One cool thing about my job as a mom blogger and even a pastor’s wife is that moms feel like they can open up to me. I don’t take that for granted and it lifts my spirits to have the honor of encouraging other moms or being able to pray for them. On top of that, between the various series I have written like “Lots of Hope for a Little Home” “How We Met” and “Inspiring Moms” I have been able to interview dozens of moms and get a special peek into their lives. It’s fascinating how no matter what cultural background, social status, or number of children a mother has there are always so many similarities. Sadly many of these similarities are unnecessary insecurities. I think all moms struggle with a certain amount of guilt from time to time, I know I do. Sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone! That’s why today I have decided to talk about three LIES that I’ve noticed most of us mom can fall prey to.
- Most Don’t Believe They Are Inspiring
Almost every single time I approach a woman about being featured as an Inspiring Mom the request is met with “I’d love to, but I don’t think I’m Inspiring”. My reaction goes something like Really!? You adopted 5 children with special needs from various countries all over the globe! If that’s not inspiring what is? This a real life conversation I had by the way. I haven’t done the interview yet, but hopefully I will get to. It is so hard for moms to see the value in what they do because it’s a job that rarely gets praise or appreciation.
What I want to say to moms that feel this way is that you what you do, even the messy and mundane, is significant and that God has given you this great calling and privilege of motherhood. You have a voice, you are a light, and you are seen. Most importantly your story matters!
2. Most Moms Feel Like an Imposter
This is a big problem in the social media age. From what we see on our screens it looks like everyone else around us is doing it better or doing it right. We try to keep up, but we are secretly worried that we’ll be exposed. These are imposter comments I see frequently in response to compliments.
“Wow girl, you don’t age!” “Oh no, that’s just the filter, trust me!”
“Thanks for bringing those cookies to the school event” “Well, I totally cheated and just picked up a package from the store”
“Your house looks so clean” “Ha! That’s because everything is shoved in the closet”
“The IG video of your family was so sweet. #Goals” “There is a reason I didn’t include in sound in the video. You wouldn’t say that if you heard my children bickering!”
Again, these are all REAL examples! I am totally guilty of this, like when I shared this photo of some pumpkins with our family’s names on them.
My friend complimented me by saying “nice handwriting” and I said I cheated because I copied the font off of a website. Then another friend chimed in and called me out on it. She said, “Why don’t we give ourselves the credit we deserve instead of saying Oh I cheated so it really isn’t that good.”
She was right! We don’t have to feel like we are imposters ready to have our cover blown!
My message to you and myself is to stop comparing and own our choices without apology. Forget Pinterest!
3. Most Moms Think They Are Failing
This goes hand in hand with the last myth about motherhood (the imposter syndrome). Most moms feel like they are failing. I can hear Beverly Goldberg in my head right now…
I’m pretty sure mom guilt has been around since Eve but the introduction of television and then the internet has amped it up to the point that moms can’t pick out a breakfast cereal without feeling like they are failing. There is a reason #momfail is a hashtag and there are literally millions of posts online in which moms have labeled their efforts as failures. This has to stop.
Sometimes we do fail and it’s okay because we have to teach our children to fail too.
Not teach them to fail without consequence and revel in it, but to recognize that no one is perfect. Woody Allen says “If you’re not failing every now and again it’s a sign you aren’t doing anything very innovative”. Our failures are teaching some of the greatest lessons we can give to our kids. Sometimes failures teach us how to have grace, patience, or forgiveness. Other times it teaches endurance, flexibility or coping skills and then there are some failures that just teach us to laugh! I’ve posted this quote before and it has meant so much to me throughout the years. This was said by a pastor (and wonderful father) talking about his daughter
“I feel like I can protect my child from Hollywood. I can protect my child from crazy teachers, and soccer coaches. I can protect my child from anybody but me, because I will leave a mark, and I am a broken person, and as hard as I try I will fail her and she will have to learn to forgive me. She was wired to have a perfect father, and she has me instead.”
So my message to those who feel like they have failed is that you have failed and you will again just like the rest of us, but you are doing one heck of a good job at raising your kids! One other thing- not making valentine’s by hand for your kids class is not a fail, neither is posting your monthly newborn updates a couple of days late or not moving your elf on a shelf. So let’s dial back the expectations shall we?
In closing, if you have ever felt like you don’t have a voice, or that you are faking it, or that you are a failure, just know that you aren’t the only one feeling that way. Then recognize that those are all lies that the enemy wants to use to tear you down because mothers are such a threat. The truth is you are a masterpiece and you matter.