The sparkle in her eyes and slight mischievous grin caught my attention as I scrolled through the multitude of Facebook posts that begged “Read Me!” How could I not stop and admire the beautiful baby girl? She reminded me so much of my daughter when she was that age.
My, where have the years gone? How do these little babies grow up so fast? It seems one day they are three months old and the next they are thirty three years old with children of their own.
I would love to brag and tell you that I was the sweetest mother to ever walk this earth; but that would be lying. More often than not my words were sharp; exhaustion and frustration became my norm.
Don’t get me wrong I did some things right, I wasn’t an utter mess as a mother. My two children were fed and bathed, we played together, read books, did jigsaw puzzles, went on walks and went to church together among other things.
So how come I often felt my mothering skills were lacking? The problem was I compared my mothering skills to the mothers who somehow seemed to float on a cloud of perfect motherhood. They were the ones who had this mothering thing down pat, at least that’s what it looked like from where I stood. They could soothe a crying baby with a look. I on the other hand had to work hard rocking my babies in my arms and singing to them before they would finally settle.
If I felt inadequate in my skills as a mother of small children, the teenage years only compounded my insecurity. At least when they are small you know where they are and what they are doing, as teenagers you only think you know. On times I was scared out of my wits that they would go off the rails and make a mess of their lives.
I didn’t want them getting into trouble, making choices that they would regret. I loved my children and wanted the best for them. However, there was also another reason I was scared. It was a selfish reason and one that I did not recognize at the time.
Subconsciously I felt I would not only be a failure as a mother if my children chose to make poor life choices, I would also be a failure as a Christian. I felt the sting of condemnation and it was a heavy burden to carry. I had failed my children and God.
Something had to give and that something was my pride and my self reliance. I could not mother my children without leaning on Jesus and without the empowerment of His Holy Spirit. I came to realize that God loved them more than I ever could and He had good plans for them. Satan was out to steal and destroy those plans and he had to be stopped.
As I learned to trust God with my children He taught me how to pray effective prayers by speaking (not just thinking) the written word of God over my children’s lives, and worshiping Him not only in the good times but also during times of battle.
My children are now in their thirties…yeah they survived me!! Sure they made some unwise choices along the way, each time they made an unwise choice it was not long before they turned away from that path. Who says prayer doesn’t work? Not me!
Thoughts To Take Away
Mothers, know this; there is no such thing as a perfect mother. She does not exist, although some may appear to come pretty close to perfect, at least from a distance.
Stop comparing yourself to other mothers. God has entrusted you with your children…He knows they need YOU.
Learn from older godly women in the church, what worked for them and what didn’t.
Above all entrust your children to God, let Him show you how to be their mother. What works for one child doesn’t necessary work for the other.
Speak God’s word over your children.
Pray for your children
Relax and enjoy your children.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25 NIV
Be the mother God has created you to be, not the one you think you have to be. Pray you are encouraged as a mother.
Such a wise post. Thank you.
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Thank you Dorothy
It is easier to beat yourself up for what you didn’t do right than celebrate successes. Thank you for sharing your insights and perspective! I needed to read this! 🙂
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You are so right Cindy
Best point ever: “Learn from older godly women in the church, what worked for them and what didn’t.” Why do we think modern day methodology has all the answers when the evidence is in the past! Thanks for writing, Helena.
Thank you Debbie.
I’m near tears reading this. Thank you so much. So grateful you liked Jen’s interview on my blog. I needed to hear these words today.
Anna, I am both happy and humbled that you were blessed and encouraged by the post.