This an excerpt from Chapter 1 of the Moms of Men Ebook.
I (Lisa) used to have a list of shoulds and shouldn’ts about parenting. I was determined to get it right and do an amazing (read ‘perfect!’) job. Well guess what, every night I went to bed feeling like a complete failure. It was impossible!
We are all plagued by a sense that we are doing a terrible job, and it’s such a painful and uncomfortable journey. We put enormous pressure on ourselves to be super-moms and to be cheerful, available and energetic all the time, and we feel guilty when we’re not. We fear that our kids are being damaged by us and we feel shame when we imagine anyone seeing into our home. We constantly compare ourselves with the yummy moms at the school yard and are convinced that we must be the worst moms ever! Have you ever thought that those moms are most likely plagued with the same nagging emotions?
We’ve both been there. The inner self-critic (along with the enemy) has had a field day with us at times. Fear, guilt, and shame hung around us as if they were friends but left us feeling wretched. We felt tired, overwhelmed, alone and condemned, so how did we survive and how are we surviving now?
Well, we’d love to share a few insights, tips and encouragements with you here. Just some of the things that we have realized are essential to keeping yourself alive and in one piece!
The first and most important thing to say is, ‘You are NEVER alone, and you ARE enough!’ God has chosen you and only you, to be a mom to your boys. Therefore you are anointed for the role. That leads to the second most important thing to say, and that is, ‘Stop trying to parent in your own strength. It’s exhausting!’
Connection with your Heavenly Father is honestly and genuinely the only way to survive. He alone has the wisdom, resources, love, compassion, encouragement and championing that you need. We’re not talking about coming to Him on behalf of your kids – that comes later. We are talking about you pouring out your heart to Him and simply being held, comforted and affirmed. Teach yourself to hear His, ‘Well done!’ and celebrate small victories and successes. Let go of perfection and give yourself permission to embrace ‘good enough.’ Every parent will leave gaps in their parenting; we are only human after all. God covers those gaps.
Don’t be like me (Lisa) and go to bed feeling a failure and agreeing with the enemy as he picks apart everything you tried to do in the day and accuses you. Learn what it looks like for you, to process your emotions with your Father every day. Be kind, compassionate and non-judgmental to yourself; you’re on a journey. He never ever accuses. He never ever condemns. Mostly He is celebrating you and championing your mom-skills. If you do get something wrong or yell, Holy Spirit is your gentle conviction, and with His kindness, He will lead you to say sorry and let it go.
All moms struggle and we mean ALL moms. You may well reach breaking point. You might have more than one meltdown. It’s ok. It’s normal!
You have been invited into an incredible journey; to raise boys to men. And alongside that, you are still on your own journey of growing and changing. You are also a wife, a friend, so all in all, you are doing an amazing job.
Check in with your Father about the season you are in and ask Him what He has to say about it. It is more than likely you require way more from yourself than He is. He might just say, ‘Try not to yell today’ and you might get to the end of the day feeling like you messed up a bunch of other stuff, but you managed not to yell. See God doing His happy dance as He celebrates the victory of the day!
Lastly, it can feel like you are either losing your life to the kids (is it really all about them?) or you can feel like you are losing your kids to your life (you’re traveling or working, and you don’t want to/can’t stop). There is a balance. We have learned to engage the boys in family life. Everyone is a member of the family, so everyone gets to help around the house, and everyone gets to play.
Moms of Men is an E-course designed to teach you the practical steps to develop boys into Godly men. You can learn more about the course and download the Ebook here.