our guilt to the Lord and let Him deliver us from our fears, worries, and guilt. Will you? Click To Tweet
Struggling? Seek help!
If you have tried to let your guilt go and find it too hard to do by yourself, I encourage you to reach out to someone who can help you: your doctor, a therapist, a counselor. Trained professionals will get to the root of your guilt and provide you with tools to deal with it.
Don’t spend one more day stuck in the muddy mire of unhealthy guilt. The Lord wants you to be free from these burdens. He wants you to be radiant!
I want to be free from guilt. I’m going to take the Lord up on His offer. Will you join me?
What verse has touched your heart this week? Share in the comments below!
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
- Andi of Radiant Light
- Leslie of Words of Hope
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Continue reading this series:
10 Bible verses about thanksgiving and praise