I used to think that my children’s behavior were a direct reflection in how well I was doing as a parent. This became very evident to me when my younger boys were very little and I would take them on outings. Our outings mostly consisted of frequent trips to target, Chickfila, or the park. I specifically remember going to Target with them one day when they were two years old. Fifteen minutes into our little errand and I immediately regretted ever leaving the house.
I don’t even remember how it started but they were having temper tantrums and they were defiant; the whole nine yards! I remember looking around seeing if anyone was witnessing our chaos and my state of overwhelm. I remember feeling embarrassed in that moment wondering if people thought I was a good mom because of the way my kids were acting. I would imagine what I thought others were thinking as I passed people,
“That girl needs to get her kids in order.”
“She has no control. “
“She is hott mess central over there. They need to leave.”
I finally left Target but I took those insecurities and imaginary thoughts from others home with me and I would allow them to stay with me.
As our children get older, their behavior evolves and changes. After they start walking, they start talking. And when they start talking they become testy, more self-sufficient in a challenging way, and more deviant. AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH! The reason being is simple, they are trying to figure out WHO THEY ARE and how to live in this world. It’s our job to help them. There will be challenges, tension, push back, and growing pains. It’s our job as parents to lead and guide our kids to be able to eventually live on their own and function as a human being.
Parenting isn’t easy. I am in the thick of it! With this being said, our children’s behavior over the years or in the coming years are not a reflection of how well we are doing as parents. Their behavior whether good or bad do not dictate our worth or efforts. Being a good parent/mom isn’t based on their reactions, their behavior, or how they treat us. Being a good parent is based on how we love and serve our children.
I remember going to counseling for the first time and this thought of feeling like a failure of a mom kept coming up. I remember telling my counselor, “I don’t think I am good enough mom. ”
She simply asked me, “Do you bathe your kids?”
Her: “Do you feed your kids?“
Her: “Do you play with them?”
Her: “Do they go to bed at night feeling like they are loved?”
Her: “Then you are a good mom. Our kids don’t need us to be great parents. They just need us to be good enough. And you’re doing that.”
This has forever changed the expectations I’ve had of myself. To be honest, I still wrestle with wanting to be a “great parent” not just a “good one.” I think we all have this worry that we are going to screw our kids up. We want to do this well.
Instead of striving to be great parents, what if we just chose to love our kids well? God has given our children to us for a reason. He specifically chose us to parent them. That is a big deal!
I am a good enough mom because I love my kids well. Whether they like me or not at times, I know I love them well. The same goes for you! You are a great parent because you give your all and you love your kids well. You are not a good parent because your child’s behavior has gotten better this week or because you can go to target without them having a temper tantrum. It has nothing to do with any of that.
You are a good parent because you are an example of love to your child and you sacrifice for your child every day. Their behavior or other people’s reactions around you do not have the final say.
I know you’re not perfect, neither am I. Yet, you love your children perfectly, the way they need you to.
You are a good mom because that’s who you are and that is what you do well.
Hear it, believe it, and let this truth sink in.