Sermons

Summary: Things you might just need for Mother's Day or for "Other Mother's Day" Encouragement for the different aspects of motherhood. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.

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Title: Just What I Needed

Text: 2 Cor. 1:3-11

Purpose: Mother’s Day Message

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Introduction: Quotes from my daughter Brittney

Things I never thought I'd hear myself say:

1. Stop biting the dog!

2. Don't lick the windows!

3. Why is your ham and cheese between your toes?

4. Quit picking your brother’s nose

5. Don't put your carrots in your Bible!

6. Food doesn't belong on your feet!

7. Put your tongue back in your mouth! The cat doesn't need help licking herself, please don't help her!

8. Stop drooling all over my computer!

9. Why does the cat have cheese on her head?

10. Who poured their milk on the dog?

11. Why is there deodorant on the cat?

12. Who put tooth paste on the cat?

13. What was your hand doing in your mouth to where she would bite you?

14. No spoons in bed

15. Why did you sleep with a cantaloupe?

16. Why is there a banana peel in your bed?

17. The cat litter is not a sandbox!

(But motherhood is not always this way….)

When 'Super Mom' is super sad: Pressures haunt new parents

Aug. 19, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Alice Gomstyn: TODAY contributor

Rachel Hillestad hasn't perfected the art of French braiding her daughter's hair. She doesn't serve organic, free-range chicken for dinner. And for her four kids' first day of school, she didn't photograph them posing with cute chalkboards listing their ages and heights, as she saw some of her friends doing.

The Kansas City mom feels guilty about all of it — her perceived shortcomings as a parent. And because she has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, that guilt translates into torturing herself with the same self-critical thoughts over and over: "You're not a good mom," and "Your kids don't know you love them."

Rachel Hillestad says the pressure to be a Super Parent makes her hear critical thoughts like "You're not a good mom."

"It's basically just a lot of negativity in a loop tape. To get that to stop with OCD is very hard," she said.

New research suggests a dark side to the “Super Parent” — pressure so great it can create stress that contributes to mental disorders in moms and dads. The new study focuses on factors before and immediately after birth, like the pressure to breast-feed, but experts say similar pressure can extend well past the diaper years.

"It's always stressful to be a Super Parent. Stress is always a risk factor for depression and anxiety, and it's especially stressful if people don't have the supports that they need," Carrie Wendel-Hummell, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Kansas, told TODAY.

From the latest bestselling parenting book to your local PTA president's Instagram feed, it's never been easier to find examples of what raising children should look like. And while that virtual peer pressure can prove intimidating for the average parent, those who've experienced mental illness — which affects nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. — speak of consequences more dire than just bruised egos.

"The Pinterest society of looking at all these pictures of people who have perfectly decorated homes and reading on Facebook about children who are always perfectly dressed and way ahead of all developmental milestones — it puts a lot of pressure of mothers, especially those who feel vulnerable and not fully confident in themselves," said Katherine Stone, the founder of Postpartum Progress, a blog and nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of maternal mental illness.

Courtesy Katherine Stone

Katherine Stone overcame postpartum depression but says she has continued to struggle with the pressure from "mom rock stars."

Stone speaks from personal experience. After her own recovery from postpartum depression, the Atlanta mom continued to battle anxiety as her children grew older. One summer, she suffered an anxiety attack after feeling "overwhelmed by this idea that I should have activities for them all day."

She wrote about the attack on her blog, describing how her husband had to shoo their two children out of the room as she collapsed into heaving sobs.

"I look at the moms who celebrate summer. Who have all sorts of plans and activities. Who home school. Who do crafts. They’re like mom rock stars. And I feel ashamed. So ashamed and defective that I’m not them," she wrote.

It's not just moms who are burdened by "rock star" pressure. Lorne Jaffe, a stay-at-home father in Queens, N.Y., admits to succumbing. It happens, for instance, when he learns that another father in his circle of friends has constructed a movie-themed Bento box lunch for his child.

Courtesy Lorne Jaffe

Lorne Jaffe has struggled with depression since childhood and says that seeing "perfect" Dads sometimes makes him despair and withdraw.

"I look at that and go, 'I gave my child grapes and he does this,'" said Jaffe, whose struggle with depression dates back to childhood. "When you have depression, it's about constantly battling the negative thoughts and constantly battling the comparison. And it's so tiring."

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