Have you ever met the type-A mom with perfect children? Her kitchen is spotless, her meals are all homemade and you spy her impeccably planned menu on the kitchen calendar. On top of that her five kids’ hair is combed, there are no stains on anyone’s shirt and they even have a 2 year-old who when told “it’s blanket time!” goes like magic to sit and play quietly on her blanket until someone tells her “blanket time” is over.
This mom is on one of two missions. One is good and the other is very very bad.
On the one hand, she may have realized that raising children is her joy and her duty and wants her children to live a gloriously prosperous life and honor God with her work.
On the other ugly ragged hand, she could be consumed by what other people think of her and feel that her children are a reflection of her as a mom and as a person so therefore runs her children and home under a militant regime.
P.s. In the end, militant-mom will be figured out for her hard heart, not for her perfectly arranged center pieces.
I’ve met both moms. If you just can’t seem to identify with either one of these moms, I can tell you: Me neither.
My house and kid are often times a hot mess. If you can identify with hot messes, be glad you’re here.
Here’s the good news, there is a third kind of awesome mom, and sometimes she’s also a hot mess!
Start Momming To Your Own Beat
If you’re going to compare your life to another mom, she’s not down the street or anywhere on earth. I’m talking about the Proverbs 31 woman. Now there is a seemingly unattainable goal!
I remember years ago thinking I want to be her so bad! She is so B.A. I can’t stand it. Of course I always felt like a giant failure all the time.
Then one day I heard a message at church about how this woman could never have done all the things she did at the same time, rather she likely accomplished all she did in different seasons of her life. Which totally made sense!
She had to figure it out just like the rest of us. I’m sure she didn’t feed the poor, make clothes for her entire family, and go out and look at some real estate all in one day. So don’t expect to be even more B.A. than her, because she is a real woman.
Rule Number One: Do Your Best, Not Anyone Else’s
You have to give yourself room to fail, not dot your “i”s, and forget to do life the way you swore you would. Moms get a free pass and way more wiggle room than other non-mom types. Also, every day is different so it’s ok to keep your expectations for each day to a reasonable amount of normal.
And the compare and despair game is a total waste of valuable energy. Don’t go trying to be that mom, or even what you think is the ideal. Stop trying to fill other people’s shoes. You won’t ever be anyone but you, and your best is enough!
If you can’t make a 3 tiered Minion cake, don’t try! Knowing your limits will actually free you to do more. If you will never be able to do daily craft time with your toddler, don’t put that on your schedule. Instead, when you are surprised by a spare moment, remind yourself of your desire to be a great mom. Be intentional. And above all be prepared and plan ahead. Start today and throw some crafty stuff in a Ziplock that you can rip open in a jiffy. Take 15 minutes of your day (about the length of our children’s attention span) to create a paper plate and cotton ball master piece.
Don’t Let Yourself Go Either
We are all tempted to just turn on the tv, open up the back door and set the kiddos free. Mom, we are not allowed go off the deep end of no discipline either; I’m talking about self-discipline as much as I am the applied-to-your-children kind of discipline.
I am as guilty as the next gal of ignoring my baby and watching tv when we should be practicing “1-2-3” or how to go up and down stairs.
We cannot expect more of our children if we aren’t willing to make a bigger effort ourselves. If we are lazy with ourselves, we are lazy with our kids and our kids will be lazy. If you’re a screamer, your child will be a screamer. If you watch too much tv, so will they. It’s physics. Or psychology. Or a psalm.
Again, demand from yourself only what you are able to really deliver on. Don’t set the bar as high as your mother-in-law, but don’t give up and remove the bar altogether either.
Remember Who Momming is For
Change your perspective. Stop thinking of being a good mom as something you aspire to be, and start thinking of who you’re impacting by flinging off extra chains and baggage to be the best mom you can.
I like to read Proverbs 4 to remind myself of who I hope my children will grow up to be. Their future character and self-discipline and the ability to tell themselves “no” all come from the training they get as kids. This is momming.
The dark side of momming is usually pegged: discipline. But it doesn’t have to be so gloomy.
Rules are set for two reasons: 1) to maintain a reasonable amount of order, and 2) to keep people from getting emotionally or physically hurt. Anything beyond that is overkill. Be consistent about enforcing rules that cover number 2, and be ready to bend number one rules and allow the little ones to go a little crazy sometimes. That way you won’t be the one to go crazy!
Put It All Together
So Mom remember, don’t fall into comparisons and do only your absolute best. Give yourself permission to fail. Don’t let other people’s (well-intentioned) advice get you down. Just remember who you are is a reflection of who your children will be, and go at your own pace from there.