Some days, being a mother is hard. On those days, here are four things you need to always remember.
1. You don't have to be perfect
If I asked if you believed you had to be a perfect mom, you would probably say no. Obviously no one can be a perfect Mom. However, I would like to consider that even though we might not believe it when asked point blank, a lot of us still feel guilt because we don't measure up.
Measure up to what? Society's picture of a "perfect mother" has changed through the ages and will continue its metamorphosis so that no one can keep up. I will face failures and struggles. I will never be "perfect." More then my child needs a "perfect" Mom, my child needs a Mom who models God's grace when facing failures and hardships. Because just as I will face them, one day my child will too.
I am blessed and freed because I am covered by God's grace and if there's anything that I want my child to understand, it's God's grace. But for my baby to see God's grace in me, she has to see my iniquities, because "in our weakness, He is made strong." I never want to burden my daughter with my own suffering, but at appropriate timing, I want to be authentic with her. I want her to know that her Mom is a real person, that must rely on God. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what that will look like on a day-to-day basis, but thankfully I have women in my life who are wiser then I, who can model that for me.
2. You are unique (and so is your child)
You and your child(ren) are beautifully and purposefully unique. You have individual life experiences, gifts and priorities that are factors in your "mommying." We should learn from and celebrate our differences as Moms! There are Biblical truths that stand the test of time when it comes to good parenting, but a lot of things are subjective. My parents were urged about the necessity of sleeping a baby on their stomach, but when I became a parent it was considered safer for babies to sleep on their backs. I absolutely believe that parents should do what is best for their children; there is merit to a lot of non-biblical guidance (like sleeping positions).
However, my husband and I have our own priorities for our children that have been laid on our hearts. They might not be the same as your priorities, but they don't have to be. Those are the priorities that God placed on YOUR unique heart for YOUR unique child. I don't believe that God intended for a cookie cutter perfect Mom for everyone. He's more complex then that. He has matched your child(ren) with you and that is perfect.
Everyone goes through difference seasons of parenting. In my experience, the seasons are like a paradox in that they can fly by and drag slowly at the same time. We might never all go through the same seasons as Moms. We all have different circumstances. Ironically though, we are bonded by that feeling of not going through the same season. The feeling that comes when you are home with your child(ren), feeling lost and unsure of what to do.
Regardless of the circumstances, we have all been there and can offer one another comfort. Never think that there is something wrong with you because no one else seems to be going through the same season as you. You are not alone. Maybe no one you know has walked the exact same path as you, but people can love you and empathize with you without knowing exactly what you're going through. On the same note, we don't have to completely understand someone's season in order to show them love and support.
If you have spent much time in Christian circles, this is probably a phrase you hear often. Sadly, it's the phrases we hear often that can begin to sound mute to us, at least it has to me. Yes, you are a Mom, but you are also a fearfully and wonderfully made woman; one does not cancel the other out. You have individual value that makes you the Mom that are meant to be. Moms tend to be sacrificial people, but while you are serving your family, don't lose the value that God has placed on you. You are unconditionally loved and valued, even though it might not always feel that way.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Lauren Alexander's website. It has been modified and republished here with permission.