Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Motherhood & Guilt

As I mentioned last week, I'm taking a Beth Moore bible study on Esther. Well this week as Beth pulled out her red book of women surveys regarding challenges women face...she hit on motherhood and guilt. She talked a lot about how Esther was orphaned and how this one fact of not having parents had a huge impact on her destiny.





I think back to my journey becoming a mom and how much of a significance motherhood has had on my life. Honey and I had been married 7 years when we found out our lives were going to be turned upside down. So glad we had that time together, but the days of being able to do whatever we wanted were long gone. I remember the struggle of making my own "mom" decisions. For instance I didn't want anyone at the hospital when we had the girls...not even in the waiting room. I just felt this enormous pressure and I knew having people waiting on me would make it worse. Of course my mom didn't understand and it hurt her feelings, but I was coming into my own...charting out a new path. Making decisions that were in the best interest of my new family.






For probably a solid year after I had Big Chick I had to pinch myself to believe that I was a mom. I just couldn't wrap my brain around that fact. It was just too impossible that I was someone's EVERYTHING. It probably stemmed from the fact that my mom and I were super close. She is the epitome of what a mom should be. I know for a fact that she would do anything for me. She's proven her gigantic love for me time and time again throughout my life. I never questioned it and yet here it was...my turn to be that special someone to another little being. It was and is overwhelming.







Fast
forward to the present. I have a routine with Little Chick that we wait outside for the bus together. Well today after rushing around to get to and from my bible study, I decided to blog for a few minutes. Time got away from me and next thing I know I hear her little voice cry "Mommy" and then the door slam. I ran downstairs to see her standing outside the bus with tears streaming down her face. You see she didn't want to leave me without saying goodbye, but she didn't want to miss her bus either. I picked her up, wiped her tears and reassured her that I was there. It was okay. Even as she left I couldn't stop thinking about her sad little face and how I let her down.







We have so many chances in a day to feel like failures as moms. They look to us for everything. We are their everything. It is an amazing privilege and a huge responsibility to mold and shape a little person's life. But what if I had never had a wonderful motherly example in my own life? What if I was orphaned? Can't you just imagine how differently you would live...how differently you might mother. I'm interested to see how this one aspect of Esther's life will somehow shape her future.




Have a blessed day.






Photo Credit: #1 Flickr - amersil, #2 Flickr - Ivan M, #3 Flickr -Urnvious21, #4 Flickr - Fred Ligget
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33 comments:

  1. What a nice post Becky ~ makes you stop and think how things would be different if certain things did or did not happen in your very own upbringing.... Although I have no chicks of my own I can relate to this and how our own childhood shapes our futures. xo

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  2. Oh Becky, I absolutely loved reading this - I was nodding my head all the way through it, agreeing with you....and getting teary at the thought of Little Chick crying at the bus - once a mother, always a mother!! If I see my daughter's classmates in tears, it's all I can do not to hug them - sometimes it's appropriate, sometimes it isn't!!

    Being a good mother is hard.....at the moment I suddenly feel conscious of not doing it as well as I want to do it....you know how suddenly you realise your children have moved on a stage and you need to change certain things to accommodate that....when you had barely got used to the last stage of their lives!!

    My own mother did not get everything right and I have to admit to wanting to be a different kind of mother to her in many ways....I sort of understand some of the things she did but I know I would never repeat them. My relationship with her has been fairly complicated over the years and I know I never want things to be like that with my own daughter.

    I know just what you mean about every day giving us so many chances to be failures....that is true.....and I think it's really hard too not to beat yourself up and think that other people seem to be doing it so much better than you are. Experience has already taught me though that most mothers have the same anxieties and doubts.....and it's the fact that we are striving to do better each day that makes us good mothers.....what would we be if we didn't care?

    Great post Becky :) xo

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  3. Becky - I'm in the middle of the Esther study, too.

    Guilt is never-ending in being a mom. I just tell the kids "I goofed - here is what I should have done." (when I can get rid of my pride long enough). I have one going to college in a little less than two years. I am already in major panic mode over what I have not taught her about life and God.

