These are 4 mentalities and/or principles which will not only wear you out, but will spit you out. In a nutshell, they will steal the true joy of motherhood (which surely is no joke to ‘quack’ about).
I don’t know about you, but there are days when my identity gets lost in the piles of laundry to wash, the dirty diapers to change, the meals to prepare, and the endless “Why mommy?” conversations I engage in with my toddler. I feel lost some days, and as a result, I begin to look for my strength and my identity through ‘performance’ and ‘perfection’. I tell myself, “If I could only get all of the housework done in an hour…; if I could complete my to-do list by Wednesday, I would be laughing; why aren’t my children well behaved?; what did I do wrong?” Me, me, me! It seems as though, on these off days, I begin to turn inward and shift all of the attention to myself: my needs, my wants and my desires. I then begin to zoom in on my ‘performance’ in order to gain acceptance and identity from others around me. I find myself doing this for I feel the need to be perfect, to make sure all of my ducks are in a row – and they are definitely not. My ducks are everywhere: swimming, playing, sleeping, etc. I can’t even find some of them.
I have also noticed that I have a tendency to compare my children (and mothering skills) to those of others. As a result, a competitive spirit arises, as though the need to prove myself is vital to my existence. As I sit here and write this, my heart is grieved because it is the complete opposite of what I want to exude as a mom. Living in ‘performance’ steals the joy of being a mom. I am thankful that the Lord has been revealing this to my heart, and healing me in the process.
I long to be secure in who I am in God. HE IS MY REWARD. Everything I do is FOR HIS GLORY. If my kids succeed: Yeah! God! If I was able to shower today: Yeah! God! If anything good happens, it is because of Him. If nothing good happens: Yeah! God! Why? I am alive and well! A ‘performance’ mentality is essentially an insecurity.
Two “mom” goals I have set out to accomplish are:
a) to impart unto my children the ability to rest in who they are; and,
b) to let them know that God is enough.
I want to be a mother who:
1. Nurtures and loves her children unconditionally, without reservation. I want them to know that my love is limitless, and it is not earned. I love them because of who they are. They need not perform.
2. I want my children to know that I expect nothing of them. If they excel at something, I am proud of them, but perfection does not earn my love.
3. I want them to be confident individuals, secure in knowing that whatever God has in store for them…it is enough. They don’t need to compare themselves. They are unique and they are loved.
4. Finally, I long for them to know that they do not need to strive for my love, that they are not in a rat race or some kind of competition. They have already won, simply by being born into our family.
I now see that, as much as I long for my children to embrace these “goals”, the Lord desires for me to do so as well. He wants me to be secure in His love and not think, for one second, that I can earn His approval or love. Jesus has already done that for me. It would be heart-breaking if my kids believed that they needed to accomplish things or be someone else in order to gain my approval. The truth is that I love who they are. There is nobody else, in the entire world, like them!
Identity, Excellence, Wisdom, and Confidence: these are 4 words which will empower you, encourage you to be the mother that God created you to be.
When our motive is LOVE, and we find rest in the arms of the Father, all “performance” mentalities fade away. We realize that, if we never did another thing in our lives, we would be fully loved and fully accepted by Him (not that we stop doing everything, but we make sure our heart and motives are in line with his desires for us at mothers).
Who or what defines you?
Do not allow ‘performance’ mentalities to steal your joy. Enjoy your little ones. Do not fret about the food smeared on their faces or the blotches of stains on their shirt. It is a-okay if the dishes do not get done. You are STILL loved. Your children are blessed to have you. Be thankful for today and the memories that you will create!