When I became a stay-at-home mom I knew God was moving me to a place that was out of my comfort zone. Parenting was unfamiliar and awkward, like I had been dropped off in the middle of town trying to find a house, with no directions. Although, after I became familiar with the ins and outs of motherhood, I decided I was going to be the best parent ever! After all, this was my new ministry, so I was going to do it well!
I was going to be the most engaged, the kindest, the craftiest, the healthiest, the most understanding, and the most creative mother ever! I was gonna rock motherhood! (You can see where this is going, can’t you)
After botching a few quilts and craft projects I realized I blew my chance of being the craftiest mother. Soon my kids loved Cheetos more than carrots- there went my chance at being the healthiest mom. After falling asleep while my kids and I were building lego towers, I realize I was knocked out of the running for most engaged mom. And after my kids knocked over the mannequins in Old Navy I soon realized I lost the award for the mom with the best behaved kids.
When I looked at other mom’s they always seemed to be doing mothering better than me. The other moms were more sensitive to their kids, they were more creative, they even played better with their kids!
For a long time I believed that my value, my identity and my worth came from how well I did parenting. To me, the way my kids behaved was the evidence of how well I parented. Every time I compared myself to another mother, I always came up lacking.
When did parenting become a competition? When did my value and identity as a person become dependent upon how well my kids behaved? And who was I trying to prove that I was the best parent to? You or me? Maybe it was both.
The moment that I turned parenting into a competition was the moment parenting became a burden- a burden that I was struggling to carry.
Parenting children was never meant to be a burden or a competition-it is a blessing. Although, Satan wants us to see parenting as a competition and a burden so that we will get discouraged, overwhelmed, and stressed. At this point many of us just check out.
God actually says that the load He has for us is easy and light, we usually just pick up the wrong load or we try to carry His load with our own strength. We were never meant to parent in our own strength and it has never been God’s plan for us to compete as parents.
So what do we do? We set our minds to follow God’s footsteps of parenting and don’t let your perception of other mothers parenting skills suck you into comparing.
Parent your kids like God parents you. Set your mind to look at parenting through God’s perspective not through the lens of competition. Don’t let competition gauge your worth and identity- your worth and identity comes from Christ alone. Oh, and please give yourself some grace!