“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” John 8:36
I'm not a big fan of traps. It typically means there is some sort of varmint that needs removing. When I was a kindergarten teacher we had a mischievous mouse that the kids lovingly named Scooby Doo. He was tiny, but a total distraction, causing children to leap into their chairs and begin squealing upon site. The school's solution to Scooby Doo was to put a sticky trap in our classroom. One unforgettable Monday morning, I came in my room to find that Scooby Doo had stuck and died on that trap. UGH!
When it comes to my role as mom, I've gotten stuck in a few traps myself. Although the list is not exhaustive, I'd love to share with you four attitudes that have had this mom feeling trapped.
The Critical Caregiver
This mom has an overly critical spirit. No one in her home is measuring up and she believes the only answer is a good dose of nagging words. Her way is the right way and others couldn’t possibly know how to do it well. There isn't time or space for her children or her husband to offer suggestions or even share their perspective. Keeping control is a large priority to her. She feels exhausted, but largely in part because her expectations are massively high and in turn so are her disappointments.
The Worn Down Diva
This mom is over extended and over scheduled. Her kids are involved in far too many things, but she would hate to say no to something that they really love. She says yes to commitments because she is so flattered to be asked and she is a high capacity person so — why not! She is driven by her calendar and sees blank space as an opportunity to say yes to more things. Rest is overrated. She stays up too late, rises too early, or both. Even when she finds a quiet moment in her day, her head is full and spinning and therefore struggles to find peace.
The Measure Up Momma
This mom is in a continual state of comparison. Internally she is always wondering what others are thinking and externally she is driven to accomplish things that will please others. She feels great disappointment if her kids are bummed out with lunch box items or her husband is frustrated with the up-keep of the house. She doesn't want life to spin out of her control or for others to think that she might need help. Her heart struggles to celebrate other moms because she silently believes their success equals her failure.
The Pitiful Parent
This mom plays the victim card over and over. Everything is always an uphill battle that she believes she climbs in isolation. Many people struggle to spend time with her because she is an expert blame shifter. She finds others at fault or has a mighty good excuse for her shortcomings and the shortcomings of her children. She is unknowingly grumpy and feels short changed in the life she’s living. Gratitude is hard to come by and she wishes things were different.
Sweet mommas, I do wish Scooby Doo's story was different. I wish he could have seen that trap and avoided it! It's too late for him, but not for us! I'm hopeful that pointing out some sticky places that I've stumbled into as a mom will help you avoid them, so you can be free!