I sat in church this Mother’s Day and listened to a panel of mom’s talk about their motherly traditions. They discussed how they eat family breakfasts and pray over each other. But as precious as these customs sounded, I left church feeling like a worse mother than when I arrived.
See, I run a pretty chaotic ship at home. And you know what? I kind of like it that way. I’m a fairly loud person, so it only makes sense that my kids are kind of loud little people. We’re always busy, always rushing and always shouting over each other. I push them hard in school and teach them to respect others, but I also encourage them to eat fish eyeballs and ride in the front seat on rollercoasters. As much as I love the craziness, I constantly battle the feeling of missing the mark.
I want to be a good mom. I want to do crafts and go on every field trip and be on time to everything…but I miss the mark every day. Other moms do it better, or at least that’s how it feels. I struggle with comparison because all I want to do is perfectly mother my kids. And it’s not just me; many moms feel like this. We only get one chance at raising children and we want to make it count.
At the same time, many of us are managing families, homes, careers and friends and it’s overwhelming to do it all—
and do it well. There are times when I’ve definitely thought to myself, “I’m failing these kids miserably.” I mean, this other “Pinterest mom” recently sent in handmade Easter gifts for her kid’s entire class, and I sent in a bag of empty Easter eggs the day after they were due. Then there are times when my kids get in the car and only wait a millisecond before fighting about who touched who’s seatbelt. So I yell, while visions of their future therapy sessions dance in my head. I think of all the other moms who seem perfect…and how they surely don’t yell at their kids.
Have you ever paused to consider that maybe you are just the mom God created for your kids? I often think of Esther, who was “chosen for such a time as this.” God’s way is perfect and I find comfort in the fact that, maybe (just maybe) he designed these kids to be mine. And more than anything, his grace is always sufficient, even when my patience is not. When I feel as though I’ve messed up and can’t do anything right, his grace covers every missing space. My parenting may never be perfect. But if my kids see me relying on God when I feel overwhelmed, I may ultimately be teaching them the most important message of all.
The next time you compare yourself to the parents around you—and begin to feel inadequate—turn to God’s Word for affirmation. These four verses will get you started:
- You are valuable.
Even the hairs on your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows! – Luke 12:7 (GNTD)
- You are courageous.
I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10 (GNTD)
- You are loved.
The Lord your God is with you; his power gives you victory. The Lord will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you, as joyful as people at a festival. – Zephaniah 3:17 (GNTD)
- You are capable.
God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he as already prepared for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10 (GNTD).
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