Wednesday, May 22, 2013

You're a good mom...

I saw this yesterday and had to post:

To the mom who's breastfeeding: Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage! You're a good mom. 

To the mom who's formula feeding: Isn't science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn't produce enough would suffer, but now? Better living through chemistry! You're a good mom.

To the cloth diapering mom: Fluffy bums are the cutest, and so friendly on the bank account. You're a good mom.

To the disposable diapering mom: Damn those things hold a lot, and it's excellent to not worry about leakage and laundry! You're a good mom.

To the mom who stays home: I can imagine it isn't easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. You're a good mom.

To the mom who works: It's wonderful that you're sticking to your career, you're a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it's fantastic. You're a good mom.

To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive thru all week because you're too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping: You're feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren't complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a red box with a big yellow M on it. You're a good mom.

To the mom who gave her kids a homecooked breakfast lunch and dinner for the past week: Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they're learning to enjoy healthy foods at an early age, a boon for the rest of their lives. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the kids who are sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant: Kudos, it takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can't run around. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle: they always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds don't they? We've all been through it. You're a good mom.

To the moms who judge other moms for ANY of the above? Glass houses, friend. Glass houses.

It is no secret that motherhood comes with a whole host of decisions that invite criticism and completely unsolicited advice.  I experienced this when I was pregnant and even more so now that Lydia is on the outside.  As wonderful and fulfilling as motherhood is (I seriously love it!)- there is so much more to it than I personally ever thought and I am sure I am not the only one.  It is hard enough having this person depend solely on you and your spouse without having others question your every move.  

But this is where I land whenever I am feeling inadequate as I look at other parenting styles- God chose ME to be Lydia's mom.  And God chose YOU to be your child's mother.  Isn't that awesome?  Rely on Him, friend.  

On the flip side, I have been blessed with many friends and even by the other mommies I barely know with loving, thoughtful and non-judgmental advice and I am so thankful for that!   I take what they say to heart.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The reason we struggle with insecurity...

A few weekends ago I had the privilege of attending a ladies retreat.  The theme was joy.  And can't we all use reminders of true joy from time to time?  And as a new mother, experiencing both incredible amounts of joy and exhaustion alike, this was very timely for me.

I could write many posts on the wonderful lessons learned from our speaker, Teske Drake, but there was one topic she spoke on that my mind keeps coming back to.  The topic of insecurity.

I struggle with insecurity.  Insecurity about my appearance.  My roles in life.  In my relationships.  My personality.  My abilities.

And I don't think I am alone.

Teske shared a quote with us ladies that turned a light bulb on for me:

Oh so true!  Can I get an amen?! 

And just how easy does social networking make it?  Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are basically a never ending highlight reel of others' lives.  So many, if not all, of my insecurities stem from comparing myself to others- especially to what I often perceive as "perfection".

But the truth is that we are "perfectly and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:13).  I think we often respond to this with an "oh, that's great, but..." attitude.  I know I do!  We don't seriously contemplate and rest on the fact that you ARE made for a wonderful, divine purpose that only you can fulfill.  And the best part of this is God wants to use both your highlight reel and your behind the scenes to bring Him glory! Yes, the highlight reel is more fun to share.  We get accolades in the form of "likes" and nice comments.  The behind the scenes can be harder and scary to share.  But in being transparent we have the chance to also point to the one who wipes our sins clean and gives us hope in our struggles- Jesus Christ.  Giving HIM the glory!

I am not suggesting we all post to Facebook with every argument in our marriages or every time we are frustrated with motherhood.  Behind the scenes stuff can also be personal and I encourage you to lift your husband and children up, not tear them down (Proverbs 14:1).  But pray for discernment on when to give a little tour of your behind the scenes for the sake of other's security, but more importantly, for the sake of the gospel!