4 signs that you’re taking motherhood too seriously
When I became a mom, I threw myself into it just like I do everything else. I researched. I accumulated best practices. I read books and subscribed to magazines. I Googled every product, method, idea, and philosophy. If it was the best, right, or perfect thing to do, I did it.
Then, one day, I woke up and realized that I was taking motherhood a bit too seriously. I know, sacrilege — but hear me out.
I could tell I was taking it too seriously because it left me panicked and overwhelmed. I felt stupid because here I was, a college-educated woman with a high-profile job, and I couldn’t understand anything related to children. As soon as I figured out one stage, the next one began. I felt like I was playing a high-stakes game of whack-a-mole.
The way I was parenting wasn’t fun.
Here were my four signs that I was taking motherhood too seriously:
- I believed that I was the one holding all of this together. Last I checked, I’m too limited to be solely responsible for caring for two human lives.
- I was incapable of tearing myself away. No babysitters, no breaks, no girls nights, and no getting my hair done. It was up to me to be omnipresent.
- I decided that I was the outcome queen. Every outcome of their lives depended on me getting them in the right school, teaching them the right thing, and exposing them to the right viewpoints.
- I was low on joy because I had to stick to the schedule, routine, or whatever the books said. God tells us that children are a gift, but my parenting seemed like a schedule to be managed, not a relationship to be nurtured.
Before you close your browser window, here’s what I’m not saying.
I’m not saying that moms aren’t important, I’m not saying that making wise decisions is unnecessary, and I’m not saying that mothers don’t impact their children for better or worse.
I am saying that as flawed people, we can take motherhood too seriously by trying to play God in our children’s lives.
I could tell I was taking parenting too seriously when I would try to adopt God-qualities like being all-powerful, omnipresent, and sovereign.
Achiever-Moms, only God can be those things.
It seems impossible to me as I pray for, worry about, and tuck in our girls that God loves them more than I do. And yet, He does. He is their Creator, the author and perfector of their faith, and the One who sustains them. He’s the One who is always with them when I can’t be at school, the sleepover, and the playdate. He’s their Savior and shepherd.
God has a plan for my girls, and I can rest and have joy in that. His plans for them are good, and He’ll even take the painful parts of their story and redeem them for good. He can tell beautiful stories with their lives without my help. God isn’t surprised by who they befriend and marry, what career they pursue, how they’re treated, and what memories they make. Instead, He will use their choices to grow their character and faith.
Even when this mama doesn’t approve of or understand His plan, He’s got them.
I can trust that He alone is responsible for the outcomes. My role in all of this is simply to obey Him as I parent. Am I loving them, teaching them His truth, being gentle with their hearts, and serving them with love and by faith? Then I’ve done my part, and God’s got the rest. I trust Him enough to write their story into his bigger plan.
“It’ll change your life forever!” definitely sums up parenting, but it also describes how God works. He works in the mess, in ways that don’t involve a cherry on top, and in the channels we least expect. Let’s mother in the way of Jesus: knowing that He loves our children unconditionally, He has a plan, and He’s responsible for all outcomes.