"How do you do it all, girl?"
"You are amazing!"
"Where do you find all the energy?"
"I couldn't do what you do"
Yes, I've heard them all. At first it pumped me up, and made me feel I was worthy of praise, or maybe deserving of a nomination for the "toughest mom award" or something comparable. I would reply "God made me with lots of energy" or "You just see the good stuff on Facebook, but I do struggle too!" or "You're amazing too!" but do I really need to hear those kinds of comments?
We moms play the comparison game WAY TOO MUCH. Most of the time we don't want to compliment the other mom on her amazing Pinterest accomplishment, her unwavering determination to get through a tough season of baseball while juggling so many other tasks without a hitch, or her Barbie doll figure she maintains from getting up at 5:00 to go to the gym and still manage her home in a seemingly flawless manner. We look at her and then ourselves and wonder "Why can't I get my act together and be like that?" The guilt creeps in, then the envy. We may resolve to try what they do: maybe take the same supplement that gives them energy, maybe get a membership at a fitness center for a month, maybe experiment with a style or hobby like theirs so we can see if we can do it too. Or maybe we just block them from Facebook in order to avoid seeing all their accomplishments splattered all over our newsfeed. On occasion, when we are feeling confident ourselves, we may compliment them and say "You are amazing, girl!" and watch her beam and maybe return a compliment to us.
I recently saw this chart and couldn't get it out of my head. In a world where being a "super mom" is a goal, why don't we try to be an "Abiding Mom" instead? I love how this chart brings to light how a Supermom is one whose life revolves around her works. She finds fulfillment in accomplishments and good behavior. However, an Abiding Mom is focused on grace. She knows she will fail no matter what her abilities are, and she relies on the strength of the One who loves her, has saved her, and holds her imperfect life in His perfect hands. She also focusses on her kids hearts, not their accomplishments and on relationships, not activities.
I recently read the book Mom Enough that was written by 8 different women who all address the issue of being the Mom society expects us to be, and how we can deal with the "Mommy wars" that are going on around us. I highly recommend this book! It gives deep Scriptural wisdom to the Christian mom who desires godliness in her own life and her children's lives. Here are a few of my many favorite quotes from this book:
"In God's economy, our weakness is one of our greatest assets...what weakness does-like nothing else can-is draw our attention to the One who never grows tired or weary"
"God is not in the business of making my life comfortable and free of stress. He has something greater planned for me: my holiness"
"Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the souls that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field"
As moms we have such a huge responsibility on our shoulders. Sometimes it seems to weigh so heavy that we feel we can't do it anymore. That is just what God wants us to feel! It is at that moment that we realize that He must increase and we must decrease, that He must take our burdens and we must hand them over willingly, not begrudgingly. When our kids see our willingness to give up the super mom fight, to demonstrate to them a desperation for God's strength on difficult days (like stopping to pray with them before leaving the car because you are on the verge of a panic attack), that models to them that Christ is our cornerstone and needs to be theirs too. Actually, it's not just a model to our children, it is a model to the world around us!
Sweet mom reading my amateur blog, I don't understand all that you go through on a day to day basis. Sure, many of us have the same stressors in common, but we are also each in unique circumstances that expose each of our weaknesses as we parent our children. Those weaknesses and inadequacies that the world around us wants to shame us for are actually a gift from God. They are there so we can pursue Him!
So the next time you find yourself aspiring to be like that "super mom" over there, remember that is not the goal. Holiness is. Push towards that, live for that, model that, and watch God do wonders in your heart and the impressionable hearts you are raising.