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  4. I think motherhood & guilt are synonymous:) We are mothers; we're not perfect. For me, being a mom has been -and is- the best & most overwhelming job I've ever had! Like you, I am so grateful for having had a wonderful example: my mom. My mother passed away this past spring...I miss her daily. But, her love & devotion to family still guide me. I hope my daughters feel that way about me someday:)

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  5. Lovely post. I've thought a lot about your question from earlier in the week and my response, which was that a lack of discipline is often the root of my woes as a woman. Lack of discipline ties directly to the guilt I feel - for example, if I would just go to bed a little earlier, I might feel a little cheerier and more present at 7 a.m. when the little peeps awaken! Anyway, keep us posted about Esther. :)

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  6. What a great post! I needed to read this today of all days! Thank you.

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  7. Great post and great question. I think motherhood is a hard job and I was brought up the same as you (with parents who loved me and were great examples) but true, what would life as a mother be if I were brought up completely different?

    Can't wait to hear more about Esther.

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  8. Thanks for posting this! What a great reminder. I don't know how I would have made it through the first few weeks of being a Mom without my own Mom being there. I've just started this journey of Motherhood, and I want to always remember...

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  9. Great post, I definitely have mommy guilt sometimes!

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  10. Just started Esther yesterday...

    I'm so aware of how often I WILL let my kids down even with the best of intentions. It breaks my heart to think that a wayward word, a misunderstood action could be the thing that sticks inside their little hearts and does some serious shaping-possibly even damage- all at my own hand. I suppose that's when you have to be intentional about teaching, and showing your kids grace. We have to give it to receive it, and if we do that, those tiny moments that get by us won't have that lasting significance. I hope. Being a mom is so hard. (and I was such a perfect mother before I had kids!) What's up with that? They certainly don't tell you that in the childbirth classes.

    Blessings sweetie. You can visit me ANYTIME! We'll party!

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  11. Great post... touched my heart. I am still a new mom and it did took me some time to realize that I am everything to my baby. It is such a huge responsibility that I never knew before I had her. Like this morning, she had so much energy and I felt like I could use 8 more hours of sleep. I always wish I can give all my best to her but it is unrealistic. Thanks for this post.

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  12. What a beautiful post!!! and so true...mom guilt is one of my greatest hurdles...
    Blessings!
    Jill

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  13. What a beautiful post! I can't wait to read more!

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  14. What a beautiful post! Lovely photos too.

    I didnt really have a mom...she was lost in her own problems and for many years was just plain gone...so I think it did affect me profoundly. I LOVE being a mom and cannot imagine leaving my children or grandchildren.

    At first when I was giving birth I didnt want anyone there either. Last time I invited my MIL and this time she is invited along with my mother. We'll see how it goes. I dont actually want them in the room when I get to the hard parts, but right up until then sounds good.

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  15. Awww, I love it when we connect over weird things. I didn't want anyone at the hospital either. My 83 yr old Grandmother wouldn't hear of it and hopped a bus to sit in the waiting room. ;o)
    Anyhow- I know guilt is the pits but would you rather be a stonehearted, uncaring only-in-name mother? Unfortunately, guilt is the other side of the caring coin. We care, we get hurt, we doubt that we've done our best because we are always searching for a way to do better.
    LilChick knew she could call and you'd come running. You're a good Mama.

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  16. You have such an amazing heart! Your little ones are so blessed that you even think about these things.

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  17. Great post Becky, very thought provoking...and I am sure if I let myself I could be filled with guilt for things I have done wrong with my punk...but I realize I am only human, and when something does happen, I try to make up for it the next time around! I am besties with my mom too...she was a wonderful influence on me and a huge help with my kid!

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  18. My mom died when I was 10 and I moved in with my dad and stepmom. My (now ex-)stepmom did a wonderful job of raising me but we became estranged when my oldest child was still a baby. I often wish I had a very close mom to support me and wonder how differently I'd parent if I felt a secure connection like that.

