Monday, May 9, 2011

GIFA=Guilt Inducing Forgetful Advice

Mother's Day advice has been floating about the web and my life.  Most has had it's opposite intended guilt, instead of encouragement. I call it GIFA or Guilt Inducing Forgetful Advice.  Obviously, most women have blocked out the bad days...often totally forgetting them.  We all know, guilt is the gift that keeps on giving. Some of us have family and friends that encourage and precipitate guilt...some of us are just good at multiplying guilt all on our own.

Yes, I will attest to the fact that time flies and children should be enjoyed at all their levels of development. But, when such advice is flippantly handed out to an exhausted and frazzled woman, it's guilt inducing. Because, the more I think about it the more terrible it would seem to want my son to stay three forever...or to say that I enjoy the majority of his three year old behaviors. I won't EVER miss super poopy diapers...or continual nights of interrupted sleep. Nope, NOT going to happen.  If I ever get that sappy...and such flippant and unthoughtful advice flows from my mouth to an exhausted, woman...I hope she slaps me.  Just kidding.   I just hope she doesn't cry...cuz I sure did.  What is the thought here?  Allowing me to complain or temporarily commiserating with me would cause what major disaster exactly??

I hope that when I'm in my dotage...looking fondly back on my children's wee days...I too will block out the tantrums and embarrassment...and I'll give truly helpful and practical advice. Tips on how to manage the laundry and meals. Tips only given WHEN ASKED FOR!!! I shared "sleep when they sleep" the other day...because I'm finding that it works for me NOW. Frankly, I'm just not ready for round two *ding ding* if I don't catch a nap. I pay for it later. THAT'S practical and thoughtful advice. I don't want any mother's taken down by their three year olds. HA!

Other than tears, I experience intense anger and frustration from this GIFA.  I think the advice that really steams me the most is in regards to spiritual things.  You know, those comments about either how you should "remember to pray and look to God"...gee, I'm so glad you think I'm a completely ungodly idiot and that prayer never occurred to me...or the dearies who tell you that they just "gave up on having deep and meaningful devotional time until their children were adults"..."whoa, that is SO depressing!"  So, what could those suffering from GIFA do instead?  How about starting with not condescending or patronizing?  A hug and reassuring pat would be nice!

Childrearing has brought more than it's expected fair share of spiritual lessons and challenges. I for one have loved the awesome childcare and DEEP disciplined study offered by BSF.  Some churches also have Bible study with childcare available.  Trust me...we MomE gals are already afraid we're losing brain cells and failing miserably at this "most important job on earth."  I'm writing this for I can be sure to NOT be a giver of GIFA!  I can feel inferior all alone.  Encouragement takes another person.  Encouragement means...serving to incite, support, promote, or advance;  incentive to increase confidence.  I want to encourage other women that they CAN survive motherhood...AND do it well...AND do it fully grounded and digging into God's Word.  And on those hard days...I seek out the faithful few in my corner who ENCOURAGE ME...and lift me up when I'm down.



sending a hug.


Barbara H. said...

We're all too prone to want to give pat answers and apply them like band-aids instead of truly empathizing with others.

This is good advice.

Our pastor yesterday gave one of the most encouraging Mother's Day messages I have ever heard along the lines of mothers fearing that we won't be able to love our children as we should -- he reminded us that "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." IS -- present tense. Though he didn't use this verse, it reminded me of II Peter 1:3-4: "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

I think encouragement is much more easy to come by from another, but I don't think it always takes another person -- I wrote a post once about the verse that says David encouraged himself in the Lord. Although the Lord is another person...:-)

Bobbi said...

Thanks Glenda! And Barb, You’re right...encouragement isn’t impossible without another person...but in my case, it’s VERY unlikely! Thanks for sharing this scripture...THAT is always an hear how GOD’S WORD has spoken to you.

Joyce said...

We all do the best that we can : ) In hindsight I naturally see things I'd do differently if given the chance but we're second born was a teensy bit difficult : ) and I remember my pediatrician saying that when I got unsolicited advice I should just nod my head and then carry on doing what my own instincts told me to do. We know our own children best. Hugs to you!