Lately, I’ve been encountering this idea of the perfect mom. We all seem to be striving for it, and falling miserably short. Yet, we look at other moms and think, “Wow, she’s such a good mom.” Of course, she seems perfect.
I think in this modern culture where we’re able to connect with so many people from around the world, and yet not really know them, it’s so easy to perpetuate the myth of the perfect mom. We read a blog or facebook post about something one mom is doing something with their kids that we greatly admire, and we think, “perfect mom”. I’m not doing that. I’m not perfect. As a result, we feel guilty, inadequate, and maybe even resentful.
We live in a culture where appearances are important. We like showing others our successes. We like showing our accomplishments. Our highlights. Our good days. Does anybody post a picture of their children pouting? Do we post the poop that our two year old smeared on the wall? Do we post pictures of us arguing with our teen? Do we post our tears of frustration? No. We post the happy moments. The proud moments.
Nothing wrong with that. (I doubt you really wanted to see our poop wall mural.)
It’s just that others are left thinking that life is all good for us. And we think life is all good for them. So we leave their perfectly clean, spotlessly decorated homes feeling defeated. Their children love doing chores. Their children love reading. Their children love serving others. Their children get their chores done without being told. Their children love eating healthy foods.
And we leave thinking, “What am I doing wrong? ” “Why can’t I get my children to ……..?”
Let me make this more personal. I often feel like such a failure as a mom. My failures, and imperfections are like neon signs announcing, “You’re not a good mom!” “Who are you to give advice to others?” “You’re not accomplishing anything!”
My usual response to these accusations is to sit in a corner and have a pity party, and then with new determination, and fire I come out swinging like a boxer making a comeback. I begin barking orders, setting new rules, and generally being a pain in the you-know-what because I want things better. My goal: fix my failures. Strengthen my weaknesses. Do it ALL right.
Guess what? It only lasts about a minute.
After meeting the resistance of my uncooperative family, I become weary of pushing everyone to do what they don’t want to do. Honestly, I really don’t want to do it either.
However, I really do want to be a good mom.
Does a good mom, need to be a perfect mom?
Can anyone get it ALL done? Is it even possible?
In my attempt to be the perfect mom, I become a terrible mom. Because it’s all about me. Not them.
I can love and serve my children imperfectly and it will be enough. I can fail them miserably and my failures can be corrected. I can fall short in a hundred different areas of my life, and my children can still be the people they were created to be. They can still know they are deeply loved.
Though I’m an imperfect mom, I’ve been granted a power that didn’t originate with me. It’s a power that far exceeds every other known and unknown power. This power keeps the Universe perfectly in order. It raises the dead to life. It caused a virgin girl to have a child. It parted the Red Sea. It fed thousands of people with a little boy’s lunch.
It takes this greatly imperfect mom, and accomplishes things that are perfect and wonderful.
Yes, this mom whose kitchen is always stacked with dirty dishes.
Yes,this mom who often becomes impatient with her children.
Yes, this mom who drives her children crazy by talking much too long!
Yes, this mom who knows a lot about the healthy foods her children should be eating, yet she prepares frito pie dinner and keeps cereal in the house for breakfast.
Yes, this mom who doesn’t monitor her kids facebook pages, instagram and twitter accounts and texts.
Yes,this mom who will go days and even weeks of not checking school assignments.
This imperfect mom has spent hours upon hours on her knees pleading for help.
This imperfect mom is a fragile, cracked, clay jar that contains a treasure of incomparable worth. Within this fragile mom is the power of the living God. And because He has chosen her for this honored work and she has chosen to call on Him, He has miraculously multiplied her feeble, imperfect efforts.
My work is to ask for help, to trust that His help is MORE THAN ENOUGH, and to love. By the way, I can’t even do these things without his help.
I want to encourage you dear mom, to rest from your striving for perfection. You can’t be perfect–NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY. But there is hope. Call on Jesus. He sympathizes with your weaknesses and he’s willing and ready to deluge you with immeasurable amounts of strength, wisdom, understanding, love, kindness, patience and anything else you need. It will BLOW YOUR MIND!
He wants to work within and through you to accomplish his great purposes–not around you as you sit on the couch eating chocolate and watching your favorite HGTV show. 🙂
If you’re ready to move from trying to be the perfect mom, to becoming a peaceful, confident, loving mom who prepares her children to fulfill their life’s purpose, I’d love to help you.