The decisions I make might cause me to "feel" like, or be viewed as, the worst parent on the planet but I'm not raising happy kids who get whatever they want. I'm hopeful I'm raising thankful, grace-giving, kind, loving soon-to-be adults.

A Covenant for All Moms

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Recently, I was at the store with my eldest son. We were picking up a gift for a friend but I had promised him we could take a look in the dollar spot for something for him when we were done. He had a few dollars saved and he was pretty excited to find a treasure. Unfortunately, the aisles in his price range were sparse and there just wasn’t anything he liked. He lingered scanning and rescanning the same shelves hoping to find something he had overlooked. It became apparent very quickly that he was experiencing a “money burning in my pocket” moment and so I encouraged him to hold onto his money. “There will be another opportunity to shop,” I assured him. And then he melted down. My somewhat level headed five-year-old flipped out and became very angry. He even tried to hit me and said that I was “soooo mean!” As I talked him down, we got in line to pay. He said again to me that I was mean. My response was: “I’m not mean. I’m just thinking about your future. I want you to be a kind and loving adult and that starts now with how we handle this situation.”

To be honest it was one of those moments where I needed to audibly justify my actions to any neighboring ears who might be listening in. On further reflection, however, it’s truth. My decisions today affect my child’s future. The decisions I make might cause me to “feel” like, or be viewed as, the worst parent on the planet but I’m not raising happy kids who get whatever they want. I’m hopeful I’m raising thankful, grace-giving, kind, loving soon-to-be adults.

The decisions I make might cause me to "feel" like, or be viewed as, the worst parent on the planet but I'm not raising happy kids who get whatever they want. I'm hopeful I'm raising thankful, grace-giving, kind, loving soon-to-be adults.

Lysa TerKeurst recently posted the following on Facebook:

“I don’t know what mama needs to hear this today. But let me encourage you from the bottom of my heart with 3 simple mothering perspectives you must hang on to:

  1. Don’t take too much credit for their good.
  2. Don’t take too much credit for their bad.
  3. Don’t try to raise a good child. Raise a God-following adult.”

-Lysa TerKeurst

And that, my friends, is where I want to focus my energy as I raise these precious children who have caused me to experience some of the most breath-taking days of my life. Some have taken my breath away with their beauty. Others have made me take deep breaths to keep from losing it.

The decisions I make might cause me to "feel" like, or be viewed as, the worst parent on the planet but I'm not raising happy kids who get whatever they want. I'm hopeful I'm raising thankful, grace-giving, kind, loving soon-to-be adults.

In the past few weeks, we’ve owned the realities of allowing the actions of our kids to change the temperature of the day and therefore our perceived value as mothers. We’ve learned that “crazy happens” with kids. We continue to learn to love ourselves because of who we are and not base it on the behaviors and successes of our children. We’ve committed to ditch the comparison game and focus on raising adults who need love, guidance, and correction over and over again.

It’s time, dear mommas. Time to toss the ther{MOM}eters that are focused on ME and MY circumstances and instead place our focus on the recipients of our calling. Our precious children.

Let’s go raise some beautiful, strong, passionate, kind, Christ-following adults.

Mommy Covenant

Here it is friends. Will you read the following aloud and covenant with myself and women everywhere to toss the ther{MOM}eters of comparison?

Being a mom is both the greatest and most difficult life-time calling a woman can undertake. I covenant with women everywhere to change the way I view my success as a parent.

When I place my head on my pillow, I will ask myself:

“Do I love my children?”

“Do I want the absolute best for them?”

With the resounding yes’s echoing in my mind, I will know that no matter the behavior my kids demonstrated in the hours prior, or the countless times I nailed it or failed terribly, I will get up again and love again. I will discipline with grace again. I will do what is best for my family.

I will lock arms with other mothers, throw out the ther{MOM}eter gauge, stop judging others and myself and dare to live out the words of Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Want to have a copy of this covenant? Print it, sign it and place it where you can see it daily! Just click the button below for details.


And if you missed any of the posts for ther{MOM}eter, you can find them here:

Motherhood: When the Temperature of the Day Dictates our Value

Motherhood: How to Handle the Unexpected

A Good Mom: How to Love Yourself Unconditionally

4 Words You Need to Know to Ditch the Comparison Game


Friends, this has been a fun year for me! I am looking forward to 2017. You’ll notice the first few weeks of the year will be quiet. Just know that I am working very hard on the next steps for my journey as a writer. I hope you’ll continue to be a part and I pray you’ll be encouraged. Until then, you are brave, you are strong. You are the best momma for your precious few. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Patty

 

THANKS FOR VISITING! I SURE HOPE YOU ARE ENCOURAGED BY WHAT YOU READ. IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ MORE, YOU CAN CHECK OUT MY NEW WEBSITE: THE ME TOO! COMMUNITY

4 words you need to know to ditch the motherhood comparison game

4 Words You Need to Know to Ditch the Comparison Game

A Tale of Two Comparisons

The other day, at church, there was a special program for families in place of the regular service called Jingle Jam. We were all so excited for the music and acting and dancing and knew it would the perfect way to introduce our daughter to the main service! We had experienced a relatively calm morning which included baths for all and I even managed to take care of my hair and make-up! All was well as we dropped the baby off in the nursery and made our way to the main service with our 3 year old daughter and five year old son. And then the music started. With it, came the incessant complaints and bathroom queries from my daughter.

