You Are A Good Mom

He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48

I was burned out and didn’t even know it.

I just realized it during a recent LSS I attended.   During the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Spiritual Leaders prayed over me.  And one of the first few words whispered in my ear was, “You are a good Mom.”

Then the tears came flooding.  And a flashback of events rapidly went through my head.

A mother’s work is never done.

Being a parent is a full time job.

Do you remember this commercial? A Dad was standing by his son’s bedroom door and said, “Son, I’m not feeling well.  I’m going to take a day off.”

Well, we can’t really do that.  At least not without additional help.

I’m aware of situations wherein someone can get burned out from one’s work or career.  But never realized a parent can get burned out from parenting.

At least at work, you know if you’re doing a good job because someone provides you feedback every now and then.  But as a parent, you won’t really know from your children until you hear from them years from now.

And the burn out is not just about the physical burnout of lack of sleep and hours of unending chores.  It’s also the emotional burnout that comes with it.

Are you burned out?

Are you angry, irritable or hostile towards your spouse or child?

Do you have a sense of powerlessness or helplessness?

Feeling tired?  Even though your child slept through the night?

Having trouble sleeping?  Waking up often even though your child was sleeping peacefully?

Have you been getting sick more often?

Feeling bored?

Lack of interest in things you normally enjoy?

(Source:  Banishing the Parent Burnout Blues)

If you are burned out and it’s left unchecked, it can lead to depression.

And you know who makes it worse?

Us.

Our hypercritical self.

The part of ourselves that wants to become a “Super Mom”  – a mythical creature that doesn’t exist.

The part of ourselves that wants to keep up with the Joneses – because we see how happy they are on Facebook.

The part of ourselves that gets flustered because our toddler or teenager is engaged in a ‘power struggle’ with us, despite explaining we are just trying to keep them safe.

The part of ourselves that feels “stuck” in our current situation – feeling angry because we don’t seem to have any time to do the things we want.

The part of ourselves that is struggling to keep up with the “World’s Expectations” because in reality – we are afraid to be judged.

But oftentimes, we are probably the only ones judging ourselves.  And sometimes, we do it too harshly.

Fear is the path to the dark side.  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering.  – Yoda

As a Mom, I tend to worry a lot.  And like the seed that fell among thorns (Mark 4:7), I felt the worries and fears starting to choke me.  And I knew if this continued, I would yield no fruit.

Last week, my friend taught me how to meditate.  Part of that meditation was to visualize people who have hurt you and say to them you forgive them.

One of those people that came up was me.

I needed to let go of my fears.  I needed to let go of my frustrations against myself.  I needed to let go of any guilt.

I needed to empty myself of all these negative emotions.

And fill it with Faith in God.

But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”  Luke 7:50

God has forgiven us.

But have we forgiven ourselves?

If God doesn’t judge us, doesn’t it make sense not to be hard on ourselves?

We shouldn’t judge ourselves when a day goes bad.

We shouldn’t judge ourselves when our house looks like a dump (because it won’t always be that way.)

We shouldn’t judge ourselves when we feel powerless because we couldn’t console our crying baby.

Now deep inside, you might be feeling the ability to forgive and to receive forgiveness is especially hard at times.

And you’re right.  Because it’s something that needs the Grace of God.

The vision that gave me peace…

After the Spiritual Leaders prayed over me, one lingered behind and whispered in my other ear that she had a vision.  She saw my 2 kids by Mama Mary’s skirt.

It was a vision that gave me great consolation.

And it’s a vision that’s not only for me, but for you as well.

Because even though our days may be chaotic at times.  It’s good to know that in the eye of the storm, if we focus on God, we can have peace.

Because God is in control.

Because Mama Mary is protecting our children with the mantle of her maternal protection.

And when we receive God’s forgiveness…

And when we forgive ourselves…

God’s peace is the best pillow we can ever have at night.

Reflection was based on this Sunday’s readings.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net
Photo courtesy of Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net
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