I can’t believe I took a picture holding my stomach in this exact position when I was only twenty weeks. I remember being so happy to had made it halfway through my pregnancy. Now, I am nowhere near being seasoned in motherhood, but I am about twenty weeks in and so much more than I could have possibly imagined has changed in my life. In the midst of learning to parent, social pressures and the millennial movement, I think young moms tend to be overwhelmed with a world full of lies. Instead of focusing on the actual goal of raising our babies, we get caught up in the “should-be’s” and what we perceive to be failure.
Here are just a few:
Perception/Lie: A good mom has a gourmet dinner on the table every night, all the meals planed, she shops organic and never lets anything but breast milk touch her baby’s mouth.
Reality: There are a few of them here – A mom who’s so mentally exhausted runs through the drive thru and eats more fries than protein. A mom who doesn’t enjoy or struggles to cook and ends up making tomato soup and grilled cheese most nights. A mom who has sacrificed her salary to stay home and is now doing the best she can to make the grocery budget work, and organic is a luxury. A mom who wanted desperately to breast feed, but the cards weren’t in her favor.
Truth: French fries, organic, breast milk, goats milk, meal plan or not, doesn’t define your worth as a mother. Each family does it differently and needs to do what works for them. A good mom feeds their child and loves them with what they have. Their main focus is on what the Lord has for them at that point. Psalm 9:10
Perception/Lie: The worth of a SAHM (stay at home mom) is her ability to keep a clean house, craft like a pro and have the most well behaved kids on the block, or, the worth of a working mom is her ability to bring in an entire second income for their family, take them on the best vacations and labeling her as SUPER woman for having a job AND raising babies. Oh, did I mention that her kid’s birthday parties are featured in magazines?
Reality: Both tired. Both doing the very best they can to love their babies and raise them to be strong men and women.
Truth: One word here – STEREOTYPES. Neither the SAHM or the working mom are defined by those roles, so let’s stop labeling them. Your identity is in a lot more than that. You are not defined by your gifts, talents or abilities. Those are merely vessels for Christ to be seen in your life. We are defined by Him and Him alone. (And if you’re the opposite of one of these women, do your best to encourage their beauty and differences instead of making them feel judged) Colossians 3:23
Perception/Lie: The goal is perfect children.
Reality: A child in rehab, one you desperately wanted to make it through college and didn’t, one is Mr./Ms. Popular and the other was bullied the whole way through school. Your child throws more temper-tantrums that you can count – especially in public.
Truth: Every parent is working incredibly hard to try and raise the perfect child, but somewhere along the way (considering the goal is that they would be independent eventually) they start making their own decisions. Even the best of parents, who are on their knees every night, can raise children who rebel or don’t end up how they expected or wanted. The lie is that it’s the parent’s fault. You are not defined by your children’s decisions and choices in life. You cannot pride yourself on raising the perfect child either. You do the best you can.
We have the most perfect Father there is, and yet all of us have fallen short of his glory and need a Savior. – Romans 3. Just as the Israelites strayed from God when he was literally providing the food they ate, children will stray too. The job is to trust the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to work in you as a parent in that moment.