The vision of a Jewish mother, holding every form of guilt over her child’s head, has become stereotypical. Since Eve was the first woman, and obviously Jewish, let’s blame her. I feel women are formed with guilty consciences and it takes a lot for us to believe we’re doing enough for our children.
My biggest nightmare has to do with not making school lunches for my kids. I used to wonder why I’d dream that. I now realize I was concerned about more than lunches. I had this inborn mothering thing going on that required me to worry about doing my job right. It’s something I didn’t get over throughout their childhood.
I worry about them, pray for them, hope they will succeed. I want them to find happiness and love. I think about them daily. When the birds leave the nest, you don’t stop feeling or thinking about them. They’ll always be your children.
Parenting is filled with all kinds of guilt. We needlessly worry about the small stuff, which leads us to worry about bigger things. None of that solves the issue at hand. Let God take care of the tough stuff and put your time into making each moment with your children memorable.
Leaving the sink filled with dishes at night so that you can help your child with homework may make you feel incomplete as a mom, but you’re setting priorities. Not being able to match a single pair of socks; come up with creative ways to display their art work; be on time for an after school event isn’t the end of the world. By the same token, taking time for yourself isn’t going to stunt your kid’s emotional growth. We all need time to regroup and sometimes that means letting them fly occasionally.
Guilt gnaws at us and allows the devil to do his work. We feel inadequate – we get angry – we lose control – we walk right into Satan’s arms. Guilt also leads to repentance, which is what God wants. The price for our sin has already been paid, but we still need to ask for forgiveness every day.
If you’re the guilty one, or you’re the one making someone else feel that way, turn to Him who looks beyond our guilt. He’ll give you peace. I wish He’d wipe that dream out of my memory.