Monday, September 12, 2011

Motherhood Musings

School started and football season is in full-swing. The lazy days of summer are over, and life is busy once again.

In the midst of busy days, I find myself questioning my parenting. Am I doing a good job? Am I honoring God with my decisions concerning my children? Am I missing out on anything? Am I focused enough on my children? Am I overwhelmed? Are they overwhelmed?

Here is what I've discovered in the weeks of questioning my abilities as a mother:

1. I can't do it all. And that's okay. God doesn't expect us to take on more than we can handle. I may not be Suzy homemaker who brings cupcakes to school for her child's birthday. I may not be the best fundraiser. But my children are participating, and I'm blessed to watch them play football or their instrument of choice. That's what counts.

2. Sometimes, I have to let go and let God. So often I want to be in control of things I have no control over. Case in point: My middle son. He's having a difficult time exercising self-control. It's half the reason I put him in football. I am hoping that the aggression of the sport will help him learn to control his aggression outside of the sport. He struggles with respect for others. 

And I tend to take too much of the blame for that on myself. Did I not teach him well enough? Have I not disciplined him enough? Have I disciplined him too much? Am I going at him all wrong? Am I blind to something?

What I am slowly learning is that I am not to blame for his actions or words. He is. He's entered the age of accountability. He knows Jesus. He knows about respect, honor, love, and kindness. He's been hearing it since he came out of my womb. I can't change his inner workings. Only God can do that. I can point him in right directions. I can teach him techniques to tame his temper. But only God can do the work in him that will change his life. I cannot take responsibility for his decisions. He must. So tonight, he'll be running some extra laps at football, since he ran circles around his siblings all weekend. Maybe he won't get to play in tomorrow's game after disrespectfully speaking to me and a friend of mine over the course of the weekend. But he'll learn sooner or later that his actions have consequences, whether he likes them or not. In the meantime, I can rest assured I've done all God has called me to do in his life. And I will continue to do those things with prayer and hope that he will grow into a mighty man of God who knows how to control his actions and words.

3. I will not keep rescuing them from their own choices or mistakes. I know this in my knower, but sometimes my heart for my children prevails. Three of my four children have come home with demerits within the first month of school. Fortunately for them, they never go beyond the typical unprepared (I forgot to sign their agendas) or talking. However, I've stopped trying to save them from their lack of attention when packing their book bags, which has lead to forgetting math books or assignment sheets. I will not return to the school to pick up forgotten materials. I will not clean up their messy rooms for them. And they will do their chores. They will learn to take responsibility for themselves and their belongings.

These are a few of the concerns I've dealt with since school started again. Our schedule is quite busy, and I have to be careful not to run myself or them down. We need our energies for the daily tasks we face. Some days are smoother than others, but I'm discovering even more how true it is that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us - including motherhood. It's time to stop beating ourselves up for our supposed short-comings and to look to God with whom all things are possible


  1. Thank you for this post today. =)

  2. I smiled as I read this article. I used to think the same things when my children were younger. My daughter, who is now 25, recently told me that the really good moms think they didn't do/aren't doing a good job. She went on to say that the moms who aren't doing so great think they are! Rather profound, I thought. From the sounds of it, you're fine.

  3. Good mothering doesn't mean we protect them from all pain and keep them happy. They need to learn that there are consequences of poor choices.

    Keep up the good work!


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