Mothering the Way God Made You
“You're special. God made you like no one else in the world!” That's what we want our children to understand, isn't it?
Yet why do we as their mothers often try to be someone else?
We feel we're not good enough if we're not doing this or that activity with them. We feel worthless if our house is not clean enough or supper isn't nutritious enough or if we didn't spend time doing a certain activity with our kids. We can't do that Pinterest-worthy craft very well, but somehow we think it makes us a bad mom if we don't, so we try it anyway and end up frustrated and grouchy.
Many times moms create in their imagination a vision of “the perfect mom” and then try to live up to it. When we inevitably fail at this impossible task, our shoulders stoop in defeat. Is that what you want for your children? To live in a cycle of perpetual defeat from trying to be someone they're not? But we're training them by our own actions that that's what life is all about.
Instead of being discouraged when you don't live up to your standard of perfect mom, be thankful God made you who you are!
Be thankful you still think your kids are adorable even when they're not dressed in the latest clothing styles with coordinating hairbows.
Be glad you love them enough to wash their clothes for them – even if you did have to frantically dig through the laundry basket for a matching pair of socks five minutes before you left the house.
Be thrilled that their bellies are full even though their food in no way resembled the cute bento-box lunch you saw on Pinterest.
“Our joy can't be found in comparison, but in living out our strengths.”
I've been reading through the book Mothering From Scratch, and although I can't completely endorse every word of the book, I have still found it a huge encouragement in my motherhood journey.
The thoughts I've written above were inspired by one of the chapters in the book. One thing the chapter said that is so true, but I so often fail to remember is this:
“Our energy replenishes itself easily when we're working out of our strengths. It also erases competition. When we appreciate our own strengths and personalities and are comfortable with ourselves, we can better apreciate the strengths of others and draw on them.”
Instead of constantly trying to do the things we're not good at – and wear ourselves out and add to our insecurity in the process – we need to focus on what we are good at.
The rest of the chapter goes on to give a number of ways we can deal with the parts of our lives that are not our strengths. There are ways we can get good at things if we are willing to step out of our comfort zone. There are times we can simply ask others to step in and help fill the gaps. There are times when the perceived “gap” in our lives is not truly something that needs to be filled and we can simply choose not to worry about it.
Whatever the case, let's stop trying to be someone we're not. Let's fully embrace who God made us to be and experience the freedom and joy that comes when we loose ourselves from unrealistic ideals.
You can find the book Mothering From Scratch here. I know you will gain much encouragement from it!
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