Being a Real Mom in an Unreal World

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I’m a new mother. I’ve only been at it for about 2 years now. I only have one kid out and one on the way. No where near compared to those of many, or those with older ones. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to motherhood, or that I don’t have any credibility. I mean, many people who didn’t have children – even those who were younger than me – told me everything I needed to know when I was pregnant with my first.
I am by no means going to tell you that I have it right, that I have it figured out, that I know everything there is to know about motherhood. Shoot – I’m positive there is no such thing as knowing it ALL about motherhood. I am pretty sure that my way of thinking will be different from other people’s way of thinking, and that is OK. If we were all the same, then that would be boring.

If you were to look up motherhood in the Bible, the verses of all verses would be this one:

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31: 25-30

How many women strive to be that woman? {Raises hand}

This makes me think of what the world considers as a good mother: “Super mom”, “Soccer Mom”, “Working Mom”… Etc. All of which are great. However, I think that as women, we get so caught up in the how-to’s and the wannabe’s of motherhood. We want to be like this lady, we want to be this kind of mom, we want to work toward this. As there is nothing wrong with those ambitions, I feel as though we get too caught up in what we “should be” than who we really are. Who God created us to be and called us to be. If He wanted you to be like that other lady, wouldn’t you think he would have already done that?

When I married my husband 4 years ago, I had this idea of a wife that I wanted to be. The wife that cooked homemade dinners every night, that made his lunch every day, that always kept the house cleaned. Go ahead and chuckle, but I really worked hard at it. However, about a few months later, I realized that cleaning wasn’t my strong suit, we bickered about cleaning… we still bicker about that. I decided an extra hour of sleep was better than getting up and packing his lunch. And, some days, I really just didn’t give a darn about cooking dinner. And at the time, I was working part-time and going to school part-time, so understandably, I was a bit spread out. I decided to just be myself. Granted, I tried bettering myself with cleaning and other things. But, I decided not to consume myself with this idea of a wife that I thought I should be.
When I found out we were going to have a little one, I really didn’t know what I thought. I couldn’t pin-point what kind of mother I wanted to be. I knew what kind of mother I didn’t want to be, though. And I got a bit consumed with that. But, I shortly realized living in fear of being someone you’re not is ridiculous. I had many kind people tell me about motherhood and parenting. I took all advice given with consideration. But, despite me thinking that I didn’t know what I was doing, I realized that I just need to be myself and not be this fairy-tale mom that I see on TV or read about. I needed to be REAL. Even if that means going against the grain of the world. Example: Spanking. Vaccinating. Food choices. Schooling. Etc.
I’ll tell you straight up that I spank my child. No, I don’t abuse my child, I discipline him. And guess what, it works and he is still his own person, he’s very healthy, and as obedient as a 2-year-old can be. I don’t baby him every time he gets a boo-boo, or when he whines about something ridiculous. I believe that not baby-ing them teaches them that life isn’t so awful or dramatic. That every time something doesn’t go their way, or that they get hurt, isn’t a time for weakness but a time to reconsider your reaction and how to make it better than wallowing in their sorrow. I also let them explore and figure things out on their own. Such as dog poo. I told him no. He eats it anyway. I stand there and laugh because I told him so and now he can suffer the consequences. It’s much better than freaking out and getting dramatic about it.  {Yes, I realize I’m sounding like a heartless monster. I’m really not. I do tend to give in and cuddle them when they scrape their knee. I’m still human.}
This is how I parent. Sure, it may change a bit here and there. Every child, mother, parent is different. And that’s fine. No matter how you raise your children and run your house, as long as you are REAL with it you won’t have the constant frustration, disappointment and anxiety about “the perfect household”. You will also not care very much about what others think because you’re not comparing yourself to them. You are YOU.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

I will admit to you that I used to look at a whining child while their mother stood there reading a jar of pickles and wonder why they have kids and why they aren’t telling them to be quiet. I also looked at those kids and blamed the parent for their disobedience. Then, I became a parent of that same whiny child and disobedient child and now understand where that parent is coming from. Sometimes you have to do what YOU think is right despite what other people will think. If that means disciplining them in public while your neighbors and strangers are watching…well, sure. We can’t go around cautiously wondering what other people think. What is that teaching your child?

On the other hand, there are those “parents” that honestly should not have had kids. And there are those moms out there that still need their mothers to raise them up. When I say be yourself and be real, I mean that in a way that you don’t get so consumed in a worldly standard. Don’t be ignorant. Always strive to better yourself and be open to criticism and have an open mind. Accept the advice given to you and maybe even USE the advice.

Just be real, mommies. You don’t have to be a super woman, or a perfect mother/wife/homemaker. Don’t look down on yourself because you didn’t make a smiley face with your kids food, or that you burnt dinner, or that you didn’t do a bit of laundry for 3 days. It’s not important. What’s important is that you spend time with your child, that you try your best, that you learn your best, and that you don’t go with the crowd when you are not even part of the crowd.

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