Some days it feels like I am trapped in one of those revolving doors at the entrance of a fancy hotel. Except my life is anything but fancy. The door doesn’t lead into a beautiful hotel lobby. I just keep spinning around and around, faster and faster, from the laundry room to kitchen to car!
The stress of everyday life as a mom is real. Our responsibilities are many and the consequences of our attentiveness—or lack thereof—are significant. The load can weigh heavy on a momma’s heart. It can leave us wondering if we can do it—and do it well. It can also leave us feeling like everything depends on us. We must do it all and we must do it well.
When we start to feel like everything depends on us, we may give up and check out. We let the house go to shambles while we shop at the mall or update Facebook, or we offload too many of our parenting duties onto babysitters or husbands.
What’s more likely, though, is that we try to do it all and keep everything under control. All at the same time! We get used to everything being under our watchful eyes, and we don’t want to let our children out of our sight—literally.
The good news is that everything doesn’t depend on us. We are not momming alone. While we might feel that way at times, we serve a God who is far more powerful, wise, and loving than we ever could be. And he is with us, reigning and ruling over all things (Ephesians 1:22) and parenting our children in countless ways we cannot see. He is at work in us and through us. Where we are weak, God is strong. Where we fall short, God is faithful.
Growing to be a better mom is not about gaining control so we can hold everything together and make everything work. It is about growing more dependent on our wise, good, and powerful Father. It is about giving up control and learning to surrender to God instead of trying to be God.
God uses weakness to reveal his strength, to change us, to move us in a different direction, or to teach us something. Everything does not depend on us. Weakness wakes us up to this reality. We need to depend on God more and depend on ourselves less. It is our weaknesses that allow God’s grace to strengthen us and help us mature. Growing into better moms is paradoxically not about gaining expertise but about giving up control and growing more dependent— something that often doesn’t come naturally to moms!
Perfection is not a prerequisite for motherhood.
So in which areas are you not trusting God right now? In which areas of momming are you trying to be God? What heavy load are you carrying that you need to give to your heavenly Father? He’s waiting for you to come to Him and surrender to Him, so that you might enjoy the peace that comes from knowing He is in control of all things. You don’t have to be perfect, because He already is.
This message of hope and grace between perfection and the mess is woven throughout my newest book, The Better Mom.
At the heart of The Better Mom is the message that Jesus calls us to live not a weary life, but a worthy life. It is my sincere hope and prayer that God uses this book to encourage you with the good news that there is more to being a mom than the extremes of striving for perfection or simply embracing the mess. Just as God is using us to shape our children, God is using our children and motherhood, to shape us. It’s okay to come as we are, but what we’re called to be is far too important to stay there! The way to becoming a better mom starts not with what we are doing, but with who God is inviting us to become.
This post originally appeared on The Better Mom and was republished with permission.
Ruth Schwenk is the founder of TheBetterMom.com, and along with her husband, the creator of ForTheFamily.org. She is a pastor’s wife, mom of four energetic kids, a lover of coffee, and co-author of four books including Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet With Jesus and For Better or For Kids: A Vow to Love Your Spouse with Kids in the House.