Sunday, September 22, 2013

When You Feel Like You're Failing At This Parenting Thing



Making your home sing Mondays


Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday linky party! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). 

My point with each Monday post is, what are YOU doing or going to do today to make your home sing?  It can be an attitude or an action. So have fun, do some blog hopping, and link up!  Thanks!


Topics can include marriage, parenting, encouraging women, organization, cleaning, saving money, our behavior and attitudes, homemaking, homeschooling, recipes....the opportunities are endless.


Note:  We had 92 linkups last week!  You guys are awesome!  Don't forget to visit one another and try to leave a comment on at least one blog to encourage someone today!  :)

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sometimes it feels like motherhood is a lonely, solitary job.  Seems like there's no one around to notice or tell you when you're doing something right, and everyone's around to notice when you do something "wrong." 

At least that's how it feels sometimes.

Your baby fusses and you can't quiet her.  It's your fault, right?

Your toddler throws a temper tantrum in the grocery store.  It's your fault, right?

Your preschooler doesn't know all her letters of the alphabet and everyone else's preschooler does.  It's your fault, right?

Your teenager got into trouble at school.  It's your fault, right?

Why are we so ready and willing to blame ourselves for everything?  Why do we hold such impossibly high standards for ourselves?

Why does it seem like motherhood and guilt go hand in hand?

From the day that baby is born, your heart begins to knit with theirs.  The minute the nurse places that tiny baby in your arms you feel the weight of that responsibility for that tiny little life.

I remember my first night home with our oldest son.  I sat on the bed and stared at his precious, tiny little face.  In a moment of panic I looked at my mom and my sister-in-law and I said "What do I DO with it?" Then I began to cry.  (Yes, I said "it," lol!)

I was already afraid that I would "mess it up."  I was afraid that I would not develop that momtuition that moms seemed to have.  I was afraid that I wouldn't know how to parent.  I was afraid that I would fail at this parenting thing.

I DID fail at this parenting thing.  But I also succeeded.  There were moments where I felt discouraged and where I lost my temper or had a less than stellar day.  There were moments when I was afraid that my children would remember my ugly "mean mom" face or less than loving words for the rest of their lives.

But there were moments when I made the "owie" all better, when I had patience in abundance, when I turned a frown into a smile, and turned tears into laughter.  There were many precious moments of joy and laughter and love.


When we accept that we're going to fail at this parenting thing, we succeed at this parenting thing.

When we accept that we're going to make mistakes, when we accept that we are not going to be perfect, when we forgive ourselves for the times we feel like we've failed, we free ourselves from the fear and guilt that paralyzes us and we move forward.

We are free to believe that with God's help, we will learn and change and grow as a parent, and we have hope that with God's grace, we will get better at it and become the mom we truly desire to be.  Not the perfect mom, but the grace-led mom.  Not the faultless mom, but the forgiven mom.

When we accept that we're not perfect, we can accept that we can't do this on our own.  We need one another to get through this.  We need community.  And we need God to get us through this.


We succeed at parenting when we realize that parenting is NOT simply what we do, it's who we ARE.  


And who we are is a parent who is not perfect, makes mistakes, but picks themselves up again and continues to seek to do their best and loves their child with a passion and fierceness that makes us weep sometimes.

We're wiping noses, helping with homework, driving carloads of kids around, and occasionally staring blankly at our children when they ask "What's for dinner?"  We're getting up in the middle of the night to change a wet diaper, comfort a scared toddler or pacing the floor for a teenager who is fifteen minutes past curfew.

We are loving and living and learning and sometimes feel like we're sort of making it up as we go along. And that's o.k.  Because everyone knows that these kids did NOT come with a rule book.......

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own "Making Your Home Sing Monday" Linky on your blog.


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26 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with all you've said here, Nan. Motherhood is such a huge challenge that often feels more like climbing Mt. Everest than a leisurely stroll! I especially loved your words here, "Not the perfect mom but the grace-led mom." That's my hope as a mom. Praying God's grace fills the gaps that I leave in the lives and hearts of my children. Inspiring thoughts, sweet friend!

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    1. Yes it does, lol! But the "mountain" view from up there is amazing! ;) I always trust that God will fill those empty holes!

