mom-mode post #212 – on mommy guilt, perfectionism and perfectly abiding grace
September 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve talked about my struggles with it here, I came face to face with it again last year.
This week it came back again, rearing its ugly head, filling up my mind with lies. Telling me I wasn’t good enough for my sweet boy.
I’ve struggled with perfectionism my whole life. And usually this mommy guilt comes up as I start looking around and comparing myself to other mommies, other parents. Telling me I am not doing this mommy job perfectly. When I was in Kindergarten I got in major trouble because I was upset a group project didn’t come out just the way I wanted it. The teacher was trying to teach me to just accept it, but I was having a major time dealing with it. I remember my mom just telling the teacher to go easy on me because I was a perfectionist.
Facebook, Pinterest and whatnot, can also be a trap for thinking other mommies have it together. They have the perfect solution for their tantrum-throwing kid, they serve the yummiest healthiest meals, they keep their cool when their toddler flat-out refuses to obey. I know better not to get caught up in this, yet I find myself longing for real mommies that I can relate with and be real and not feel like I’m being judged by the decisions I make as a parent. I compare myself to someone else’s blown-out perfect reality and I don’t measure up.
I have been blessed with a few friends that are very much an encouragement in my motherhood journey and I couldn’t have been more thankful for their timely insight into my life as a mama. But I also have a few friends that always seem to make me feel worse about my mothering skills. You know the type of friend that seems to look at you judging as you choose not to discipline your child for something they would have chosen to discipline their own child for.
After situations like this, I found myself crumbling under the pressure and impossible standards I set for myself. I can blame it on a judgemental friend, or the stress I’m under as we prepare to move again. Truth is, I’m the one setting myself up for so-called failure as I bite more than I can take. Striving to achieve more than unreasonable goals.
So last night I went out for a run, right as the sun was setting, I felt the Lord whispering in my ear: I didn’t call you to be a perfect mommy. I’m the Perfect One. I just called you to be O’s mommy.
This morning I got a chance to come to a coffee shop by myself. Coffee in hand, I was reminded again to stop striving so much. He calls me to abide in Him. To stop trying so hard.O just needs me to love him, not to be perfect. That’s enough. I’m going to make mistakes as I parent, I’m going to apologize, I’m going pray that the Lord will cover over my multitude of sins and grow my O to be a well-adjusted, lovable, kind, smart, God-loving young man. My job is to abide in Him, to remember that His grace is enough. To live my life fully in Him and trust Him to guide me in this crazy uncharted territory that motherhood has been to me.
Earlier today we had the best time playing “baskball” (i.e. basketball) in the hallway, my little pajama clad boy, smiling from year to year, just happy to have me play with him. So what? What we were playing didn’t even resemble basketball. So what? I was never the sporty type and have no idea what to do with a ball. To my son this morning, I was like Kobe Bryant, professional basketball player. Yet O didn’t want to play with Kobe, he wanted to play with me.
Thankful for the gift my son is to me, his very existence has allowed God to work in the depths of my being and bring out some nasty, ugly things, so He can continue to mold me and sanctify me.
Praying that as I walk further in this life of a mommy, I walk farther and farther from the trappings of guilt, comparisons and perfectionism.
Today I’m linking with O, my family