Since Mother’s Day is this week we’ll be focusing on different aspects of motherhood this week and our relationships with our mothers. When I was writing Freedom From Performing I did an informal poll with about 50 women asking them, “In what area of your life do you feel the most pressure to perform?” The number one answer …..drum roll……..motherhood! Can I get an amen? We live in fear that if we don’t handle our role as a parent correctly, our children will be forever messed up. I have a therapist friend who has a pillow on her couch that reads, “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother!” Isn’t that the truth? As mother’s we long to do it “right” whatever right means and so we live with intense internal pressure to perform at some super human level.
Unfortunately, the pressure to perform and be perfect, impacts our kids. When we are insecure in our performance as mothers we slip into comparing our children with other children. When we compare the accomplishments, or the abilities of our children with the abilities of other kids, we end up feeling envious. There will always be a child out there who is ahead of your child in some area. Here’s the thing, God is not calling you to raise perfect children! He wants you to model the grace that He continually offers. Your kids will mess up and fall short. Rather than comparing your child to another child, praise God every day for the uniqueness of your child. Every time your child messes up, thank God for the opportunity to demonstrate His grace. If you want to stop feeling envious of another mother, or her child, stop comparing.
Parenting is the hardest task any of us will every do. I think God intended it this way to keep us on our knees. As we move through out this week, would you dare to praise God each day for each one of your children? Every time you are tempted to compare, whisper this prayer, “I will praise you, Lord with all my heart for (put in the name of your child). Thank you for the opportunity to model grace and forgiveness. Thank you that you designed (put in the name of your child) with intentionality and that your desire is to mold me into the image of Christ as I parent. Let (put in the name of your child) see the grace of Jesus in my life.” Amen.
All week I’ll be giving away prizes. Today, I’m giving away a copy of Freedom From Performing. But, in order to be entered in the drawing, you must leave a comment. So, comment away!
i understand the pressures, but i never compare my kids with other kids. not even with each other. and when other women are comparing their kids to mine, i try to encourage them to stop. one should appreciate the gift that is their individual child, and not worry about what other kids their age are doing. 🙂
When we get caught up in comparing our kids, either to the neighbor’s kid or to that imaginary perfect child in our minds, we lose sight of what is right and special in the life of our own child. It is easy to ignore gifts and strengths when we focus on what is “missing.” Celebrate your kids for who God made them, not what you want them to be.
Every person is a unique creation and as you said we should strive to discover and celebrate with thankfulness each of our children.
We often tell our nine year old that we just want him to do the best he can in everything. We tell him he won’t be the best at everything, but God gave him special gifts to use just for His kingdom! We try to help him develop the gifts we know he has.
Even grandma’s need to add this to their wisdom – thank you for the reminder.