Chances are, if you’re the mother of small children, you’re tired. Most days, you push yourself through a haze of fatigue to deal with yet another round of dirty dishes and squabbling kiddos, while unfinished mental to-do lists whisper shame in your ear.
Photo credit: Kevin Baird
Sometimes you feel defeated before you ever get out of bed.
Real life is not matching the fantasy you had: gleaming house, well-behaved children, happy husband, and your own income to boot. You were supposed to be able to do it all.
Can I let you in on a secret that just might restore your hope?
You don’t have to be Awesome Mommy. In fact, I hope to dissuade you from even wanting to be Awesome Mommy. She doesn’t really exist, you know. She’s a collective figment of our postmodern Western imagination.
I have another name for Awesome Mommy. It’s “Goddess Mommy.” Truth is, when you shoot for being awesome as a mother and as a woman, you are unwittingly trying to take Someone’s place.
Like Eve, you get sucked into listening to the lies of the snake. You can be like God. Just reach up and take it. Taste the fruit of being totally on top of your game. You can do this. You must do this.
In the garden, Satan whispered through a snake. Now he lies to you through our culture.
Our culture says women can and should do it all. Our culture says busyness is equal to godliness, and children must be enrolled in multiple activities so we can show them off as our trophies.
Our culture tells you being a mother is your identity, and it’s your job to make everything okay at all times for your children. You’re supposed to explain your parenting methods to them, pay constant attention to them, interpret all their feelings, and never let them cry.
Talk about exhausting!
I recently had the pleasure of hearing parenting expert Dr. John Rosemond speak. Dr. Rosemond points out that mothers were far less stressed — and children much happier — in the fifties.
Back in the day, children understood they were to pay attention to their parents–not the other way around. As a result, they felt more secure and had far fewer emotional problems compared to today’s children.
Dr. Rosemond blames postmodern psychology for the new (exhausting) parenting paradigm.
Jesus never intended for mothers to be pushed like this. He never asked you to be Awesome Mommy. No, he’s calling you to something else, something far more blessed and restful.
He’s calling you to be a godly mother.
- A godly mother confidently exercises her God-given authority for the good of her child without worrying about whether her child approves of her decisions and actions.
- A godly mother parents out of her understanding that while she is parenting her children, she is being parented by her heavenly Father. He’s shaping her character while she shapes her children’s.
- A godly mother does not shoot for perfection; she pursues excellence by leaning hard into God for the daily strength, wisdom and courage she needs.
- A godly mother has the long view in mind. She is not concerned with public approval; she just wants to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” in the end.
Parenting is not about your performance as a mother; it’s about your daily dependence on God.
He calls you to the impossible task of discipling his children, but he’s right there with you, daily empowering you to accomplish this.
Maybe it’s time to get off that goddess throne–and rest your weary self at the throne of grace instead?