Am I a Good Mother?
Being a Mom is HARD! There, I said it! It’s nearly impossible! We’re all thinking it. How does every other Mom do what I can’t do? How do they all have it all together while I’m falling apart? How do they put a smile on their face when I look up at the Heavens at least once a day and say, “I can’t do this, God!”
How do they have all their ducks in a row when my one, 8 lb 4 oz, 2-week-old duck won’t even sleep through the night? How do they have a moment to put make-up on, or shower, or keep their house clean?
How? How? How?
How does every other Mom have this figured out and I don’t? What “mom-gene” did they get blessed with that I didn’t? How can I get that? Does it come in pill form? Or does it come from the sleep that I’m not getting because my 2-week-old thinks he needs to be held all night just to sleep?
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Am I a good mom?
These are tame thoughts compared to the thoughts that have been racing through my mind over the past two weeks. You see, the last 14 days have felt like a year. God, I feel like I haven’t slept in a year. In the last 14 days, just about everything that could go wrong, did go wrong; including, but not limited to, a botched birth plan, an emergency c-section, lots of visits to NICU, three visits for Mommy to the ER, and 5 migraines.
It’s safe to say that my spirit is drained. I am more emotionally exhausted than I am physically exhausted, even though my little hasn’t slept in the last 2 nights. But, surprisingly, life is so much better today than it was 7 days ago, or 9 days ago. It gets better every single day by the grace of God!
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So, am I a bad mom?
So, as things start to calm down around here and get to a point of “normal” mom-hood, I have time to consider the question: “What kind of mom am I?”
Am I a good mom or a bad mom?
Why are those my only choices? If I’m not good, then I’m bad? If I make one mistake, then I’m automatically a bad mother? That seems harsh. Why isn’t there a happy medium? I guess because “average mom” sounds like you do the bare-minimum.
What if there was another option? What if, instead of having to label yourself either “good mom” or “bad mom,” you had another choice that wasn’t even on the same scale as “good” and “bad?”
When I make mistakes, when I feel so tired that my body feels like jello, when I drop his paci on the ground, when I’m upset that I can’t breastfeed, when I pray he will go back to sleep instead of needing to be fed, when everything goes absolutely wrong wrong WRONG; I pray to be a Good mom (with a capital G).
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Seek God in your parenting!
I’ve been praying this since pregnancy. I’m not sure where I got the idea of praying to be a “Good” mom rather than a “good” mom; maybe I read it on a Facebook post years ago and it stuck with me, or maybe it was just purely given to me by Divine revelation. Either way, every time I pray it, it comforts me, almost like a meditation. When I pray to be a Good mom, I meditate on what that means and focus my energy and my thoughts on that image.
Being a Good mom with a capital G means aligning our parenting with the Will and morals of God. We hear over and over in the Bible how Good God is:
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is Good;
blessed is the man (or woman) who trusts in Him!”
We sing songs about how Good of a Father He is. What does it mean to be a Good parent like our Father God?
Obviously, no matter how hard I try, no matter how hard I pray, no matter how perfect I am (or am not), I will never be on the parenting level of God. But when I pray to be a “Good mom,” I’m not praying to be divine, perfect, or all-knowing – although the power to snap your fingers and make your newborn sleep 4 hours straight would be amazing! I’m praying that God will guide me in my parenting. This one, simple word “Good” is me asking God to guide my steps as my husband and I raise this child. It’s me praying that even when I mess up, which I will do on an hourly basis, God will take those mess-ups and use them for His Good.
“And we know that God causes everything to work
together for the Good of those who love God and are
called according to His purpose for them.”
There’s no such thing as a professional mother…
When I don’t do what all the parenting books say you have to do in a newborn’s first week, first month, and first year, I pray that God will protect my child and grow him into a healthy, smart, loving young man of God. When my child is older and I say something stupid, like all parents do, I pray that God will use the situation for the Good of my son. When my son sees me being a bad example, because I’m not perfect, I pray that God will use that moment as a teaching experience.
See, society makes moms think the moment your child is born you become this Wonder Woman! You have to have it all together, and it’s completely up to you to make sure this child is perfect! You can’t fail because no other Mom is failing. It’s in your DNA to be perfect or else your baby will be completely screwed up!
This is unrealistic. Just like everything else, learning to be a Mom takes time. And look back at your own Mom. Did she ever have it completely figured out? The second she figured you out you grew a year older and completely changed! You went from loving to loathing her in 10 seconds flat!
Give God your anxieties of parenting
Praying to be a Good Mom not only gives God the glory of dedicating your child to Him, it takes a ton of pressure off of you! That may sound horrible, but honestly, we’re not meant to carry it all on our own!
“Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7
That verse doesn’t say to cast some of your anxieties on Him; it says to cast them all! Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, the Bible doesn’t say that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. We each have a cross to bear, but we’re not called to handle it by ourselves. Even Jesus had to have help carrying His cross to Calvary (Luke 23:26).
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My prayer for you:
Mom, I pray that my words have helped you in some way. Just know that today it may not look like things are going to get better, but they will. It may take some time to give your anxieties, your perfectionism, your OCDness to God, but today you can start with just one thing. God does not want you to suffer at being a mother! He wants you to enjoy every second with your baby. If you’re not enjoying it — if you’re stressed, overwhelmed, or depressed – something’s got to give! Give it to God. Take a moment right now to pray to be a Good mom. Ask Him what that looks like for you. Ask Him what one thing you can give to Him today to take care of.
YOU’VE GOT THIS, MOM!
Did this post help you? What anxiety or perfectionism is God telling you to let go of an give to Him? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear from you!