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  2. Nan, you had me crying on the inside reading this post. Looking back I feel like a failure too often. This post was too sweet and filled with encouragement and hope. I am so glad that the Lord can take all my holes and fill the gaps and speak to my children's hearts. As Christian moms we too often think that we are only a success if our children all walk with the Lord. I think one of the things the Lord wants from us as moms is our hearts totally dependent on Him.

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    1. Thank you, my friend. Glad I could encourage you today. I, too, am glad we can trust the Lord's faithfulness and that He has a plan for our children's lives.

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    1. Happy to do it! Thanks for linking up , Debbie! :)

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  4. I am reminded of a 30K (18 mi.) walk-a-thon I did some years ago. I was not prepared physically, but I completed the course. For at least the last 1/3 of the walk, I did not know at the time by what power my feet were still moving. Now I know that, without God, my feet could not have moved one step farther.

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    1. Wow. You rock! I did a 20 mile walkathon but that was when I was in high school. I certainly couldn't do it today, lol! Love how God was walking with you! :)

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  5. All so very, very true. The hardest part of being a good parent is realizing you'll never be a perfect parent!

    Visiting (and linking) from Inspire Me Monday! Have a great week!

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    1. Amen, Meg! So happy to have you stop by and join us. Thanks for linking up today, and you have a great week too!

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  6. It's as if you knew my feelings today as this is just what I needed! Thank you! I needed the reminder to be the grace-led mom and not beat myself up over a rough day of mothering.

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    1. Thank you, Ashley. I am glad that God ministered to you today through it. I want to be grace-led too!

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  7. Being a mom is the hardest job in all the world. Mostly because moms are harder on themselves than any other species. But I know that even if kids don't come with a book, God knows them and me and will help me figure the little buggers out if I go to Him and ask. Thanks for the link up each week!

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    1. Yes we are, Janine. And yes, God DOES know them and we can trust Him to help US figure it out, just as you said!

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  8. Thanks, Nan, for these words today as I have a heavy heart for one of my son's and his gf and their relationship challenges...and so many words have swirled all weekend that my head is spinning...And of course, I feel guilty over what I messed up in his childhood even though the unemotional side of me knows I did much right...So I will keep looking to the Father, the only Perfect Parent, the only One who knows the end from the beginning...Thanks for letting me share. And thanks for your link up. I am sharing my husband's very good words that he recently shared at our church...

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    1. I am so sorry to hear that, Sheila. We have to let that guilt go and remember the "right" that we did, as you said. No matter how much we feel we messed up, we can trust God to make it all right. Our children's choices are their choices and we just have to pray them through them.

      I know some dear ones who are hurting and leaning into God over some of the choices of their children too. He is faithful!

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  9. Great words of encouragement, Nan. They say that motherhood comes with its very own guilt trip, and I know that to be true.

    Our kids don't need a supermom, or a perfect mom, they just need us in our imperfections, still trying to do our best and seeking forgiveness when we goof up. Imperfection transparent is the most important quality in child training - at least according to my 2nd Generation Christians I interviewed for my new book, Lionproof: Keeping your Children from the Claws of the Devil (it's just out on Amazon!!)

    Thanks again for your kind words.

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    1. Wise words, my friend! You are so right. So excited for you about your book being out and I LOVE the title!

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  10. :) Your post and my post are so similar today! (Mine was a little meaner... I'll admit it). First time linking up! New Follower, I'll put you on my sidebar!

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    1. Great minds think alike, lol! Can't wait to read it and thanks for the linky love! ;)

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  11. Nan...."We are loving and living and learning and sometimes feel like we're sort of making it up as we go along. And that's o.k. Because everyone knows that these kids did NOT come with a rule book......." Oh how true it is! But you know if we knew all about them, what fun would it be? I like learning and growing as a parent and embracing all of it with my children...even the rough and tough stuff. Sometimes, we are the benefactors, aren't we? God works in our hearts as well as theirs. Great post friend. Thank you for the link up, too.

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    1. Oh I love how you look at it because you are right! Where would the fun be? I too found myself growing as a parent right along with my kids and wouldn't have traded it for the world!

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  12. Thanks for your encouraging words! Very needed by this Mama today. :)

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    1. So glad it encouraged you today, my friend! Thank YOU for letting me know! ;)

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  13. Mothers climb mountains every day and even if we slip back down the mountain a few times we are never failures. What a great post my friend. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop ♥

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    1. Amen, my friend! Slipping back down a bit just means that we are still climbing! At least we're moving! ;)

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