The meeting started with snacks and socializing, followed by prayer and a devotional. Lisa spoke on the Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion titled, “Seeing Beyond the Dent”. In all kinds of life circumstances, we should look for and encourage the good effort, not necessarily the outcome, especially when it may seem to fall short. This can be applied to our kids, co-workers, family and friends. First Thessalonians tells us to “encourage one another and build each other up”. We should strive to see the beauty in the effort instead of the problem.
Our guest speaker for the evening was Dee Green, a marriage and family counselor, who spoke to us about “mommy guilt”. We started by compiling a list of issues many of us may feel guilty about, such as missing out on our children’s milestones because we are away at work, feeling like we can’t accomplish all of our responsibilities, feeling guilty about not working or returning back to work and even working at home. We were given a self-assessment of our own guilt, based on how we ranked different statements. Dee discussed the difference between true guilt, that breaks established rules and is easily identifiable by others verses false guilt that is subjective and can be very consuming. Dee shared many statistics such as outcomes of children in daycare is equivalent to those with a stay at home parent. Many women have college educations and have the right to work without feeling guilty.
Dee offered a practical solution to break the habit of negative self-talk. Wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap yourself every time you catch yourself thinking degrading thoughts. Replace the negative with a positive statement and the habit should be broken in a few weeks.
Dee also offered several helpful tips for organizing family time and prioritizing. Family meal time is important and shouldn’t be overlooked. Parents should deliberately spend one-on-one time with each kid regularly. Not just being in close proximity, but face-to-face and intently listening. Ask questions. Have a chat over some popcorn (which apparently makes kids talk!). And don’t forget about your spouse. The national average quality time spent per day with a spouse is only 10 minutes! We ended our discussion with several questions from the moms. Hopefully we all heard some tips to apply to our families!
Our next meeting is in two weeks, the 13th of March. Hope to see you all there! ~Lisa