I’m a control freak. I like order, structure, lists, plans, timelines, and because I am this way, I thought mothering would be a breeze. I was delusional. Motherhood has pointed out my problem with perfectionism and how I let it control my life. The problem with being a perfectionist while being a mom is that nobody is perfect, and kids are … kids!! You can do the best you can, but you can’t control humans, especially little ones. You pray and do your part and do your best to trust that God will do the rest.
Parenting is this slow race, and because you can’t see the immediate results of your discipleship, it’s actually really hard to be encouraged, especially in a hard season. It’s so easy to believe the lies we tell ourselves and feed into the mom guilt. It doesn’t help that we live in a day and age where you’re comparing yourself and your kids to somebody else’s highlight reel.
Well moms, I’m calling it what it is; stop allowing yourself to fall into what seems to be this gray area, but actually is sin. Judging or coveting somebody else’s life is not Biblical. You should always be doing your best, and it’s okay to have aspirations and look at others to leave you inspired, but if it’s taking away your peace, leaving you anxious and angry, comparing your one God-given, divine life that is a gift, then STOP IT. Stop it all. Pump the brake, take a step back, figure out the root that is causing you to act out of alignment with who God has called you to be.
I can only speak on this because I’m still coming out of it. I was parenting, and even adulting, from a place of fear. Fear of the ever-present reality that we face in trying to make the right decision. It’s weighty. So many options, so many decisions, so many opinions, so many different upbringings. The world has done a Grade-A job at trying to divide us in every way possible. Put different groups of people in different boxes, with different lines drawn, and that goes for literally any and every topic you can think of.
MOTHERHOOD HAS POINTED OUT MY PROBLEM WITH PERFECTIONISM AND HOW I CONTROL MY LIFE.
In the last couple months, I really took the time to evaluate my head space and the mom and wife that I had become. As a parent, you’re always pouring out, being selfless, and that truly is one of the most beautiful things that parenthood does to you. I hit a point where I couldn’t/can’t pour out on empty. The Lord challenged me in some areas of my life that I let perfectionism, and what other people think, control my every decision. Instead of allowing God to speak to me, or even just being available to listen to what He had to say, I just read the Facebook articles, and the Instagram captions to tell me what was right and true. Social media became my Bible. Instead of looking to God in prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit for guidance, I found myself looking to my phone as my guide. It was this realization that stopped me and reshaped my parenting.
The answers to any and all of our questions are with us at every moment, but are we postured to hear, receive and be obedient? Are we ready to lead, even if it means our life will look different than our neighbor's? I’m telling you, my life looks vastly different than the awesome mom across the street, or my incredible mom who raised me, and you know what? That’s what is so beautiful! Parenthood can look different person to person, and just because it looks different doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
I’m not perfect, but social media and other people are no longer my guiding compass for how I parent. Only God and His word can be that. I am confident in who I am as a wife and a mom, not because I am perfect, but because God has laid the path out for me and my identity is rooted in Him.