Perfectionism – what an indecent word! One that plagues mothers with a gamut of feelings. I thought of a few “Mothering Myths” that make us believe this word to the point of never feeling good enough:
- A mother is responsible for her children’s happiness.
- A mother is responsible for motivating her child to change.
- A mother neglects herself to always be there for her children.
- A mother is always patient.
- A mother should feel guilty over everything.
Remember, these are myths (definition of myth – an imaginary or fictitious thing). These are areas of perfectionism that we need to let go of; otherwise, we are unable to embrace the life God has called us to. I am, by no means, saying that we should neglect our children; I am simply stating that we need to remember that the children God has blessed us with are wired uniquely to be themselves with their own personalities and character traits. I CAN’T change that! And guess what, God doesn’t want me to. Just like God made you special in your own way, He has also uniquely gifted your little kiddos.
I honestly believe that a lot of the struggles with our children have to do with the pressure we put on ourselves. We have set the bar so high that we hate ourselves if we don’t get it ALL done today. On the quest of raising our children with confidence, we need to make sure we are not inflicting this nasty perfectionism disease onto them. I believe we need to show our children that it’s okay to make mistakes. There are times we might feel that allowing our children to see us fail would hurt them. On the contrary, I think the opposite is true. Modeling self-acceptance teaches our children to accept themselves. Point out our own shortcomings and explain how we handle them. If we calmly decide how to fix the situation, we are teaching our kids a helpful lesson versus just ignoring it or over-criticizing ourselves. I like to call these “teachable moments” – sometimes; I have more of these times than I care to admit. If our children never see us mess-up, they will assume they shouldn’t either.
This mothering stuff is hard work, and one that stretches us beyond anything we could ever fathom. I want to encourage you today to deny the “Mothering Myths!” God formed you uniquely in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) – clasp that truth for you and your children today.
BE REAL – BE YOU!