(The following appears in today’s copy of the Sheridan Reporter – Yeah, I’m writing for the Sheridan Newspaper now!!!)
I am not the perfect mom. No one is. That’s an illusion that each and every one of the moms I know struggles with. You know, those moms on Pinterest and Facebook that are posting how they’re making their own deodorant and soap and four course meals for their families, they have perfectly behaved children because they know all the answers to child development and rearing. Or how about the ones that are on TV and keep the perfectly clean houses, you do realize they don’t ACTUALLY live in those houses right? I know this may come as a shock to some of you as it did to me, when I tell you that there is no perfect mom… except you.
No, really. You may feel like you do everything wrong, nothing by the book. You may actually buy your own deodorant and soap, go through the drive through for most dinners, and have children that are in constant need of correction. You may even lose your temper with them from time to time and your house may be a disaster area, but you’re still the perfect mom for your family. You see, something that’s taken me a very long time to learn is that I can’t be like those other moms, I know news flash right? The reason why I can’t be like those moms is because they’re not like that either. No mom does all those things, but rather maybe one or two of them. The TV moms, they’re acting in a set. The Pinterest and Facebook moms with blogs about how to make soap and four course dinners… how many have you seen like that? And if they’re spending all that time making dinner, what are their children doing?
I had this unrealistic expectation for myself that I had to do all those things to be a “good mom”. I had to cook every day, clean the house to spotless every day, and be uber crafty at the same time. But the end result was that I was making myself miserable! While I like to cook now and then, I don’t love it and I’m not that great at it. I don’t mind the cleaning, but when I’m screaming at my kids to pick up their socks 24/7 it gets a little old after awhile. And I love to be crafty and make things with my hands, but it’s certainly not my life. I’ve discovered that God gave me my children because He created them to be part of our family. He put them in my care because He knew I would be the perfect mom for them. He knows that I am not the perfect mom, but I am their perfect mom. I know what they like, I know what they don’t like. I know who they are and who they aren’t.
God told me once that what I do for the least of these I do it for Him (Mat. 25:21-46). I ask you, who is less than a child? They can give you nothing, no payment for your service, no recognition for your hours of hard work; they are literally at the bottom of the totem pole. And yet every day when we pack their lunches, wipe their noses, give them countless drinks throughout the day, we are doing those things for Jesus too. When we look into their eyes, we are looking into the face of God, and then kissing it goodnight. God never asked us to be perfect, because He knew we couldn’t do it! God asked us to follow Him in love.
When Jesus died on the cross He “gave up” His spirit (John19:28-30). And at the moment we choose to allow Him to be the leader of our life, we receive the Spirit of Jesus from Him and it lives in our bodies in order to guide and direct our steps. And all we have to do is learn how to follow His gentle leading. And sometimes, it isn’t the way you expect it to be. Sometimes, it isn’t toward that perfect mom image, but rather away from it. I learned that my husband is the only one in my house with the acts of service love language. That means that he receives and gives love the best through acts of service. But to him it’s not critical that I have a homemade meal every night, but rather that I have something edible every night. He doesn’t expect to come home to a spotless house every night, but one that has been filled with love for his children.
I’ve come to realize that as a mom, it is not my job to do everything for my family. However, it is my job to make sure that everything gets done. It’s my job to make sure that my family knows that I love them and that Jesus loves them. It’s my job to be their mom, not the perfect mom.