Some days, I feel like a failure. Everyone’s hungry, everything’s a mess, every to-do needs attention right now, and the weight of every urgent matter eventually brings me to my knees.
Then some days, little wins turn my happy dance into living room family dance parties (that I check off as PE for the day), and I can hang up my “cape” and close my eyes at night feeling as accomplished as my son’s favorite superhero.
Most days though, I simply pray to find the balance we all search far and wide for—you know, the ever-changing give and take of striving to be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend we could be with our singular heart and mind that seemingly never seems sufficient for what’s needed…does that exist? (tell me your secret, if you’ve found it!)
While I’m sure there is a formula for success, somewhere along my journey of parenthood over the last 6 years, I stopped chasing that perfect balance. Instead, I run to God and let Him complete me. And today, I still make a constant conscious effort to remember notes to myself, reminders of life lessons God taught me through motherhood and parenting.
Six lessons God taught me about parenting (so far)
Lesson 1: It’s okay to pause. And wait.
Every parent wants the best for their child, so we want to run full speed ahead to give our son or daughter a running start to a fulfilling life. But that doesn’t mean we push them. And if they need a breather or a moment of encouragement, it doesn’t mean they’re not strong enough. When my kids struggle, when they choose not to listen, and even when I feel like they haven’t heard a word I’ve said all day…what’s a note to self I try to remember?
My love for my children will never change. And neither will God’s love for me.
God is patient with me. And it’s OK to pause. It’s OK to ask and wait for Him to help. We might be guilty of not making enough time for God, not listening as closely as we should; but even after all that, He is there, waiting for us, ready to receive us, ready to love us.
Lesson 2: I’m not in control.
As strong as the world expects parents to be, we have limits. When the future of our unborn daughter’s life had us clinging desperately to the hope of God’s promises, it was prayer that healed us.
A note to myself I still write and read every day: Let Go. Motherhood has taught me that surrendering doesn’t mean I give up—it means I give in to God. It means I rely on my spouse, whom God uses to lead our family. It means we choose to love God even harder no matter what fire we’re set to go through.
It means doing everything we can to push forward, but trusting that it’s only Him who can carry us through the experiences we probably never knew we needed.
Lesson 3: I am enough.
If 2020 has pushed parents—moms, most especially—to the brink of doubting how much we can really carry—note to self: God already chose us as parents. He trusted us enough to take care of another life.
So on days I feel like I’ve accomplished everything, yet nothing at the same time, I’m reminded that we’re still more than ready to be the person our children need us to be. Note to self: We are capable of growing into the person GOD wants us to be.
Lesson 4: I’m braver now.
We might be “supermom” to our kids (don’t tell my son I’m more regular than he holds me up to be); but at the end of the day, we’re just MOMS—which means, we’re human, and we worry. Whether we’re tracking COVID-19 cases, or juggling home school, battling sickness and emotional health, worried about the future…there will always be something in our world that causes anxiety.
But note to self: maybe we are as brave as our little ones believe we are. And with a community of spiritual leaders who remind us to stand up straight, we can take confidence in looking for Him and finding HIm. God resides in our home, and He is a part of our family so long as we let Him lead us.
Lesson 5: God is my best friend.
One day, our kids will age. Life and relationships over the years move swiftly, just like how the milestones of our children come and go quicker than we can even capture them. When the silence hits, when the checklist is crossed off…or maybe at the end of a long day, it’s us and our pile of laundry to fold—what thoughts are we left with?
Note to self: No matter who is left by my side, GOD is my constant. We might run to our spouses for comfort or have a great laugh with our friends, but unlike them, God has no limits. He’ll be there to listen to us and to give us peace in our hearts and minds when nothing in the world can.
Lesson 6: There’s only one mom.
A full-time worker, a volunteer to help Church offices, a full-time at-home teaching assistant for my son’s virtual learning, a chef, a cleaner, a sports coach, and 1-800-mommy-help-this-or-that—the list of daily multitasking goes on. How many hats do you wear?
As I struggled recently to find the right balance, someone reminded me that, “there are many others who can do our work, but our kids only have one mom.” There will always be a village helping raise my children, but they only have one mother—me.
Note to self: Just as my kids only have one mom, we, members of the Church Of Christ, children of God, only have one true Father—Our Almighty God in Heaven. Inasmuch as the community of parenthood is a beautiful one, full of advice and support, God is really the only one we truly need. Only He can give us the comfort we crave, the love we long for. HE is irreplaceable.
Let God Help You Be the Best Mom
We won’t always get it right. We’ll struggle, we’ll win, and we’ll definitely cry a little or a lot. But take comfort in knowing the journey is so much easier with God by our side, leading our team. You will never parent alone.
Set up a time with a minister in the Church Of Christ and see how the Bible can help guide you in your parenthood, and in your family.
Lois Paula is a mom of two living in Southern California. After learning about her daughter’s Congenital Heart Disease diagnosis, she and her husband saw first hand how to see blessings in God’s plan. She recently shared her story on the Faith and Family Tired Moms podcast. Lois is the host of the INC Giving Show.