Have you ever said to another mom anything resembling, “Ya know, this parenting gig isn’t that hard. I think I’ve arrived. I could totally teach a master class on mommin’. And I feel no pressure at all to get it right – I don’t know why everyone else can be so exhausted from it. It’s so easy!”
Nope. Me neither.
I sense pressure all the time in parenting. The idea that others are watching me parent has served as a huge source of pressure! I have adult kids, now. Between you and me, it’s truly amazing they are still alive. Which is only further evidence that God has a plan for their lives!
I seriously had no clue what I was doing when I began caring for littles. In fact, most of what I know about parenting I actually learned from my children.
The world tried to convince me I had to be a perfect mom. Not only that, but also, I was convinced I actually COULD be a perfect mom. But, in my gross imperfections, my children taught me more about mercy and grace than I have ever taught them.
What a bunch of nonsense!
Very early on, parenting became performance based. I believed if I could run my household like a 400 piece orchestra & stayed organized, my kids would demonstrate for all the onlookers what a great mom I was. The success of my parenting would hinge on whether they were well dressed, well mannered, well fed, on time, made the honor roll, basically turning out “right.” That would mean I was winning at the mom game. If they weren’t hitting on all cylinders, I must be a failure. Did I mention I was a solo mom? That one little nugget alone catapulted me into arrogance and self reliance in parenting. I applied so much pressure to myself because I listened to the world. I was living and teaching one Truth while parenting from another truth – which actually was a lie.
But, all I could think was, “If I screw this up, my kids won’t turn out right.”
It’s just not true. I bought in to the biggest bunch of horse hockey in my early days of parenting.
The enemy convinced me I was the deciding factor in whether my children would turn out “right.”
I’m currently leading a life group for moms who have daughters. It’s tough to parent these days! I’ve been so impressed with how well these new friends are connecting and sharing. They are sketching the image of Christ in friendships.
We need each other to get real – REALLY REAL.
We don’t want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction that took place in Asia. We were completely overwhelmed—beyond our strength—so that we even despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and he will deliver us. We have put our hope in him that he will deliver us again.
2 CORINTHIANS 1:8-10
Okay, so I’ve had people get crossways with me to explain that was written for the church at Corinth. But I believe that passage was written for ALL OF US. Being overwhelmed by the pressures that come with raising children is VERY REAL.
We should all determine to parent from the same Truth we are professing to live by. Our hope must rely in Him, not in our own parenting skills. Sounds like it should be easy. In ourselves, it’s not. In His strength the burden is light. Hope will be lost if we hope in our own abilities. Remember the affliction the church experienced when there was inconsistency in following Truth. We don’t have to have that same pressure in any area of our lives!
What parenting challenges do you face? Where do you feel the most pressure to perform?