As Mother’s Day approaches, I and I suspect most mothers, goes through the annual guilt-fest hearing about the perfect mom from every corner. Then on the day, many preachers use the Proverbs 31 woman to (unintentionally) club already guilt-filled Moms to death as they seldom see themselves that way. Today, I started down the slippery slope. I am certainly not a traditional mom, although I did all the day to day cooking until my oldest graduated and I went back to school. The list of my ‘failures’ is long. I am a human after all. However, after asking my friend to pray for me that I would not go down this path, God began to speak to me.
The dialogue went something like this:
Me: “I can’t meet the standard of “the” mom I keep hearing about. She does everything and everyone depends on her to keep their life going.”
God: “What about all the reading you did to your children?”
Me: “Well, yeah, I did that, but…”
God: “What about all those trips where you tirelessly entertained and sang to fussy children? What about all those questions you answered so patiently (well mostly)?”
Me: “Well, yeah, I did that, but they don’t even remember it!”
God: “Yes they do. Somewhere inside them is that memory as an attachment to you. What about how often you worked with them in their school work and tried to help them learn when it was difficult?”
Me: “Well, um,….”
God: “What about all that love you lavished on your children? What about all the fun you brought to their daily life? What about how you took care of their needs? What about how you taught them about Me?”
Me: “Oh, well, I guess when you look at it that way, I had more good than bad.”
God: “Exactly! I gave you to your children as Mom. I gave you the gifts you used to nurture them. I did not make you like everyone else, and I really don’t like hearing you bash yourself like that. Neither do your children. It’s time to let it go and accept yourself as you are. Satan magnifies your faults in order to keep you from being the Mom I called you to be. . . . Remember, Princess, I created you, and I love everything I put into you. Your kids appreciate you too. Now it’s your turn.”
A pastor once preached the Proverbs 31 passage, but went beyond the traditional view. He applied the principles so that people who didn’t fit the traditional pattern (and those who did) could see themselves in this woman. In a discussion with my family after church, (I hadn’t really gotten it yet) my husband said, “I can’t believe you don’t see yourself in that!” My husband and children proceeded to tell me how they saw that in me. What a wonderful gift.
Then a few months ago, I was talking to my daughter, and she said, “You are a great mom!” The lightbulb went off. Oh! Just because I have flaws and messed up some things doesn’t mean I’m not a good mom! The flaws do not negate my parenting. One or two points or events do not negate the good mom status. Even those events are often viewed through my lens of “I wish I had done….”
So, I choose to look at my job as a whole and no longer pick it apart with enemy-enduced guilt. If you struggle with this or have a mom that does, I hope you can stop guilting yourself and accept yourself as you are — your kids do! (Well most do.)
Fathers can fall victim to this ‘viewing life through guilt-colored glasses’ as well as Moms and those who are neither. Why is it we tend to remember bad things more than the good? Why do we drag ourselves down by looking at the negatives instead of rejoicing in the positives?
What about you? Do you ever struggle with this issue? How do you deal with it? Do you think your kids would agree with you or would they tell you you’re a great mom/dad? Can you forgive yourself for any mistakes and go forward accepting yourself as God created you? What characteristics do you think a “great mom” has? It’s about more than who cooks/cleans/works outside the home/etc.
My mother made mistakes. Of course she did. BUT to me, she was the best mom ever, and I wouldn’t change one thing about her. She has been gone for 7 years now, and I can’t wait to celebrate her mothering again at the great reunion. I love you Marilyn Koser Masters with all my heart. You are sadly missed. See you in the morning :)
- Justin Bieber Releases “Turn To You” For Mother’s Day (now100fm.cbslocal.com)
- Best Mother’s Day Ever – 12 real moms share their fondest memories (theinsider.retailmenot.com)
- The Virtuous Mother (lucygracesmom.wordpress.com)