Lately I have been thinking about what it takes to be a good Mom. It is so easy to compare yourself to others; what you do, what they do, what you don’t do. What would a “good” Mom do? Have weekly play dates? Teach the kids about gardening? Homeschool? Plan a different, educational activity every day? I have friends that do all of those things and more, and they are all excellent mothers. All too often at the end of the day I think back over the “quality” moments I had with my kids and I have a hard time coming up with any. That is when guilty Mom rears her ugly head…I really don’t like that girl. What qualifies as a quality moment, the endless errand running, the house cleaning, lunch making? Does a good Mom give their child quality attention 24/7? I don’t know how that is reasonable, but is that what I should be doing?

What do I want for my kids? What do I hope for them when they look back on their childhood? I want them to know that they were loved wholeheartedly. I want them to have fun memories. I want them to know they were important. When I think back on my childhood I really don’t remember many play dates, or even sleep overs. I am sure there were some, but those aren’t the things I remember. I remember times with my family, walks with my Mom, “helping” my Dad with the car, family vacations, playing outside with my sister, Mom making cupcakes to take to school for my birthday. Did my Mom take me to the library every week? I don’t remember. Plan play dates with my school friends each week? I don’t remember. I do know that my Mom was/is a great, a good Mom.

Do I need to let it go? How do I get guilty Mom to go away? How do you deal with these thoughts/feelings when they invade? Am I alone?

6 thoughts on “Thinking

  1. I wrote a whole blog the other week about mom guilt! I don’t think that it ever goes away…but then again, my son’s only 8 months old so I’m no “expert”.

  2. Can I wade in? The one point that I wish to make is this: Guilt arises when you do wrong not when you do right! The enemy’s weapon against mothers is to create guilt.

    God told the Israelites ” You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Paul tells the family; ” Husbands love your wives, wives submit to your husbands, children obey your parents and fathers, do not provoke your children lest they be discouraged.

    So biblically it doesn’t appear that being a good mom has anything to do with activities but with showing them your love of God and His Word, teaching his precepts to them in their everyday, in all their activities. Because the world’s values creep in so subtley, it is very important to counter that culture with the truth of God’s ways and His values as you teach them the Word. So keeping your children involved in activities for the sake of giving them a memorable childhood is not vital. Yes, it is a family building exercise but if it becomes too busy then it is just another activity. Enrichment needs to be the key.

    Thanks Jill for remembering some of your childhood and the fun times that we had. My special fond memory of you and I on a daily basis was when your dad and Amy were off for the day, you and I would go back to bed and read the Bible and pray out loud. You would eventually fall asleep and I would lay and stroke your hair!. A very precious time for me as a mom. I hope that activity bore fruit in you as we did that together.

    You are a terrific mom…do not beat yourself up or allow the enemy to cause guilt to creep in…remember what is important and be freed up to enjoy your children in everything…even when they are just being children without a program or a planned activity. I love you!!

  3. You are not the only one. I have to remind myself often that there is “no condemnation” for me now, and “His grace is sufficient” to make up for my lack when I do make mistakes.

    I think that the best memory a Mom can give her children is just to “be there” — supporting, helping, guiding, yes… but we don’t have to be the private tutor/olympic coach/talent agent/circus clown that seems to be the world’s idea of the “perfect mom.”

    It’s not so much the big things I think of when I remember my childhood, but the little things: Mom drawing a heart on my peanut butter toast, calling “Be good and learn your lessons well!” as we ran out to catch the bus, singing songs in the car together, playing with my sisters as she cooked dinner in the other room – just content knowing that she was around.

    I agree 100% with “shasha” (Thanks, Auntie!) In all the little things you do every day — “endless errand running, the house cleaning, lunch making” — you are blessing, teaching, and mothering your kids.

  4. I agree with those above and the thing I try to share with moms in our church family is:

    Let your children see how much your love your husband (let them see a healthy marriage_
    Let your children know how much you consider it a privilege to raise them and have fun and don’t fill every moment with “stuff” just enjoy your husband and girls.

  5. I think there are some great things that were shared above!

    You are definitely not alone in your thinking. Motherhood, like so many other aspects of life seem to require so much balance, of which I do not feel very… talented… in. Honestly, it takes a weight off my shoulder when other moms are willing to ‘admit’ to this kind of thought process. I feel that way so many days with my two very little kids (ages 1 and 3…with one on the way) and it is often a lonely feeling.

    I think it is correct thinking to look back on what your mom did to create your memories and it is so often the little things. I definitely share the same dreams for my children to have when they are older, and sometimes I think it just means taking it one day at a time and giving the rest to the Lord at night rather than toiling over what wasn’t done. I am thankful His mercies ARE new every morning, otherwise we’d all be in a heap of trouble. 🙂

  6. All I know is that you’re the mom who took her girls on the bus to have lunch with Dad. I’m pretty sure they’ll remember that one, and that it makes you a great mom!

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