Prior to having children, my husband and I dreamed of the day when we would become parents. Looking back, we were waiting for the picture perfect experience of parenthood that you see on Facebook or Instagram. When the day finally came for me to embrace motherhood, I was not prepared for the reality of what parenting was – especially as we welcomed our second child.
Daily, moms are forced with lies of what we should be doing as mothers and this can really take it’s toll on our walk with Christ, on our journey as mothers, and in our marriages.
My first reality check
When my first child, my daughter, was born, things were a lot what I expected. Loss of sleep, snuggles, and lots of feeding. What I didn’t realize, is the anxiety that I’d experience or the constant feeling of inadequacy. The idea of something happening to my daughter – things outside of my control scared me. I worried for how she’d react to the injustices of the world, how she would handle disappointment, or how I wasn’t measuring up to the supermoms on my Instagram and Facebook feeds.
I was trapped under the cutest bundle of sweetness. My house was a mess. I looked far from put together. I struggled to get supper ready. Daily I tended to her needs and tried to take care of the rest, but fell short time and time again. At the time, I don’t think I realize how this weighed on me as a mother and wife.
My daughter was a clingy, snuggly little thing and I loved every minute of that. She didn’t want to be roaming around and in a carrier. I tried. Oh, did I try. She wanted mommy’s embrace. Nothing else will do.
Over an over again, I judged my worth based on the state of my home. On my body condition (that baby weight did not want to melt off… still hasn’t melted off 4 years later, for the record). On the standard set by those I observed on Instagram and Facebook.
Falling into one of many traps
I compared myself all the time and struggled to find someone I could measure up to, or someone I felt I was doing better than. Isn’t that what our society teaches us, though? That we need to be and act certain ways and we need to have certain things? This is the world we grow up in and feel is okay.
I learned during the first couple years that this was not a healthy approach and actually was harming my walk with God.
11 Believers, do not speak against or slander one another. He who speaks [self-righteously] against a brother or judges his brother [hypocritically], speaks against the Law and judges the Law. If you judge the Law, you are not a doer of the Law but a judge of it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy [the one God who has the absolute power of life and death]; but who are you to [hypocritically or self-righteously] pass judgment on your neighbor?
James 4:11-12 AMP
I was looking at the flaws of others to make myself feel better. I had sunk to a low.
Luckily, God didn’t give up on me and sought me harder. He placed scripture in my lap over and over and repeatedly pointed out this trap I had been ensnared in. He brought me out of it and is helping me avoid it again.
I had to trust in some people to confide in. I sought people who were not judgemental and would help me in my quest of redemption from my sinful habit. Also, I sought bible studies to help guide my thoughts.
Four years later, I am doing so much better, but change did not happen over night. Still, I see the picture perfect lives of those on Facebook and Instagram. But – and this is a big but – I do not compare myself to them.
I know that their lives are likely not perfect. Nobody typically goes out of their way to post the imperfections of their lives. I had to learn this.
And I know that I don’t have have to be perfect. I know that I am saved by a perfect God who loves me even with my faults and that sin wages war against our desire to do the perfect will of God. Daily, I will strive to do that will, but I know that I will fall short, and that is okay.
Mama, we don’t have to be perfect! We just need to try. So long as we love our children, our husbands, and the world around us, we just need to try out best. God sees you trying. He knows your struggles. Give them to him!
My second major reality check
Okay, so there were many reality checks with my first. Oh were there ever. But I want to talk about a big one after the birth of my second daughter.
Just when I thought I had figured out the delicate balance of motherhood, our youngest was born. What I had learned with my eldest no longer applied! My youngest daughter was so different from our eldest that I was thrown for a loop. She struggled to eat, she wouldn’t go to bed until late hours. She needed to be swaddled and loved to be in carriers (I was so thankful for our ring sling!). And she was so delicate and tiny.
When I thought I had it figured out, she changed the rules. I struggled to balance spending time with my eldest and giving my youngest the one-on-one attention I craved.
Again, I saw mothers who did this mothering thing with ease. They embraced each child with perfection. This was not my reality. I struggled. I struggled hard and long. Again, my feelings of inadequacy returned and with a vengeance.
What I missed
Here is the big thing I missed in all this. The enemy constantly wants to drag us into his traps. He wants to convince us of our faults and that we are unworthy.
Mothering is such a special role and crucial to a percentage of the growth of God’s Kingdom. As we teach our children of the ways of God, we are a threat to the enemy and his hold.
If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us?
Romans 8:31 AMP
In our walk, we need to hold onto Romans 8:31. God wants us to be successful and loves us in spite of it all. We need to hold firm onto this truth. In truth, we need to stop believing all of the lies that the enemy wants us to believe.
Read more: Do your self images give you life?
We need to embrace motherhood
You are not inadequate. You are far more precious than jewels (Proverbs 31:10). Hold onto this truth, mama. You are worthy, blessed and loved. Go forward with faith in this truth. Stand against the lies and deceits of the enemy. You are amazing. Keep growing in your faith and hold firm onto God’s truths.
Lies Moms Believe
On that note, Rebekah Hargraves is releasing a book called Lies Moms Believe: and how the Bible refutes them. I have had the pleasure of reading this book and I have to say that I was inspired to analyze some of the lies I find myself believing outside of the ones above.
It is a good read to examine some of the tricks and lies we are exposed to. I was inspired to start putting an end to allowing the enemy to have rein over my motherhood experience. I am choosing to embrace motherhood with a Kingdom perspective.
Lies Moms Believe is currently on pre-order and you can click on the picture below to be taken to the amazon pre-order page. It officially releases November 10, 2017. You can also click here to view the pre-order page.
I received a copy of this book to review in advance and receive a commission off any book purchased through the link on blog. My opinions are my own.
Many blessings to you!
Thank you to all who are following me on my journey; if you aren’t already, please feel free to follow me to get notifications of new posts.
Please feel free to comment below with how you find motivation and purpose in your days, how I can pray for you, or any other comments!