Motherhood Is Not a Test
I used to treat motherhood like a test. Every night I’d think over my day and evaluate myself. If the kids were relatively happy, I didn’t blow up too often, and if the house ended up fairly clean, then I’d give myself a passing grade.
But then there were those days when I didn’t seem to measure up to the picture in my mind:
The kids fought with each other. Failure.
I had drive-through fast-food again. Failure.
When was the last time I actually read them a Bible story? Failure.
The only time I was happy today was when they went to bed. Big failure!
I not only spent years asking myself, “Am I doing this right?” but also I spent years giving myself below-passing grades for being certain I wasn’t doing any of it right.
So how do you give yourself a hall pass?
4 Ways to Give Yourself a Hall Pass
Be the mom your kids need in the moment. A test is a marker, but being a mom is more fluid than that. A test tells you what you “know” in the moment. Being a mom is enjoying the moments even though you don’t understand them completely. It’s finding joy in the moment, instead of grading yourself.
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Tricia, I grade myself constantly. I know I shouldn’t, but I truly think most mothers do. When my daughter was little those feelings would emerge everytime she got sick. Somehow I always felt her sickness was a reflection on my parenting skills. The next test came when she started school. I felt so judged and lacking by other mothers. I was under the impression everyone parented alike. Can you imagine my shock? As time went by I finally just didn’t care what others thought. Then came high school and the judging started again, this time not only by mothers, but by students also. We held firm in our beliefs. For instance, she didn’t date until she was 16 and a half, her curfew is 9 o’clock on one week night and 11 on Friday/Saturday nights and church always on Sunday. As I look back I find myself wondering why I ever worried about other people’s opinions, but I find that’s just the nature of things. Thank you for sharing.
Tricia Goyer says
Katrina, I used to be really bad about this, but I’ve found that the more I give myself grace the easier it is to give others grace, too. Thank you for sharing!