Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tonight I am going to blog about the "Mom" button. If you have children, you have this button. It's the one that when pressed brings out the any of the following feelings (or combination of feelings): grief, guilt, heartbreak, sadness, regret, anger, rage, burnout, passion, ire, weariness, exasperation, gall, anguish, rejection, etc, etc, etc. Basically it causes you, as a mom, to question everything you have ever done as a parent and a person.
This button can be pushed by doctors, spouses, friends, acquaintances, relatives, teachers, your kids, the woman in the parking lot who gave you the stink-eye, the other mom on the field trip, a facebook "friend" - pretty much by any person you come into contact with. And the effects can blindside us, and take us to a really dark place if we let it.
Here is the silver lining. The fact that you have a "Mom" button, is usually what makes you a good mom. It means you care enough to wonder if there is any truth to the issue at hand. But it doesn't make it hurt any less. It can take even the most secure parent and cause them to feel paranoid and to analyze the smallest details.
I want to tackle the spiritual side (in my case the Christian angle) of the "Mom" button. Most of us take the skills and resources we have, and do the best we can. Sure mistakes are made, but most of the time we are making the right choices for our kids. So why is it that out of the blue someone says something and it makes us wonder if everything we are doing is wrong? It's because satan doesn't want you to think you are doing a good job. The deciever wants to make you believe that you aren't good enough, or worthy enough to have kids. The king of lies wants you to be angry and resentful. He wants you to fall flat on your face and fail, and to do it all without ever crying out to God.
It hit me like a ton of bricks tonight when dealing with a professional, who because she doesn't know how to help in a specific situation, offered a suggestion that hit my "Mom" button. And even though logically I knew she was off base, and that what she was saying wasn't truth - I allowed erroneous anger and guilt seep in. Even after I dealt with her and let her know she was not correct, I walked away holding onto it and needing reassurance that I wasn't blind to some grand reality. Satan got me right where he wanted me, he pushed my biggest and most precious button. But he didn't win. As soon as I acknowledged that the emotions I was feeling weren't God's desire for me the negativity vanished. The weight of failure lifted.
I don't know that tomorrow someone else won't make me feel that way again. I can almost guarantee you that many things will occur over the course of my lifetime that will take me right back to that place of cynicism. But I can try to be better at going back to my true source of reassurance and not allow the negativity.
And as a note to everyone - think long and hard before you assume you know everything. Really examine the reasons behind the looks and "advice" you give parents. And maybe instead of judging, or speaking a false truth, just admit you have no answers and tell the person you really wish you did. Or, at the very least take a minute to realize that you have no idea what someone else is carrying with them, and that the way you treat the situation could be the straw that breaks the camels back. And if nothing else, open your arms and give a hug. It might be the only expression of love that person gets all day.
And if I have ever pushed your "Mom" button. I'm sorry. It wasn't fair to you. I'm going to try my best to follow my own advice.