What is a good mother? Why do we always feel like we’ll never be enough for our family and kids? Discover myths that discourage moms– and be free of them!
These days it’s pretty easy to feel like a failure as a mother, pretty much all the time:
- When you see kids quietly following their mom’s orders while your child is at your feet screaming bloody murder.
- As you crumble in agony due to stepping on a lego (that hasn’t been put away for days) and your kids moan that they have nothing to do.
- When you gag over the instagram-perfect pictures of families frolicking in nature while you drown in piles of laundry and your kids are destroying the stack you just folded.
It’s enough to make you curl up into a ball and hide under a blanket for the rest of the week. Except for the nagging realization that when you emerge from the blanket, the chaos will be even worse than before.
I used to struggle with the feeling that I was doing a horrible job as a mother. That I wasn’t good enough and I would never get a handle on all the crap that came my way.
But I learned that feeling was a lie.
I allowed myths to dictate how I felt about myself and whether or not I was a good mother. Here are some of those myths:
1- That if I wasn’t doing everything right, I wasn’t “good enough.”
I felt a failure if my house wasn’t clean, dinner wasn’t planned and organized, and I didn’t spend enough 1-on-1 time with my child that day. But I learned that my house doesn’t have to be clean for my kids to feel loved. I don’t have to check off my entire to-do list to be a valuable person. My value as a mom lies outside my accomplishments.
2- A good mother has children who always obey.
What a joke! I can’t say I believed this in my head, but I put that pressure and expectation on myself. I felt like there must be a way to prevent bad behavior.
The truth is, kids are wired to test us. They have a sin nature just like we do. Isaiah 53:6a (NIV) says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.”
Kids are no exception. They become creative geniuses on how to cross boundaries and push Mommy’s buttons. That’s not on us, friends.
3- My value is defined, or at least affected, by other’s opinions of me.
When someone criticized my parenting, their comments either crushed on the inside or snapped back angrily (sometimes both). My confidence was shaky and I would obsess for days over any rude comment toward me.
But I learned that my identity is not in what other people think, say, or believe about me.
Even if they’re right and I messed up, that doesn’t make me a bad mom or bad person. My identity and value rests in who God has made me to be and NOTHING can change that.
4- Other moms have it all together/I’m the only one who is a mess.
Other moms wear makeup every day, dress cute, and get all their to-do list checked off with ease. It was as if I took a piece of every mom I saw doing one thing good and montaged them into one person– into the “ideal” mom.
But no mom is the “ideal” mom.
We all have flaws. I was not the only one late to preschool drop off. I am not the only one who forgets to thaw the chicken for dinner. Other moms get flustered, yell at their kids and have messy houses too.
Let’s go easy on ourselves!
5- My status as “a good mother” is based on how I compare to other moms.
I thought if someone else was doing better than me, I wasn’t good enough. If one mom was super crafty and had a to-die-for Pinterest birthday party for their kid, I didn’t measure up.
But the definition of “a good mom” is not based on how we measure up to others. God made us unique with gifts and talents. As we parent more and more in our true identity, we become better and better moms– the ones our children need.
We can rest in who we are– crafty or not, outdoorsy or not, organized or not.
We can always grow and change, but that should come from a place of rest in who we are. Not from comparison and self-hatred. We have so much to offer our kids from who we are.
And only from that perspective can we help our kids discover who THEY are and help them follow their own passions and gifts.
Comparison is killing us as moms.
We have to stop filling in the blanks and assuming everyone else is perfect. They aren’t. No one is. You are you for a reason.
When you feel like hiding under a blanket, remember that you are good enough. You can do this, and you are not alone.
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