I also wanted to let you know that Rob and I will be speaking at our church this Sunday, Mother's Day, on "When Motherhood Isn't Easy". Our hope is that this message will bring encouragement to mothers as they wrestle with the often times mundane, lonely, tiring, overwhelming tasks of raising kids. Please know you are welcome to join us. We meet at Raleigh Vineyard at 10am. Dress is very casual. And without further ado, here is the post on "Am I A Good Mom?"
. . .I have always struggled with whether I was a good mom.
I think it began hours after my first child was born. I had planned on natural childbirth. I had written a birth plan. I had made my husband promise he was going to communicate my wishes to the hospital staff.
And then after 36 hours of labor, I had a c-section. And the lies started immediately: good moms have natural birth with no drugs, no epidurals, and certainly not c-sections.
Or perhaps it was when the teacher, who had all 3 of my older kids for kindergarten, told me that I parent all my kids the same way. She said I was really good at training their heart. And what I heard was, "But you aren't good at training their mind."
I had taught my kids to be respectful and responsible, but I did not teach them their abcs, letter sounds, or how to count to 100. Some kids even came to kindergarten reading; mine could barley recognize their printed name. Oh the guilt over how were they going to find their cubby or desk if they could not recognize their name!
Or maybe it was when I realized I do not have this soft, cuddly, nurturing side to me. When I was at the playground, I saw other moms run to their children when they fell down. I just say, "Hop up. You're OK." Nothing in me wants to scoop them up and kiss their boo boo.
I don't want to hold your new baby.
I still, after 5 kids, cannot change a diaper without gagging.
I have never talked baby talk.
Hugging and cuddling and kissing do not come naturally to me; I'm not a touchy person.
I set the timer and read to my preschoolers. Otherwise, I would never think to do that.
I set the timer when I play house or dolls with my girls or I would play for 2 minutes and be done. I never really delighted in the play of kids.
And for some reason all the above is what I equated motherhood too.
And I struggled.
I always questioned should I be doing this mom thing.
The picture Parent magazine and Family Fun painted for me, the picture of mom and child creating sweet memories, baking cookies and playing make believe and giggling on the couch together. . .none of that looked like much fun to me.
And then God showed me that he gave me these 5 kids. He picked me out to be their mom. He chose me, not some other woman. More importantly, these children belong to God and He is watching over their lives.
And that is where my confidence comes from.
And so I do not enjoy playing pretend, but I am good at role modeling a life that lives passionately and authentically.
And so I do not oooh and aaah over a baby or want to hold a newborn (even my own), but I am good at looking my kids in the eye and affirming them with "I like who you are! I am proud of who you are! I like how God made you! or "I am so glad you were born!"
And so I may not have this soft cuddly "come here and let me kiss it" nurturing side to me, but I am good at nurturing the individual gifts and unique talents each child has. I am good at dreaming big with my kids and for my kids. I can see the possibilities of their future.
And reading to my kids is not fun to me, but having real and honest conversations with my kids is. Just a few days ago Brooke and I talked about kissing boys before you were married and it was natural and comfortable and fun.
I rest in the fact that God loves my kids more than I do. He longs to protect them more than I do. I can never meet all the needs of my kids, no matter how hard I try to anticipate them or prepare for them or be intentional about parenting. Only God can meet every need. This brings me much confidence.
I am simply a vessel God uses. I am thankful He is bigger than my inadequacies, limitations, mistakes, and weaknesses. And that has brought much freedom to me. I can relax. I can enjoy my kids.
And that is my wish for you and me this Mother's Day.
I wish us freedom. I wish us the ability to move in that freedom knowing that God made each of us and gave each of us unique gifts. He delights in the woman and the mom each of us is.
I wish us release from guilt.
I wish us to stop comparing ourselves to other moms, to each other, to those Pinterest images and to those blogs. I wish that we would be free from discontent and the lie that “I am not good enough.”