It’s easy to feel bombarded with tips on becoming a better mom, or as I like to say, Mombarded.
Four easy steps to create a genius! Five ways to conquer your control issues! Six things you must do for your child before she turns 2! (which lands on my social media page a month after the youngest turns 2…).
Don’t get me wrong, information is powerful. Tools to equip are helpful and good. But sometimes this overflow of information leaves me feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. As a perfectionist, I struggle when I’m given a picture of what I’m supposed to be and compare that to who I am.
The quest to be a better mom can easily turn into a pattern of striving for behavior change, getting frustrated when we mess up (again!), giving up, feeling guilty, and striving again. But that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. At least, I hope not because I’m getting exhausted (and currently teetering between frustrated and giving up). I think we need a new pattern, one in which we start by remembering we are children and we have an amazing Father.
Step 1: Go to God.
When we go to God first with our parenting needs:
We are reminded that we are accepted by Him. There is no amount of striving that will make us more accepted or loved by God as mothers. Only at that point will we realize we have the freedom to apply helpful tips and suggestions from others, rather than feel burdened by them or a need to live up to them.
We can be sanctified. Difficult parenting situations can be God’s way of drawing us close to him so we can become more like Christ. Sanctification is certainly not an easy, 3 step process, but often, a necessary one. Many of our parenting struggles such as anger, control, and patience require real heart change only God can accomplish, not just behavior change. But when God works in us, we know the results will be true and lasting.
We are helped. God’s desire is for us to be good parents and the wisdom we find in Him is incomparable. In fact, His promise is to give us wisdom when we ask for it (James 1:5). Let’s come to Him with our needs and shortcomings and depend on His faithfulness.
Coming to God first is the start of a life-giving pattern that feeds us, fuels us, and equips us to truly become better moms. Let’s give this a try the next time we’re teetering between frustrated and giving up.