Newsflash, leaving your child with a sitter for a date night is not a bad thing.
When our son was born I had a bit of baby blues. Not full on postpartum depression but I distinctly remember feeling like the walls were closing in on me at home. This introverted homebody was in desperate need of an escape 5 days after delivery. I didn't know why but every part of me had to get out of the house. My husband had been doing a wonderful job as a new dad but I was in a bad place.
Thankfully, my sister in-law has good discernment skills and knew I needed a little respite. So at a mere 5 days of age our son spent about an hour and a half sleeping peacefully on Aunt Mel's chest while my husband and I went to….the local carnival.
Yep. I went to a carnival when my son was 5 days old.
No rides, no dancing to semi-decent country music. I don't even know if ate anything. I just needed to be with my husband, outside where life seemed to be familiar. At home, the new normal was not familiar and I was having a hard time processing it. Of course, as soon as we got there I then felt terrible about leaving him at home. No one needed to say it to my face, the devil was working overtime whispering in my ear.
I remember seeing a friend at the carnival. A veteran in parenting as a mother of three and grandmother to six, she hugged me and told me how good it was that I recognized I needed a break to adjust. After browsing the vendor tables we went home and found our little man just as we left him: snuggled on Aunt Mel.
That was six years ago. I pretty much forgot about the whole thing. Then, earlier this week I read this article after someone shared it on Facebook. Is it any wonder moms feel like can do nothing right?
I had never heard of this gal or her husband before when I read some of the tweets I was shocked. How is it in one breath women rejoice at the freedom to abort a baby because “my vagina is too pretty to let a fetus crawl out“ and in the next we berate a mother for going on a date with her husband?
Before I go on let me put out a few points that, while not out of the realm of possibility, aren't part of my point.
- Yes, this could have been for publicity. They are famous people and let's face it, famous people do weird things.
- Yes, they are “rich” by economic standards, who cares.
- Yes, with their money they could have just had a meal catered in.
- She could be the worst mother in the world, only time will tell. At 10 days in I think it's too early to call.
This idea of momfail is real. Social media is an amazing thing but it has also brought about some of the worst public shaming and culture of hate we've seen. People with keyboard muscles spew Times New Roman at whoever they want and never stop to consider that a person is on the other side of the screen. Motherhood is hard enough and we feel like we fail on a regular basis for things that we desire to change like losing our temper or yelling. Moms don't need to be criticized for everything someone else thinks they're doing wrong.
Here are some truths you need to remember as a mom:
First Time Moms Need A Break
You will need time to adjust to motherhood. Had someone berated me for going out on day 5 postpartum I probably would have sunk further into the baby blues and maybe into real depression. It's okay if every moment isn't sun shine and roses the first week or two or ten.
Your Marriage Should Come First
I said it. It's against the grain I know, but it's true. If your marriage falls apart due to neglect because every ounce of energy you (and/or your husband) has is going into the child(ren) is that really good for the child(ren) anyway? A strong, healthy marriage leads to strong, healthy families.
You Can't Be A People Pleaser
Stop trying to people please. Less than 12 hours after our son was born they wanted me to leave the maternity ward and head to the cardiac floor because I was having an irregular heartbeat and they needed to hook me up to a monitor. Thirteen hours earlier I would have probably complied, not wanting to rock the boat. But my mother bear instinct came in faster than my milk and there was a better chance to see the Squatty Potty Unicorn in your bathroom then there was of me leaving my child.
One of the nurses as not happy with me and the doctor wasn't thrilled either. Oh.Well. I wasn't about to worry about people please, I was a mom now. You'll find many opportunities to disappoint the people around you when you're a mom. It's okay, they don't matter anyway. Your child won't grow up and say, “Mom, thanks for caring so much about what other people thought of you.”
The Devil Will Destroy You
Or at least he and all of hell will try. If you allow him, he'll destroy you and not bat an eye. Those lingering thoughts of your awful mothering skills will eat you alive if you allow them. He uses other people to aid in the destruction of anyone who is trying to advance the Kingdom of God. And if your goal is to raise godly children in a thriving home then your enemy will be on the attack and he doesn't play fair.
Refuse the Momfail Culture
It's up to us as mom's to refuse the momfail culture. Feeling like a failure isn't wrong, believing the lie that you are a failure is wrong.
Tips for Overcoming Momfail
- Find a trusted friend who will speak truth to you when you feel like a failure.
- Admit when you've messed up. Be quick to ask forgiveness from God, your spouse and your children.
- Let the Word become so established in you that you can recognize the lies of the enemy quickly.
- See social media for what it is: a momentary glimpse into someone's life.
- Ask for help. If you need it, ask for it.
It's okay to not have it all together as a mom but it is never okay for others to berate you for choices you make because they disagree. Don't let the momfail culture overwhelm you. God's got your back. Lean on Him and allow Him to guide your choices. God doesn't set us up to be failures He sets us up to be fruitful as we allow Him to lead.