Being a mom is hard. We are always on, as our kids are never far from our minds and hearts, no matter what else we are doing. Sadly, I don’t think we give ourselves a lot of credit or “atta girls.” Instead, we are acutely aware of our missteps, mistakes and the places we are uncertain how to be a “good” mom.
What a silly statement!
What makes someone a good mom?
Is it the rules they have, the things they get right, or maybe even how their kids turn out!?
I wrestled with this for years, always trying harder, reading books, going to seminars, trying to be a “good mom” I mean, I didn’t want to ruin my kids!
This treadmill was exhausting, because no matter how hard I tried, I would blow it, lose my temper, patience, snap at my kids, or blow it in a myriad of other ways…
Being a “good mom” measuring stick became a brutal task master and I was failing miserable. This stole the joy from the fun moments, the delightful times with my kids.
And the accuser had a field day with point out my shortcomings.
I had to battle the whispers of the enemy… sometimes she looked like the mean girl in my head- critical and condemning. These words didn’t help. They took me away from the present moment with my kids as I scrambled to get it right. And they felt pressure too.
Then one day I realized something that brought freedom and rest: God is the perfect parent and His children are a glorious mess!
We are rebellious, mouthy, disobedient, AND we are loving, giving, unselfish, and obedient.
We are like our kids… and God is our parent.
What if it isn’t about being a “good mom” whatever the heck that means, but about being a “loving mom” instead.
- Loving our kids in the midst of the chaos, disobedience and growing pains,
- Loving them to guide and discipline them without judging or condemning the or us
- Loving and enjoying their quirky uniqueness
- Loving and forgiving them … and ourselves as we grow together.
Motherhood is a learn are you go kind of job. Babies don’t come with a “how to get it right” manual.
And the real stinger is, just when we think we have something figured out.. the next kid is completely different!!
So the reality is we are in the process of becoming, just as our kids are. Sure there are principles and guidelines, but a key part of having energy to love our kids comes from how we treat ourselves.
I think the most important thing for a mom to do is grow personally. To understand our stories and how and where we get tripped up.
One way to do this is to is to speak truth to ourselves in both inner dialogue and out loud for our kids hear.
A simple thing like, replacing, “why do I always do that!” spoken in a condemning tone, with “I am learning to not do that anymore!” tells our kids (and reminds us too) that we are in process…growing and becoming- just like them.
Oh how I wish I has done that more when my kids were growing up. They bear so many scars of my insecurities and scrambling as a mom.
As our kids hear us speak God’s truth about who we are, who they are, even in our worst moments, they will also learn how to reframe their words and thinking.
And as I learned to do it more, I was able to reframe the unkind words my kids used (and still say at times) without dismissing their feelings or frustrations. This shift has helped my kids see themselves and talk to themselves differently.
So mommas, let yourself off the hook, offer Grace to yourself and speak words of kindness over your mind and heart today.
You are the mom God knew your kiddos needed and He will use all of your best and worsts- as a loving mom- to help shape them into the men and women He envisioned.