“I’m tired!”

“I’m hungry!”

“I’m thirsty!”

“Is it over yet?”

“I need to go to the bathroom!”

I would hush her and pacify her requests with a “We’ll eat later” or “Why don’t you lay in mommy’s lap.” After her 4 millionth request, I took her to the bathroom. As we returned, her attention became fixated on the music video showing on the large video screen. I let my guard down and hoped that the worst of her behavior was behind us. But as soon as the actors took the stage again, her questions came rolling in one right after the other. Then at the most critical moment in the program, as the narrator is admonishing from the stage for all to hear and understand that joy comes through knowing Jesus Christ, Charlee’s whimpers became so incredibly loud. Louder and louder and one final, “Are we done yet?” just sent me over the edge.

I just lost it.

I picked her up and in a huff walked to the back of the room and out the doors. “Yes, We are definitely done,” I angrily muttered under my breath and I carried her out into the lobby area. I was so mad. So frustrated and so embarrassed. It wasn’t supposed to go down like this!

At the conclusion of the program, my husband emerged with our son.  I had already retrieved the baby from the nursery and requested that we leave immediately since Charlee was soooo hungry and soooo thirsty and soooo tired. And I was soooo mad and had none of the JOY they had just spent so much time creatively talking about at church. Ugh.

The next day I hosted a playdate in my home. As the children happily played, I confided in my friend that our Sunday morning had not been what I envisioned. She proceeded to share her frustrations and suddenly I didn’t feel alone. I wasn’t the only one who had placed great expectations on the temperature of the day only to be let down by the short attention span of a 3-year-old. Later that day, my friend texted me thanking me for hosting and shared with me these words of solidarity  that I now share with you (with her permission of course).

“I didn’t get a chance to say earlier but when we were leaving Jingle Jam, frustrated, we passed y’all in your car leaving church and I thought, oh if our children were only more behaved like Patty and Marshall’s kids we could have had a less stressful time today. I hadn’t even realized your struggles with Charlee. Oh how harshly we judge ourselves sometimes.”

The Comparison Trap

Oh the comparison trap. My friends, it is ridiculously easy to look at the outward appearances of a mom and determine that she has it all together. Social media alone can work it’s debilitating magic in painting a picture of parenting perfection that can cause us to feel as if we’ll never measure up.

If appearances were not enough, we take note of baby’s milestones or mommy’s post pregnancy weight loss and the self-loathing continues.

You drag yourself into work sleep deprived thanks to your one year old only to hear your co-workers baby is sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old. What!

The comparisons are endless.

Do your kids:

  • Sleep through the night
  • Behave in public
  • Excel in school
  • Wear matching socks

Do you:

  • Hold your temper
  • Control a situation

Have you:

  • Lost the baby weight
  • Started cooking healthy meals
  • Gone back to work
  • Stayed home

Did you decide to:

  • Public school
  • Home school

Comparison is a…

Bob Goff has a saying: “Comparison is a punk.” Isn’t it crazy how we think everyone else has it together when in all reality they are just trying to keep it together, too?

Can I let you and myself off the hook? Say these four words with me.

Love. Guide. Correct. Repeat.

4 words you need to know to ditch the motherhood comparison game

 

If you are loving your children well, teaching them to be kind and loving followers of Christ, and helping them along the way when they struggle, then the appearance of the kid-in-progress does not matter that much.

Love. Guide. Correct. Repeat, my friend.

Whether you homeschool or choose the public route: Love. Guide. Correct. Repeat.

Whether your child catches on in school and makes good grades or you struggle for every C your child makes: Love. Guide. Correct. Repeat.

If your child does the miraculous and behaves in public or throws herself to the ground in disgust over your suggestions to go to Chickfila for lunch…I mean… “How dare you suggest their favorite restaurant?!” Love. Guide. Correct. Repeat.

Leave it Behind

You’ve got this, precious momma. Leave the comparison game behind and focus on these four words. Love. Guide. Correct. Repeat.

Love your precious and crazy crew. Guide them as they age to make the right choice, the kind choice, and when they get off track, lead them back. And repeat. Again and again and again.

Next Week!

Being a mom is both the greatest and most difficult life-time calling a woman can undertake. Join me next time as we wrap up this series and covenant with one another to love our children fiercely and toss the thermometer for good!

 

Thanks for joining me on this journey of tossing the ther{MOM}eter! You can read the introduction here!