    Oh well...

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  19. Wow...you've got my thinking!!! What a great post! I'm doing the Esther study too! You are such a good mother hen!!!

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  20. I loved this. The guilt, in my freshman years of mothering, never seems to go away--nor does the pressure.
    I've probably hurt my mother's feelings 1,000 times over as I break into what being a mom is for me.
    Oh, and the hospital thing--I should have told no one to wait. My Father in Law at one point came up to say, "Can you hurry up? I have a camping trip to go to" He left before Ashton was born. NOT my favorite memory.

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  21. This post just touched my heart. My son is the same way. He never leaves the house or goes to bed without making sure he tells me bye, I love you, or good night. He NEVER forgets. It is so special to me.

    Girl, I don't have enough space on this blog to tell you all my birthing drama with my husband's family!

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  22. Ahhh, motherhood and guilt, I know it well! I can't even imagine how being an orphan would change so many things about me...

    :) T

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  23. I felt a little teary reading this post. Being a Momma has been the best but hardest job I've ever had. Hope you are having a great week!

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  24. You are an amazing woman!!!!!! And obviously a fantastic Mom!!!!!!

    I don't have kids but I like to think that if I could have I would have been a good Mom. I had such an amazing example in my own Mom that I hope I would have followed in her footsteps.

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  25. This was a beautiful post.. My mother and I are best friends and always have been and now my daughter has told me that we are best friends. Which I love to hear those words come from her seeing she was a "wild and crazy" teenager! She has seen the relationship I have with my mother and I think it has helped her out tremendously.

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  26. Becky, what a sweet and beautiful post. We too were together for 7 years before I found out I was pregnant. Something we wanted so desperately.

    I can't imagine not having had a wonderful, loving and nurturing mother to have shown me what mother's love is.

    Thank you for making us take a moment to realize how blessed we were to have had a mom while growing up. xo

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  27. What a sweet post! And a wonderful tribute to your mom. Having such glorious mothers gives us a higher standard for ourselves, I think, and our children are the lucky benefactors of our attempts.
    Also - I love your new blog design! So cute!

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  28. Loved the Esther study...it's awesome! Thank you for this post...beautiful.

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  29. Becky~ Yet again another mind refresher!! I didn't have the best relationship with my Mother as a child, she would say differently..It wasn't that she was a bad mother she just didn't have that comfort ability for me. So guilt for me with my children is ENORMOUS!!! Mostly because I never want them to feel sad or hurt or that I can't help them...

    So yes guilt add that one to my list as well!!

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  30. I'm a very different mother to how mines was but therein itself lies a lesson. :O)

    I didn't want visitors either when I had my daughter. It was very similar to what you described.

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  31. I love Beth Moore -- I think I will get this study!

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  32. I'm doing the Beth Moore study also right now!! I absolutely love it!!! We are discussing Courgage this week and every week it seems as though God is using her to talk to me!! It breaks my heart that you had to experience that as a child but know that God will use that horrible incident for his Glory! Great post and Blog.

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  33. WOW!!! I have been stewing over this VERY topic the last few days (actually the last 38 years of my 44 year old life)....even wrote two e-mails in the last two days describing EXACTLY how my mothering is different than the kind I grew up with. I think I may have turned out differently had I not endured so much childhood trama! Because of it, I believe I am more attentive, more sensitive, more motivated to do it better with my own kids. It really hasn't been that hard though, to tell you the truth. I find it easy to be madly in love with them....even though I grew up feeling unworthy of being loved. Here's one instance where nature outweighs nuture. I was born to be a mama....even though I didn't have a good example to go by. Thank you, Lord, for your grace and protection! For a few years now, I've been wanting to study the book of Ruth. I think it may be time :)

    So now you know why this old post of yours caught my eye and I had to read. God's timing is impecible!

    And now you can be assured that your blogging efforts are so worth it. You've touched someone's heart out here in this big wide world with a post from 3 years ago!

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Thanks for taking a minute to share your thoughts. I love hearing what YOU have to say:)

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