I recently subscribed to Proverbs 31 Ministry for the daily newsletter that they send out. It's great I recommend it to everyone. But the last one that I received really got me thinking.
It was about comparing yourself, as a mother, to other mothers. You know the ones, the ones that we see as perfect. Their kids never seem to fight, or get in trouble, they have great grades, the ones that can't seem to do anything wrong. Now, I know there is really no such thing as the "perfect" family, but when you have kids of your own you really want things to be better for them than they were for you.
When I was growing up I really thought things were great, my mom didn't work, she did when I was probably two, but only I think for a summer, because I remember staying at my Grandmothers house. And a few of my cousins stayed there with us. But, when I was in school, my mom was at home, and every morning she got up and made us breakfast. I mean a real breakfast too with sausage and eggs. This was back before they told you that you shouldn't eat eggs everyday. Now, you might think that since my mom did that for me that I too, would make my kids breakfast everyday. You would be wrong. I work, so while I am fortunate enough that I don't work full time in the summer, during the school year, I pretty much do. So cooking sausage or bacon and eggs everyday just isn't happening. There are times when I feel guilty for that. But I do make sure there is something there to eat, it just isn't hot (unless you count the instant grits).
Why do we compare the way we parent to other parents? I do, and I know that I do it too much. I think part of the problem is that our world around us is telling the kids some things are OK, that as a christian I just don't think are OK. A lot of my friends think I am strict. I don't think I'm strict, I just don't want my kids doing things that could easily go astray.
Example: I want to always know where my kids are. Is that so bad? I don't think so. I like to call that being involved with my kids. We do a lot of family stuff together, like camping, vacations as a family, you know, weird stuff like that. My daughter is easily embarrassed, there are times when that hurts my feelings, then I remember she is 14. My son doesn't always want to talk to me when I want to talk to him, then I remember, he is 17. I think I am lucky, my daughter talks of kids in her class that live lives that I can't imagine. I know that my son sees things at school that are so out of the norm for him, but very normal for others.
So, I've decided to stop comparing myself with what some might call the "in" mom, I will just be obedient to the word, do the best I can, and stay centered in Christ. Will I screw up? Definitely. But I am not too proud to say when I screw up, apologize about it and go on. When I look at my kids I see good kids, they genuinely like doing family things, they are pretty responsible, and if I weren't their mom I would still say that.
This weekend we will be in Reidsville for yet another ball tournament, as a family. This will probably be one of those times when it may not be exactly what they want to be doing, but we will make the best of it.
Have a great Holiday weekend!!