Are You A Self-Centered Mom?

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Are You a Self-Centered Mom?

So, a couple weeks ago, I kind of haphazardly read a post that asked if parents were narcissistic or self-centered. I scanned the main points and found myself nodding over many of them. But, I’d really like to address the issue in my own words and in my own way, because I definitely see it as a problem but don’t want to go pointing fingers.

I Battle Selfishness

Yes, I can be selfish. In fact, isn’t that the core of our very sin nature, to be selfish? It’s a battle I fight every single day and it’s a large part of myself that I really dislike. I don’t want to be selfish, but I it’s an uphill battle I combat constantly. And that’s the difference between being selfish and being self-centered.

It’s not really a question of whether we are selfish or not. Because we are. The question is, are we doing anything about it? Are we justifying our selfish behavior because of how hard we work or how much we deserve a break?

Oh I believe in having space for yourself. I think every mother needs it. Not because we “deserve” it, but we simply need it.  It’s hogwash to believe a mother cares for or loves her children less because she needs space to breathe and refresh regularly. We all need to be filled up again. But let’s set that aside and take a peek into the everyday life of a mom–me.

Keep in mind, I am a mom who has good intentions, but I fail daily. And sometimes I do not believe I try as hard as I could to combat some of the temptations I face (i.e. social media, laziness, etc).

A Daily Rundown of Some Ways I Am Selfish

  •  I start my mornings late–out of bed by around 8am. And I am not joking when I say it takes me about 2 hours to fully wake up in the morning. I don’t do anything before I have a cup of coffee — usually. <—-{Self-centered act number one} When someone asks for something before or during my first cup of coffee, I usually delay them.
  • While my kids do their morning chores, I work on the computer. I have felt nudges that this probably isn’t the best time for computer work because my children need to see me working alongside them in household duties. That’s not to say that my work on the computer isn’t important (it pays for homeschool supplies, socks, underwear, etc), but they don’t see through that lens. Sometimes I think, “Well, I’m the mom and I don’t need to explain myself to them.” But, the truth is, I do. One day these children won’t be children anymore and I may have a lot of explaining to do! What better accountability do we have than our children?
  • Sometimes, when my children are squabbling, rather than taking the time to handle the conflict properly, I simply shout, “You need to stop fighting!”, which of course doesn’t solve anything. That’s a lazy, pitiful way to handle a sibling relationship that is strained over something as simple as a stolen toy or being bossed around. While the issue may be simple, a consistently strained relationship continues to become complicated.
  • At night, I rush my kids through their evening routine to get them to bed, because I am just so spent. I don’t read aloud in the evenings as much as I want. I don’t take the time to just be with them. It’s, “Move, move, move! PJ’s on, teeth brushed, let’s get this show on the road!”
  • I stay up late so I can wind down. Which is why I wake up late each morning.

Now, this is not a pity-party nor is it a misery-loves-company way of addressing the issue. This is a real life look into the life of a mom battling a sin nature she can never hope to overcome on her own. It’s not a justification, and it’s not an invitation. It’s a revelation. We all have selfishness in us. But at what point will it turn to self-centeredness, which is a more consuming problem?

Being self-centered goes to a new level of being selfish. It puts us in the center of everything and if something doesn’t work in our favor, we make it so it does. Having selfishness and being self-centered are different and we must work to constantly battle our selfish desires or we will find ourselves as self-centered moms.

When we realize we all have selfishness stuck inside us (and, unfortunately, always will), we can run to the One who can redeem us and our mistakes. He molds our hearts and purges the junk. But when we don’t recognize we need Him and go to Him for help, our selfishness grows uglier and becomes harder to combat.  Because as my friend so eloquently describes:

What is inherently missing in the self help sort of approach to writing parenting articles is that it doesn’t get at the root of our most basic issue. It does not answer the fundamental question of “What do I do with my sin?” Because honestly, most of the time it isn’t that I don’t know how to spend quality time with my children; it’s that other things are more important.

Let’s just be honest.

And sometimes I downright resent the demands of my family and am perfectly content to give them my leftovers. What of that?

I am not saying I never enjoy my children or delight in serving them; but there is no point in reading and pinning an article that gives me ideas when what I really need is my sin issue dealt with. No expert can give me 3 quick steps to obliterating selfishness. Neither is there an eBook on miraculously changing my hard heartedness or removing self protection from my marriage bed.

That’s because only the Gospel can do that.

-When You’ve Messed Christian Parenting Up, Arabah Joy

 The issue isn’t about being or not being selfish, because we all have selfishness in us. The question remains, what are we doing {if anything} to combat it so it doesn’t grow?

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