There are two themes I observe floating around in the cyber-world dealing with Moms. The first, is the pinning, tweeting, everything looks perfect ( like a Martha Stewart ad ) in her house mom. The second one is a realization that 'perfect' will never happen, often accompanied by remorse or a lamenting of her failures.
Please let me reassure you, real Moms struggle to find a place in between the two 'cyber Mom' images. I have friends and acquaintances who fit both ends of the spectrum, but most of us are in the middle somewhere. There are days when I think the house will finally get clean ... followed by days when I wonder where the floor went.
Perhaps you've struggled back and forth between these two cyber-images of motherhood? Whether you're a stay-at-home Mom or a working mom, I think we may ALL put too much pressure on ourselves.
Yes, there is work to be done as a Mom, lots of work! However, that doesn't mean God desires us to struggle with depression or feelings of failure because we don't end our days with everything on the to-do list checked off. God wants our hearts, not perfect looking houses or holiday crafts with mounds of bitterness or rage attached. The work to be done as a Mom is much different than what the world portrays!
God wants YOUR heart. He wants MY heart. He wants our children's hearts.
Do not be discouraged because you never achieve a 'picture-perfect' house or dinner. Your husband cares too much about you to really care if the biscuits are a little burnt or the pudding doesn't set. My husband isn't expecting a five course meal on a one-pot budget. Neither is yours.
Stop placing unrealistic expectations on yourself. Ask God to help you be the Mom HE wants you to be.
Tomorrow you may need to work away from home again. That can be hard, I know. I have spent most of my 'Mom life' working at least part-time away from home.
Don't beat yourself up because you can't be with your kids 24/7. God is watching over them, and you! God sees your heart, He knows your desires, He knows you would love a 'picture perfect' day. He also knows what HIS perfect plan is for you. It includes a heart devoted to Him. His 'perfect' day is one where you walk with Him, talk with Him, and show His love to your family.
It's time to change your expectations!
Maybe you are one of those 'tweet, pin, picture' Moms. In your desire to be re-tweeted, re-pinned, and photo-ready, are you missing out on joy?
Perhaps God has gifted you with abilities that keep you and your household running smoothly everyday. Thank Him for that! You must guard against missing out on the joys of childhood, playing hopscotch, building a snowman, snuggling under the blankets and reading a book together, just because they are not on your 'to-do' list. Ask God to show you if you are doing things because HE put them in your heart, or because you want to check off YOUR boxes.
Maybe it's time to change your expectations?
God made us Moms to fulfill HIS plan. He wants us to come alongside our husbands and raise Godly offspring that desire to follow Him. Are your children meeting Jesus in your words and deeds everyday? THIS should be our goal as Moms!
I often fail. Not because I can't make a soufflé or my house isn't picture perfect. I fail because I forget to take a Mom time-out and ask God what HIS plans are for my day. I rest in the reassuring thought that His mercies are new every morning. He gives me another chance. Daily.
Can I ask you to hold on to His promise of mercy? Can I ask you to join me in the real world of Moms where our lives and homes might look messy to outsiders? Will you please join me in this world where Moms go FIRST to God for direction, and not to the cyber-world of unrealistic expectations?!
Now go, ask God what HE wants you to do today. Then go love on your family.
Hugs to you from one real Mom to another!