There’s a war raging all around us. It’s the war of competition, of doubting ourselves, of an “I’m not good enough” attitude. It’s a war that pits sister against sister and friend against friend. It’s the war that draws out the defensiveness in women around the world and causes our insecurities to rear their ugly heads.
It’s the war of motherhood.
For some strange reason, us women feel like we need to prove our motherhood by making ourselves look good and flaunting the choices that we have made that make us better moms (I can embarrassingly admit I have done this before). Choices like being a stay-at-home mom versus a working mom, a breastfeeding mom vs. a bottle feeding mom, a whole-foods mom vs. a junk food mom, a homeschooling mom vs. a public school mom, a mom who vaccinated vs. a mom who doesn’t. The list goes on…and on…and on. The internet has only compounded this issue by allowing us to sit behind the safety of our computer screens all while drawing our weapons out towards a faceless and nameless “enemy.”
Let’s just stop it. Let’s just admit our failures and encourage each other in the things that really matter. I’ll start.
I can be very lazy. I do not get up before my kids. My children watch TV for an hour or two a day. I’m not very “green”. I don’t always fix the most nutritious meals–Our kids eat their fair share of junk food. I don’t homeschool in the traditional sense (although I feel that EVERY parent is their child’s FIRST teacher). I breastfed both of my kids for a while, although I absolutely hated it at first. I vaccinate my children. I am a worry wart. I worry about my kids all. the. time. I hover, I swoop in and save, and I often parent out of fear. I yell at my kids on occasion. I try desperately every day to keep my cool, even in the most stressful of situations. But the honest truth is that I mess up…
Am I a bad mom in your mind? Are you going to stop reading this blog because you disagree with some of my choices in the mothering department? Are you going to blast me in the comments because I haven’t made the same choices as you? That’s your prerogative, of course. But I think we have a lot to learn from one another if we can put aside our minor differences and see each other for who we are: mothers who love their children with every fiber of our being and are doing our best to raise our kids, even when we fail.
If we openly admit our differences without trying to convince each other the choices we’ve made are superior to the choices that others are making, we can do what we are intended to do: Spur one another on.
With all this said, there is one area I won’t back down on. I may fail in every other area of mothering, but there is one area that I will refuse to give up on until they lower me into the ground: I want my children to know and love our God. In the whole scheme of things, nothing else matters. Nothing.
I want my children to be in Heaven. With every breath I breath, this is my heart’s desire. Not only do I want my children in Heaven, I want them to make a difference in the lives of others while here on Earth. I want their love for God to bubble over on all the people around them.
So despite the fact that I fail in so many areas of mothering, I will not fail at this one. This doesn’t mean I won’t make HUGE mistakes in this department and it certainly doesn’t mean that I can force my kids to love God or that they will never turn away from Him by their own free will. It does mean, however, that I will never. stop. trying. I will do everything in my power to draw my children close to God. And when I fail at that (which I will inevitably do), I will depend on God to pick up the pieces of my monumental failures and reveal Himself to my children in a way that only He can.
I speak for every mother, every sister, and every friend in the following words…
Will you help me? Will you forget about all the choices I make that are different than yours and love me anyway? And will you love me enough to not leave me where I am–to encourage me to be better? Not in the small decisions of mothering, but in the one BIG one…the one that matters? Will you spur me on in trying to show my kids the love of God???