I’m already sweating when I pull into the parking spot. Not close enough to the store, but it will have to do. Four kids ages four and under – the big cart with a two-seater car attached to the front is my goal. Shoot, those are at the other grocery chain. Did I bring my stroller? Doesn’t matter, that wouldn’t help. Two carts or one? This store has narrow isles. One cart. Two can ride, two can walk.
“Everybody out!” Why do I say that? No one can get unbuckled without me.
Everyone in diapers/underwear? Check.
Everyone have shoes on? Check.
Into the store, cram groceries around the toddler in the basket, make a beeline for the checkout. Stuff a cracker in each mouth, grab my wallet – oh. The wallet that’s sitting on the kitchen counter at home? Yeah, that one.
Sometimes the gap between my expectations for the day and what actually happens is huge. I look back at the end of the day and think, “What went wrong?”
Disappointment is natural. But when we base our joy on how we’ve measured up to our own expectations, something is off balance. “Was I a good mom today? How do I know?” It is a God-given drive to be the best mom you can be, but our calling becomes an idol if our joy depends on our performance.
There are a host of factors out there waiting to help you determine if you’re a good mom. We have to be guarded. What is meant to help can actually be destructive to our joy. Three major fads in the mommy realm are ready to give you a grade.
Ready to see how you measure up?
In this modern age you don’t have to be judged by other moms face to face – you can be judged through your computer screen in the comfort of your own home. If you spend any length of time reading through mommy blogs, you are bound to come across the following:
– A picture of a sexy, fit mom who dropped the baby weight in 6 months and asks, “What’s your excuse?”
– 25 tips to starting a thriving home business – you know, so you don’t waste so much time.
– Every personal opinion on why you should or should not vaccinate your kids (often from people with absolutely no medical background).
– If you don’t breastfeed, your baby will not reach his maximum potential in life. Oh, and you will get breast cancer.
– How to make everything from scratch, from laundry soap to cheese so that your child has the most wholesome childhood experience.
Do you come away from blog-reading feeling inspired or guilty? We go to trusted blogs to get mommy advice. But when they stress us out we’ve made that subtle shift of allowing them to take our eyes off of Christ.
Let’s be honest – the battle for nutrition has become downright enslaving to moms. Where you fall on the “good mommy” scale can be determined with just one question: How organic are you? We are not debating the merits of organic food here. We’re asking ourselves if our mom-identity should revolve around what we feed our kids. Does nutrition take you from “good mom” to “bad mom” and back again a million times a day? Should it?
No argument here. The #1 way children are entertained today is through technology. Whether it’s a tablet, phone, TV, Leap Frog, or computer, moms are constantly struggling to determine how much is too much. And rightly so. It is a battle worth fighting. But being a “low tech” parent has become a much coveted label. The less you use, the better you feel about yourself as a mom. And vice versa. Do you look over your shoulder in the grocery store to make sure a friend doesn’t catch you handing over the iPhone to your screaming toddler? Are you afraid to admit to your peers that you let the kids watch a show on the 14-hour road trip? It’s easy to turn simple protection for our kids into bragging points when we’re around other moms.
If we’re not careful these fads will kill our joy. It is almost impossible to separate how we feel about ourselves from our performance. That’s when we go back to the cross and lay it all down.
“Lord, the kids had Lunchables for dinner. They played video games on the iPad so I could change the peed bedding. I can see from the blogs that all the other moms have their fall decorations up…except for me. I’m behind, I’m tired, I’m discouraged. But I am Your child. I wear the righteous robes of Your Son. When You see me You see Him. Jesus bought me peace with His blood. I won’t let it be taken away by failed expectations – mine, or others’.”
Our kids need grace so much more than they need organic vegetables. If we’re not giving ourselves grace, how can we pass it on to them?
Charles Spurgeon said, “It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus, but it is Satan’s work to do just the opposite.” Fads will come and go but Jesus Christ stays the same. There is forgiveness and peace at the cross. So let’s put on our gospel-glasses before we read the next blog or make our weekly menu plan. In Christ we have peace instead of pressure, joy instead of judgement. Deep breath…dive into the week!
What fads do you notice in the Christian mom community? How do you think they help or hinder a gospel focus?
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