 

THANKS FOR VISITING! I SURE HOPE YOU ARE ENCOURAGED BY WHAT YOU READ. IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ MORE, YOU CAN CHECK OUT MY NEW WEBSITE: THE ME TOO! COMMUNITY

What I’m feeling must be who I am, right? How easy it is to swing from Super Mom to Super Fail all by what happens next.

A Good Mom: How to Love Yourself Unconditionally

My family has been sick for what feels like forever. The month of November has not been kind to us. Each time someone starts looking puny, my hand reaches for their forehead to check their temperature. And with the confirmation of a fever or virus or stomach bug, the direction of our day and often week totally changes.

Isn’t that how motherhood is? We are headed in one direction when, all of a sudden, the temperature of the day changes and our mommy mindset with it.

The Shift

All it takes to go from super mom to super fail is:

  • walking into a less than favorable parent-teacher conference
  • realizing your kids seem to be the loudest in the restaurant and no one else is amused
  • your child has a meltdown in the middle of a store and everyone stares

It is so easy to allow the comments and even the compliments to adjust our mommy perspective.

  •  “Your kids are so well behaved! You are raising them right, mom!”
  • “Your child has the best manners. You’re a good mommy.”
  • “Your son is so smart. You are doing a great job!”

Let’s consider the implication of these statements.

What if my children have meltdowns in public? Are they no longer well-behaved? Am I no longer “raising them right”?

What if my kid hasn’t mastered please and thank you yet? Am I bad mom, then? Shouldn’t we at least consider the thousands of times I remind them in private to use their manners while holding my breath in public hoping they will produce a “manners crop” worthy of mommy’s tireless sowing and tilling at home.

What if my child struggles academically? Am I bad mom if my child doesn’t know his ABC’s by age three or if he doesn’t catch on to reading in Kindergarten as fast as the other children?

Don’t Take Credit

I’ve heard it said: “We can’t take credit for the good choices our children make, so why do we allow ourselves to take the blame when they make poor choices?” Why do we allow our value to be so significantly connected to this human being who, from day one, has a personality all his own, quirks and gifts unique to him, and a will that can’t easily be deterred?

Perspective. If only I could keep this in the forefront of my mind when things go crazy. I am not a bad parent because my daughter decided to create a poopy Picasso on her bedroom wall during naptime. Having a child who is compliant and the poster child for rule-following does not make me a good parent, either.

It’s not either Super Mom or Super Fail. It’s just mom. Good mom.

  • Mom who loves her children.
  • Mom who prays for her children.
  • Mom who loses her cool and yet finds the humility and grace to model repentance when she says, “Mommy messed up. Will you forgive me?”
  • Mom who orders take out. A lot.
  • Mom who tries her best.
  • Mom who trusts that if she gives God her most precious possession, her children, that he will lead and guide and order her steps.
  • Mom who trusts He will bridge the gaps of inadequacy that she feels and faces.

What I’m feeling must be who I am, right? How easy it is to swing from Super Mom to Super Fail all by what happens next.
Tossing the thermometer is not easy. As authors Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae so clearly articulate in their book Desperate,

“Motherhood is a topic in our culture today that elicits countless voices of opinions, polarized formulas, and arbitrary laws set forth by human imperfection. The voices in a mother’s life can be overwhelming and destructive if not curbed by the true voice of the Holy Spirit.”

God’s word is where I challenge you to go when you begin to think:

Am I good enough?

God’s word says:  “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14


Will I ever get this mom thing right?

The Bible says:  “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6


I have no idea what I am doing!

Scripture says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5

You are Enough

In her book Present Over Perfect Shauna Niequest said,

“It is only when you understand God’s truly unconditional love that you begin to understand the worth of your own soul- not because of anything you’ve done, but because every soul is worthy, every one of us is worthy of love, having been created by and in the image of the God of love.”

Dear sweet mom of one or two or ten, God’s word says you are loved.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

Regardless of how you feel you measure up as a parent and most definitely regardless of how your child is acting at this present moment, you are loved and valued.

Whether your children are well behaved or swinging from the chandelier, you are a good mom.

Say that out loud. “I am a good mom”.

I think we all need that daily reminder. Before your feet hit the floor, you are a good mom and after your feet step into water from the overflowed bathroom sink, you are still a good mom.

I’m locking arms with you in motherhood solidarity.  You’ve got this!

Next Week!

It is so easy to look at the outside appearances of a mommy who looks like she has it all together. Social media alone can paint a picture of parenting perfection that can cause us to feel as if we’ll never measure up. Join me as we put an end to this comparison trap often referred to as the mommy wars.

Thanks for joining me on this journey of tossing the ther{MOM}eter! You can read the introduction here!

 

THANKS FOR VISITING! I SURE HOPE YOU ARE ENCOURAGED BY WHAT YOU READ. IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ MORE, YOU CAN CHECK OUT MY NEW WEBSITE: THE ME TOO! COMMUNITY