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Manifesto: A Cease-Fire for the Working Mom

January 24, 2014

cease fire for the working mom

Dear Guilt and Shame,

We’re done. I want you out. You’ve lied and manipulated long enough.

This is the end.

I am tired of being afraid. I’ve spent nearly ten years worrying about what other people think, if they are thinking about me at all. I’m tired of deciding who isn’t going to be my friend before I’ve ever even gotten to know them.

I’m tired of being lonely, isolated by my own choices. How many friends have I lost because I was just too afraid to try? Too afraid that I’d be rejected, judged, convicted before even the first “hello.”

I’m tired of wondering if I’m doing enough. I did the best I could. I’m tired of apologizing for what I should have done, could have done, ought to have done. I showed up. I will give myself credit for that. I showed up, and I did the best I could. And more often than not, I did okay. There were some times that weren’t okay, but we’re going to stop thinking about that. The mental self-mutilation stops. Now.

I am a working mother. This does not make me bad, selfish, lazy or cruel. Despite being a working mother, I am yet a caring, attentive and loving mom. My children know they are loved by me, and more so, loved by Him. That’s all that really matters. I made it to their parties and some of their field trips. I have managed to keep most of the projects, and homework, and all that other stuff, on time. Maybe not everything, but who does?

My self-worth is not defined by what I can accomplish. The size of the laundry pile does not dictate my value. Nor does the state of my shower, my front yard, or the insides of my closets. I am valuable because He values me. Not for what I do.

I do not have to perform better or be better than the stay-at-home moms simply to prove my own self-worth.

We are all doing our best. We show up. Our kids are loved. The end.

I am strong. This parenting gig is more than hard. And meanwhile, life happens. We don’t get to choose the optimal time for grief, or pain, or death. I have met hell, and I have survived. I have endured my worst nightmare, and lived. The smell of smoke may still linger on me, but hell happens on this earth, ever day. We can either be consumed by it, or we can push through it.

I am gifted. I have words. Words that need to be spoken, words that need to be read. My words can hurt or they can heal. I will no longer be afraid that my words aren’t good enough, so afraid that they won’t measure up that my soul stagnates within me and I wither from the burden of not enough. The words will be written, and they will be spoken, and they might not always be brilliant or profound, but every once in a while, they might be. That is enough.

I will stop comparing myself to others. I will stop evaluating every woman I pass on the street to see if she is skinnier or more fit than me. I will stop reading great books and wishing they hadn’t been written because I haven’t been able to write one yet. I will stop looking at what the other mom’s brought to the class party and wishing that I had somehow done better.  I will stop worrying about what I am not and celebrating what I am.

I will make new friends. I will seek out women who interest me, and I will not worry if I am interesting enough for them. I will give friendship, not withhold it. I will not decide for them if we have anything in common. I will be confident enough to let them decide for themselves. Because I am interesting. I am quirky. I am unique. I laugh loud and I am funny.

I will focus on the positive, not the negative. I will scrutinize what I’m doing right, not what I’m doing wrong. I will tell my Inner You Stink to shut up, and listen instead to the One who says that, with Him as my fix, I am Enough.

It’s time to lay down the weapons and believe in myself.

I read this on the Facebook page of a friend, and I asked her if I could share it with you. We are all the same.

I have struggled with believing I am not a good mother. For whatever reason, I have really labored under this belief.  For the past two nights we have been watching videos from when the kids were little. And you know what? I saw myself playing, dancing, laughing with my kids. How did I forget that I did that?

Now I see how believing that LIE has paralyzed me in the here and now. How it caused me to give up. How believing that made me harsh with myself and in turn harsh with my kids. The past day I have noticed that now that I am believing differently, I am acting differently. Peace has filled our home.

Thank you God for showing me what I could not see. I AM A GOOD MOTHER!

-Kmberly N.

It’s time to stop the war. Not the Mommy Wars. This one is uglier, and has caused far more damage. This is the war against ourselves. The battle we have waged, believing lies instead of Truth.

This ends. Now.

I will not self-deprecate.

I choose healing.

I choose hope.

I choose living.

Because shame, and guilt, and fear, and envy… that’s too close to dying.

And, I’m done with that.

sig

Do you struggle with guilt?

Do you compare yourself to others and constantly find yourself “less-than”?

What’s your manifesto? 

The conversation continues on Facebook. Follow my author page for more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life. 

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