Motherhood is many different things, but I'll tell you what it ain't:
It's not a competition; it's not a measure of your worth; it's not perfect; and it's NOT the same for every woman and every child.
I've been looking critically at what some of the "experts" are saying about motherhood. My goodness, if I was a new mother today I would be completely overawed by all the "shoulds" and "musts" I see being promoted. So, I would like to put my voice into the mix..."Have confidence in yourself". Mommies and Daddies usually know what is best for their child. Trust in yourself...and pray...a lot!
I was looking at the website of a very well known speaker on motherhood. She's published gobs of books and hosts many conferences around the country. Now, I'm not gonna throw the baby out with the bathwater, much of what she has to say is pretty sound advice. However, she sure does have an awful lot of "shoulds" in her advice- "You should have daily devotions with your child." "You should be at home." "You should homeschool." She even goes so far as to relay a story of going to a conference and being able to tell which child had a "strong foundation" and had been raised as she suggested by the way the child was behaving. (I think a child can have a wonderfully strong foundation and still have days when they behave like little terrors!)
And now Time magazine jumps in and tries to ensnare us in the trap of "who is the better mother." I do hope the
Let's take a breath....
Here are some important truths about motherhood:
You are a child of God who seeks to walk in his truth.
Your child is a gift from God.
You want your children to fulfill their potential.
Keep looking at the big picture! Don't get bogged down in shoulds. I'm a teacher and every lesson has an objective. If I'm teaching children addition I could use songs, flash cards, computer games, worksheets, manipulatives, etc. There are many ways to get the concept of addition across.
The same is true for raising a child! An objective for your child is, for example, to develop a relationship with God. The goal is the objective and there are so, so many paths to get there. You could have daily devotions, go to church, sing hymns, set a godly example, watch videos, pray together, etc...There is no should. My oldest child loves to read the Bible and write out verses, but my other daughter prefers to sing hymns. At the end of the day, I just want them to know that God has named them and claimed them and made them his own. That is a source of joy, not stress and feelings of failure.
My path is not your path. My child's path is not your child's path. His will for my family may not be His will for yours! Listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Try to meet His expectations of what mother you should be, for you will surely exhaust yourself trying to meet the expectations of everyone else. Let your child influence you. Having a child is a wonderful opportunity to think about the kind of person God has made you today. Use these insights to understand, trust and have confidence in yourself.
Are you mother enough? God has answered the question for you. YES.