As I sit here and recover from my day, my thoughts reel… Questions go on forever.
Did I love my kids enough today?
How can I help them with school more effectively?
Was I too hard on them?
Was I too easy on them?
Do I have enough energy left to do….?
What will the future hold for us?
Did I do what God wanted me to do today?
The list really goes on and on. The questions turn into statements:
I should have been a better mom today.
I could have approached that subject differently.
I really should do more.
I need to prepare better.
I have to improve this…
And then, the statements digress further:
I am a horrible mother.
My kids are going to hate me someday.
I am lazy.
I am incapable.
I am a disappointment.
I don’t know about you, but it is really easy for me to descend to the third level. I have always been hard on myself. Parenthood though? It makes you mentally beat the tar out of yourself.
We compare to other parents. Ones who are more consistent, more loving, more organized. There are ones who are more fun and more spiritual and more sensitive. There is always someone out there who is more…
And when we compare, we become less. We hold onto a standard that is either perceived by us or put on by others. When push comes to shove, there is only one opinion and one standard that matters.
I know, I just took a complex topic and made it super simple. We are only called to do what God calls us to do. And that is going to look different because we are all created differently and our children are created differently.
And here’s the kicker: We were created to be the parents to our children. God didn’t make a mistake when he gave me my 5 strong willed children. Not only did He create me for them, but He equips me to equip them!
So maybe my kids don’t need a super creative mom. Perhaps my level is all they can handle. Maybe they wouldn’t do well with a more organized mom.
Now I am not suggesting that there is no room for improvement. Of course there is! We DO need to take a hard look in the mirror from time to time to evaluate what we can change for the better. It’s a healthy thing to do. Stasis is unhealthy.
Mentally beating ourselves up though? Completely unhealthy as well. Are we capable? No, not on our own, but God gives the strength and the wisdom and the power to do this high calling of parenting. As we depend on that power, it will change us to the parents He wants us to be.