I found myself on the kitchen floor in tears earlier today. Like most afternoons, lunch was on the stove, the kids were playing in the living room, and the baby was happily crawling around on the floor. But today I was down there with him. And I was a mess.
All because of what I was cooking on the stove.
Earlier this morning, I had made a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up the essentials (because heaven forbid we be out of milk longer than 3 hours). This week was one of the busiest I’ve had in over a year; combine that with postpartum depression and the stress of cooking had been a struggle all week long.
As I walked down the pasta isle, a little red box with a smiling white glove on it caught my eye. It was a box of Hamburger Helper. I stopped and stared at it for a few moments.
“I’ve never bought a box of this before… I mean I can’t! It is just the easy way out and it’s not homemade. Good moms cook homemade food, and I’m a good mom,” I thought to myself.
***(I promise, I’m not a horrible person. Hang with me for one minute!)***
I started to walk on, but in a moment of sheer desperation I turned around, quickly grabbed the box, and threw it into my shopping cart.
Which leads me to why I was crying on my kitchen floor just a little while ago. While I was mixing in all of the ingredients I thought to myself, “Gosh, this is really easy. And it smells great! Why have I held out on buying this all these years?” And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
In the deepest, darkest part of my heart, I was a silent mom shamer.
Now let me stop and elaborate for just a minute. I’m not one of those cray cray women who runs her mouth bashing other moms online. I’m not even one of those ladies who sits around at GNO and gossips about other moms. I enjoy making home cooked meals for my family just because that’s how I was raised… there was nothing wrong with it, we just never ate Hamburger Helper growing up. But guys, in the deepest part of my heart that no one sees, I have judged. I have scoffed. And I have thought of others as less than in the quietness of my soul. And most of the time I did it not even realize what I was doing.
And it has taken the desperation of having postpartum depression to recognize that.
Did you know that the Bible actually talks a lot about mom shaming? I mean, the New Testament doesn’t actually use those words exactly, but pretty darn close.
I think that most of us are familiar with Matthew 7:1-5: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” You see what happened while I was cooking that Hamburger Helper was that I realized that for years I have had a big old plank in my eye. And that because nobody could see that plank, including me, that made it even worse. And the saddest part is that I was judging for something that wasn’t even wrong; I had been silently judging about preference.
PREFERENCE!!! How lame am I? Good grief.
James 1:7 says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” Mama friends, if we want to be wise… if we want to be impartial we have to stop the silent, internal mom shaming. Because, “”For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts….All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (Mark 721-23)
I don’t want to be a defiled woman. I don’t want to be a secret mom shamer. And the change MUST start in my heart. Because not only do I want to be a woman defined by Godly actions, I want to be a woman transformed by the purity of my mind. And that starts with taking the plank out of my eye and buying the box of Hamburger Helper.
I don’t believe that God “makes” bad things happen to people, but I do know that He allows them. And in the darkness of having postpartum depression, there have been rays of light; moments of clarity that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. And more often than not, these moments have significantly changed the way I empathize with or relate to others. And today that has been the gift in the darkness – today I found a plank. And I’m going to do the best I can to remove it.
Good moms buy the Hamburger Helper. And good mom’s don’t buy into silent mom shame. I’m going to do my best to hold every thought captive, ladies. Let’s all try to do that together, ok?
(And just for the record, it was ridiculously delicious. I’m going back to the store and buying 10 more boxes. I’m raising my little red box with the smiling white glove on it in triumph, ladies!)
Nancy Jantze says
And Lauren did you notice the box tops that you can turn into the school and help them, too!!! So this is a win win situation!!! I love your heart and words that you share with all women, young and old need to hear them!!!
I learned how to cook using Hamburger Helpers. It was a great way to learn and I still use them sometimes!
Jaimie Ramsey says
I hadn’t ever had Hamburger Helper as a kid, either. In fact, I think the first time we tried it was when we received some in a food pantry bag.
Yup, you read that right. As dirt-poor married college students with a very small grocery budget, we got help from food pantries several times during some of our most financially challenging season (so far). Talk about humbling. And they often contained things like Hamburger Helper, which I normally wouldn’t have bought.
But just like you, we found out we really liked it!! And it’s cheap and easy and filling. So sometimes now I buy them just to make life a little easier on myself. 🙂 Because I have figured out how to make “homemade Hamburger Helper” but then it’s not nearly as convenient. 😉
Thank you for sharing this, and for your honesty and openness. Wondering what invisible planks are in my own eyes that I need to dig out of there. Definitely something to be praying about. <3