Welcome, New Members!

We’ve had a few new members ask to be added to the blogroll in the past week or so … Please help me welcome them!

Judy at “International Mom” writes for multi-racial and multi-cultural families.

Val at “I Am My Kids Mom” writes for adoptive families with young adults.

I’d like to alert you to this marriage resource “Hannah’s Tears” founder Therese Garcia sent my way today: The Alexander House offers support (and perspective) for troubled marriages. Under the patronage of Pope John Paul the Great!

Also “Tucked Beneath His Wing” for those in the throes of infertility, or grieving a miscarriage.

Be sure to check them out!

Mighty Mom Monday: Just Say “No” to Mommy Guilt!

As is our custom here at EMN, today’s post is from the hilarious life experience of Sarah, A.K.A. “Mighty Mom.” Be sure to check out her blog at “My Wonderful Life.”

The number-one toughest thing about being a Mom is the colossal amount of GUILT that we carry.  I’m not talking about simple regret, about things that I just wish I’d done different … I’m talking about true, haunt-your-dreams, cry in your pillow guilt.

Now, friends.  Here’s my advice to you: Just Say NO to Mommy Guilt!

To help you gain perspective and win the battle, I’m gonna share with you things that I’ve felt guilty over.

  • I’ve agonized over the times I lifted my 2lb weights during pregnancy — and after I miscarried, sure that the exercise had somehow harmed my child.
  • Ditto the 2 Advil I broke down and took during the 8th month of pregnancy when my hips hurt so bad I couldn’t move or sleep.
  • I chastized myself for the gallons of chocolate milk I drank every morning I was pregnant … and over the last 6 months my 4-year-old has refused any kind of milk EXCEPT Chocolate Milk!!
  • I wept thinking of my 4-month-old breastfed baby, who CRIED FOR 20 MINUTES before my stepmother realized that the bottle I was trying to feed him needed to be warmer.
  • I obsessed over the fact that my son was forced to wear a short-sleeve shirt (the only spare in his backpack) after getting his long-sleeved shirt all wet … and he was COLD ON THE PLAYGROUND!!! (Though it was NOT cold enough for me to have sent him wearing a jacket).
  • In my battle with cradle cap, I scrubbed all my 1-month-old’s hair off.
  • Putting the baby to bed, I found the cat asleep in the crib … and I didn’t change the sheets!
  • I panicked when I found my kids watching movies (Berenstain Bears) that I HADN’T previewed!!
  • I have 3 kids, the oldest of which is almost 5. And yet, I’ve ONLY ever made 3 pair of shorts.  No other kids clothes! 
  • All 3 kids have had to wear those shorts so I can say they wore mommy-made clothes.

Now, folks, I hope you see how not a one of these things will amount to a hill of beansprouts in 5 years.  Not a one.  As a matter of fact.  When I think of how guilty I felt over every one of these (and many more) I just laugh.  I mean REALLY!!

So, the next time something happens and you feel that stomach-clenching-guilty feeling stop and ask yourself:

“Is anybody other than me gonna remember this in 5 years?”

No? Then stop the guilt train … It’s time to get off!

Come and Join the Carnival!

You have one more week to get your entries polished up for this month’s “EMN Carnival.”  If you didn’t read about it in my newsletter (if you want the newsletter, just drop me a line at hsaxton@christianword.com), I posted the announcement today at Mommy Monsters. Come and see!

Remember, the winner gets $25 plus (if you have the EMN button on your blog) a free copy of my book Let Nothing Trouble You.

Deadline is October 20 … Carnival posts November 1!

Lorraine Hartsook: An Extraordinary Mom

Lorraine Hartsook is an extraordinary woman by any measure — adoptive mother, recording artist, speaker, and grandmother-to-be. She has a voice like Patsy Cline … and a heart for hurting souls.

I met Lorraine at a meeting of Catholic authors and speakers hosted by Stan Williams last spring, and was immediately struck by her compassion for and desire to serve women who feel “stuck” in the past and who need to experience the love of Jesus.

Today I’d like to share one of Lorraine’s songs with you: Lorraine Hartsook – Bring That Child to Me, from her album “Embrace the Cross.”

You can order the album ($15) through Lorraine’s website, or directly through EMN.  If you order it through me (just drop me an e-mail if you’re interested), all proceeds go directly to support EMN.

Me? Extraordinary?

Yes … you.  You might not feel like it some days (if you’re like me, most days you aspire to “adequate”). But Extraordinary Moms are not extraordinary because of how they feel, but because who they are.

Not because of their giftings, but because of their calling.

Some women are Extraordinary Moms because they have chosen to invest themselves in the life of one or more children to whom they did not give birth. Some are full-time parents: adoptive and foster moms, stepmoms, godmothers, custodial grandparents …  And some are extraordinary because they are doing their best to be both mother and father to their children.

There are also women who are “extraordinary” in the sense that they come alongside the full-time parent: favorite aunties, teachers (whether they instruct in religion, academics, music, sports, Girl Scouts, or life).

Finally, there are women who are EMs because their children are extraordinary. Some have special medical, mental, or emotional challenges that require an extraordinary level of time and patience. And some are simply the full-time nurturers of very large families. All these women are, in their own way, extraordinary.

Do you know a truly Extraordinary Mom? I’d like to hear about her! Send me your story at hsaxton(at)christianword(dot)com.