Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good Mom, Bad Mom and the pitfalls of playing the Martyr

One day last week a friend of mine invited me to her Christian Mom's Fellowship Group on my day off and for some reason I didn't let my usual excuses of...."I better do laundry, I better get groceries, I better clean the house..."  get in the way and decided to put everything else aside and take the time do do something for me.  It was one of those things that I could have said no but didn't and am so thankful that I didn't.  As a Mom I know I have a ridiculous habit of practicing "Martyrdom" and have learned time and time again that it serves no purpose, leaves me feeling overwhelmed and resentful and in the end would make me a better Mom if I would just take some time for myself to do something for me.  I have to keep reminding myself of this and you would think over 6 years into it, it would seem common sense but I seem to forget myself at times.  So long story, long, I just want to remind you to take care of yourself too, because you deserve it.  While I was at the Mom's group a woman started things out by reading something that touched me and surprise, surprise....made me cry.  Coincidentally when I heard this my BF was traveling for work and as my patience was wearing thin...I was feeling like a "bad Mom."  I thought it was so good and so true I just wanted to share it.  I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful.  Have a great afternoon.  Love, Gina

Good Mom...Bad Mom.... 
Lysa TerKeurst 

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26 (NIV) 


Good Mom? 

Bad Mom? 

Good Mom? 

Bad Mom? 

Do you ever feel as though you are the ping-pong ball in a heated match bouncing constantly between feeling like a good mom to a bad mom? 

One minute I have a great discussion where my child finally gets it... GOOD MOM! 

The next I get an e-mail from a teacher that lists the three parents who have yet to turn in that permission slip and I am on the list for all the world to see... BAD MOM! 

I calmly handle the stresses of the morning routine... GOOD MOM! 

But then during the afternoon homework session, my child's irresponsibility over a last minute project just about sends me over the edge. I find my neck muscles tensing and my voice rising... BAD MOM! 

I make sure they pack something healthy for lunch... GOOD MOM! 

The schedule falls apart in the late afternoon and I wind up feeding them sugar cereal for dinner... BAD MOM! 

Sometimes I feel like that ping-pong ball mom bouncing from feeling good to bad. Yesterday morning I sat down at the kitchen table after getting everyone where they needed to be and cried. Sometimes having kids is the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life. Other days I feel like the task of parenting little people is driving me to the brink of craziness. 

Just the other day I was processing some recent family things with my friend, Renee, over the phone. Suddenly a strange theme seemed to arise. I just started laughing. I told Renee that so many of my days seemed to tell the same kind of story... I was on the verge of a breakdown and then I spent time with Jesus and He made things better. 

Renee quipped back to me, "Well, isn't that where most of us live every day?" 

Not that we are on the edge of a breakdown, but we live in a place of utter dependence on God. I know as a mom, I live in constant need of His love, encouragement, wisdom, perspective, strength, patience, and grace. 

Anything I do right as a mom is because of my constant dialogs with God. 

Anything I do wrong as a mom is because of trying to do things in my own strength and slap wearing myself out. 

That's where grace steps in. And I need lots of grace. God's grace steps in and says, “Lysa, you are doing better than you think. Stop bouncing from feeling good to bad to good to bad. In the good times, rejoice and thank me. In the not so good times, call out to me quickly." 

And suddenly it occurred to me; with God I'm never a bad mom. I might be having a bad moment... or two... or seventeen. But a few bad moments do not define me as a bad mom. 

God's grace is there to cover me. Teach me. And even in the middle of a bad moment, interrupt me, redirect me, and change me. 

Forgiveness is there. 

Love is there. 

A second chance is there. 

You are a good mom my friend even if, like me, you’ve had a few bad moments... you is the exact mom God knew your children needed. Let's live in that truth today. 

Dear Lord, being a mom is a great privilege but one that can be so challenging at times. Teach me how to lean on You with every action and every reaction. And when I mess up, please help me to not define myself by my mommy failures. Help me to only be defined by Your love that assures me and Your grace that covers me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 


SarahT said...

Thank you for you post! So thankful for Grace :)

Stacey said...

Love this Gina. Especially loved the "you are the exact mom God knew your children needed". Thank you so much for sharing it.

Btw...I think you are an amazing mom and I adore you.