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You Can do it Mom

Don’t listen to that lying voice that says, “You’re not a good mom and never will be.” Because you’re probably doing better than you think…

My children are grown and gone. I now have adult grandchildren. And still that voice so many mothers recognize accuses me. It’s that voice that shouts, “You weren’t a good mom, and you still aren’t.”

In my recent reading on parenting, one thread came through loud and clear. And to me, the following post title summed it up perfectly: She Believed She Couldn’t. It seems that we parents are great at convincing ourselves that we’re failing.

Because we listen to lies

The lies of a widespread and far too active voice. One that continues to shout throughout our parenting days, “You can’t do it!” “You’re a bad mom, too impatient, too hard (or too easy), too nagging, and you even set a bad example. You can’t do it! You’ll never be a good mom and your kids will be a mess.”

That false voice tries to convince us that we should – but never will – be the perfect mom. And you know what? It’s right!

Perfect moms don’t exist

We can’t ever be the Perfect Mom β€” because she doesn’t exist. And we can’t raise perfect kids β€” because they don’t exist.

I wasn’t and still am not a perfect mom. And I don’t have perfect kids either. I know I could have done better, and I often think, “If I could only go back and do it over again, how many things I’d change.”

I’d try to be more patient, for sure. I’d admit when wrong, and ask their forgiveness. I’d tell them more often “You’re great, and I love you so!”

But even though I didn’t get it all right, that deceitful voice speaks less and less as time goes by. And that’s because I’ve learned how to answer it. “You’re wrong,” I tell it, “because we did do it!”

And as you watch your kids grow into wonderful people, you can answer back too! Search for what you’re doing right. And shout out those truths to silence that incrimination once and for all!

Shout out truths like these:

  • My kids are wonderful people to know.
  • They are good friends to have.
  • They’re wise and intelligent and try to make wise decisions.
  • They’re responsible, law-abiding citizens who contribute to the greater good.
  • And most of all, they’re kind loving human beings who care about others and try to help them.

Adapt these truths to your family and the ages of your children.

I didn’t always have an immaculate house or gourmet meals. I yelled when I shouldn’t have. I often expected too much from little people still learning and growing. I didn’t show as much love and approval as I should have.

You can’t be the Perfect (nonexistent) Mom.

So stop beating yourself up over it. Concentrate on what you’re doing well. Not that you ignore failure or stop trying to improve. Make things right, and then move on. And remind yourself once in awhile of what you’re doing right!

We can’t give our kids everything. But then, they don’t need that anyway. And we can’t be everything for them, because only God can do that. But we can try to always be there for them and to lead them in right ways.

Oh, and that voice?

When it reminds me of how impatient I was – I remind it of how patient I’ve become! When it points out that I didn’t affirm my kids as much as I should have – I remind it that I’m making up for lost time. And that I have the rest of my life to do a better job and set those things right – both with my kids and grandkids!

Silence that voice – because you’re surely doing better than you think!

We never know the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves.

Henry Ward Beecher

Image credits: Family silhouette | Watching balloons | Family joining hands.

17 replies on “You Can do it Mom”

Well Deborah, I’m certainly glad to know I’m not alone! And I must admit that you had it doubly tough. Being a mom and dealing with a whole classrom of kids too! It does help to know, though, that we’re not alone in our struggle. And that we can find help and encouragment from others along our road. So thanks!

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I may have shared this before: When our three children were about 5, 7, and 9, I told my father ( a very wise, discerning man) that it was hard to find the middle of the parenting road between leniency and strictness. He told me, “The road is wider than you think.” I felt the burden of responsibility lifted with that simple statement. And I realized, as you’ve presented here, I will make mistakes and even fail my children at times, but as we reorient ourselves toward the middle (with love, honesty, confession, and forgiveness), we will survive and they will flourish. And that’s what’s happened!

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I love that word from your father, Nancy! So wise and encouraging, but I still wish I would have stuck to the middle of the road better. Even after all these years! But the Lord has been gracious to us, and helped us raise great kids, in spite of ourselves!

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God didn’t send kids into this world with a manufacturer’s warranty or a personal use guide–but He did give us His Word. And I love how you silence the lies of an enemy who seeks only to steal, kill and destroy. Parenting is one of the greatest challenges we face because it calls us to be other-focused and God-centered. And that’s hard to do at any age. Thanks for your wisdom, my friend. I’m sending this on to my kids who have kids of their own1

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Thanks for your encouragement, Dayle. If I do have any wisdom in this area, it’s been hard earned. And has mostly come in lessons learned through all my mistakes. Parenting is hard, and I know that I often felt like a failure, and still do at times. So I hoped by sharing this, it could help a struggling parent or two. It’s so good to know that the Lord has promised to always help us along the way!

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Parenting has to be one of the most complex and difficult jobs out there. Raising children to know and love God is a challenge when only one parent believes, and that one parent is struggling to learn, know and understand God. Unfortunately, while I did raise my sons to know about God, I was informed and led by very legalistic church doctrines. So my sons think that God is only about rules, regulations, judgement and punishment. Now that they are adults, it is hard to teach them anything – lol. But I do try to tell them that I have learned that God is about love, grace,mercy, compassion and foregiveness.

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Yes is is Shari. Don’t beat yourself up over the past. You tried to do your best and thought all that was right then. Rejoice in the fact that you have learned that God is a Father full of grace and compassion!! That’s the best way to show your kids make them want it too!

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Oh, thank you for this post… I don’t care how old our kids are… I think we continue to wonder if we could have done better or could do better! So wonderful to hear your encouraging thoughts! It means so much! God bless you big time, Sheila! ❀

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Thanks Lynn! I’m so glad to learn that I’m not the only one who wonders this. Sometimes I think I must have been the world’s worst mom. They only thing that helps me rise above that is to look at my kids and realize that God did a great work in them, in spite of me!! And I will spend the rest of my life trying to make up for all my past mess-ups. I just want them to know that they are loved, deeply loved!! Thank YOU for encouraging me today!

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Oh Torre, I’m so glad!! Parenting is so hard, and because we truly want to do a good job, we can focus too much on what we’re not doing well or on our failures. Sometimes I think it helps to step back and see the larger picture. You CAN do it Torre. God is with you every step of the way to teach, guide and correct. He’ll see you through!

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