I used to think I was going to ruin my children’s life if I yelled, didn’t prepare a meal, or gave them a swat on their bottom. I am a mother, not a robot, just like you! And yes, I have good and bad days. I laugh, I cry and Lord knows I’ve made mistakes raising our children. However, I learned to embrace the imperfect version of myself that God created, so I could enjoy our children.
Have you tried to become super-mom like me only to end up more exhausted and frustrated than ever before? Well, join this club! The enemy was always sabotaging me with whispers in my ear about how I raised my children with lies such as
~ You must be perfect or your children will not appreciate you.
~ You should do more.
~ It’s your fault they have suffered a developmental delay.
~ You aren’t enough.
This feeling of blame and shame was tremendous sometimes.
Do any of these statements sound familiar to you?
I was doing “all the things” to feel confident in parenting to be sure they had the niceties that I wasn’t privileged enough to enjoy as a child, but it seemed that was not enough. Trying to become the perfect parent was exhausting.
What I discovered is that it is impossible to be a perfect mother, but I do know the following will make an impact in your child’s life.
1. Love Your Child Unconditionally. Never withhold love as punishment for inappropriate behavior. Tell them you don’t like the behavior, but then embrace the child and let them know you LOVE them. Make this a habit in good and bad times.
2. Be the Example. As a mom, we need to be role models for our children. The saying,
“Because I Said So” must be followed by a positive example. Strive to be your best self and someone your child will emulate. I was blessed to be a stay at home mom with my children and whether you work inside or outside the home, your job is important. My children observed me caring for our home and using my God-given talents to set our home atmosphere with beauty, peace and love on a shoestring budget.
3. Listen. Even when it is gibberish, Look the child in the eye ~ UNDIVIDED attention. I remember when our daughter Gabbie suffered with Dysarthria (lazy tongue) and all she said was gibberish and it was difficult to understand. This had to be the Lord’s way of teaching me to slow down and exercise patience.
It was important for her to know mom was listening and her words were valuable. The twinkle in her eyes after she would finally get out that last syllable would bring us to laughter. (Speech therapy corrected this condition and today, she talks non-stop.)
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19
4. Teach the Bible. I enjoyed placing pictures and post-its around the house with the Fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” Galatians 5:22, 23.
I would put the names of a fruit of the spirit in different places around our home. The TV was labeled “Self-Control” and by the doorway “Kindness”. This challenges them to practice positive behavior at home and in public. Today, as young adults, my children share laughter over this fun way of learning God’s Word.
5. Spend Quality Time Together. Even when your schedule is hectic or busy, become intentional about uninterrupted time together. It can be during a drive to school, taking a walk, bath time, or watching a movie. This is one of my family’s favorites ~ one of the kids picks a movie, we all pause to be in the same room with no interruptions and simply “chill” at home.
Sister, don’t stress about being the perfect mom ~ only Jesus is perfect. I tried for years thinking that being a perfect parent would produce a child that would become the perfect student, the ideal boy or girl scout, the most likely to succeed in high school, but I’ve come to realize that what matters most is raising up a child in the way they should go with a fear / reverence for the Lord!
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Do you need encouragement in parenting and want to overcome trying to become the Perfect Parent, if so, click here >>>> Overcoming Perfection.
LaVonda McCullough, https://lavondamccullough.com
LaVonda is a speaker, author, and Life Coach specializing in women empowerment with a Christian-based approach, helping women find complete freedom as she teaches them to embrace their identity in Christ and build their faith. She lives with her pastor-husband and 3 children in Stuttgart, Germany. Connect with her at www.lavondamccullough.com.
Read LaVonda’s articles HERE.