Why do we have this image of motherhood that requires a red “super-mom” cape to fulfill? You know what it looks like: Wake up hours before everyone else so that we can get our shower, get dressed, do our hair, put on some makeup and get breakfast started before the kids wake up. Then, do the few pieces of laundry from yesterday because we can’t possibly let it get behind. After feeding the kids the daily breakfast of champions we help them pick out their clothes so they match and look cute, then we do their hair up in curls and pins just perfectly. We get the kids to school and begin our busy day of shopping, errands, cooking and cleaning all with the baby in tow. You’ve cut every coupon known to man and ended up getting paid by the grocery stores to take their food home. More laundry, vacuuming, dusting, clean the toilets, make the beds, iron your husband’s work shirts, feed the baby, change a dozen diapers, let the dog out, let the dog in, let him out again, cook up some meals for a few new moms at church, and get dinner prepped before jumping in the mini-van again to go get the kids from school. Then it’s time to help with homework, kids chores that you already pre-did for them, cook supper, set the table, clean it all up, bring out dessert, give the kids a bath (Every. Single. Night.) read them stories, sing them songs, tuck them in, get them a drink of water, tuck them in again, let them go potty, tuck them in again, clean the house again now that they are finally asleep, set up your to-do list for tomorrow and fall in to bed exhausted MAYBE having time to ask your husband how his day went.
Does anyone REALLY live like that?
I think there are moms that truly believe that this is how they must live every day in order to be the best mom in the world and I blame it on social media. Here’s how it works. Your friend posts an image online with a cute little quip about motherhood. The image looks like it belongs in a GAP catalog. You assume that this one single snapshot in her life is an accurate picture of what goes on 24/7. Suddenly, that off centered picture of your daughters homemade birthday cake you posted last night makes you feel a little second rate. We start playing the comparison game and the “super-mom” cape gets heavier and heavier. Before we know it, we’re doing all these cool “mom” things that look good online but we’re too exhausted to really enjoy our children.
Ladies, it’s time to turn in our capes. I am not a “super-mom”. The cape is too heavy for me to wear. I’m not strong enough to live up to the ideal in my head of what the perfect mom is supposed to look like, and neither are you. I want you to take off the cape, roll it up in a ball, and toss it down to the ground. You can’t wear that cape without eventually falling under the pressure of it’s weight. I know. I’ve tried.
One of my favorite Bible verses is 2 Corinthians 12:9. Jesus says “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” I am not a perfect mom. I make mistakes. Every. Day. I could choose to live under the red cape, always adding more and more pressure to this already heavy job of motherhood. I could let fear drive me to go overboard in every area of parenting. OR I can trust that His grace is sufficient for me. Because of HIS GRACE, I will not ruin my children. Because of HIS GRACE, I can let the laundry go without feeling guilty. Because of HIS GRACE, my meals will nourish my children even when they come from a box instead of the earth. Because of HIS GRACE, my efforts to raise godly children will be blessed even when I make so many mistakes. It’s because of HIS GRACE that I am a good mom. It’s because of HIS GRACE that my children say I’m “super”. It’s ALL BECAUSE OF HIS GRACE and has absolutely nothing to do with that big, heavy, ugly cape I tried to sport around for so many years.
Are you exhausted under the weight of your cape? Do you know Jesus? Don’t be discouraged! He’ll take your cape and He’ll offer you unlimited GRACE. His grace IS sufficient for you!
To moms of babies: I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but diapers and late night feedings are only temporary. Soak in the snuggle time while you can. God’s grace is sufficient for you.
To moms of small children: Siblings fight, it’s not just your kids. Your efforts don’t go unnoticed, they appreciate what you do but don’t always know how to express it. God’s grace is sufficient for you.
To moms of teens: Hormones are rough, your teen isn’t trying to hurt you. They really are listening so keep communicating. God’s grace is sufficient for you.
To moms of adults: You aren’t held accountable for their choices. They still value your input and support even if they don’t always agree or follow your advice. God’s grace is sufficient for you.
To working moms: Don’t beat yourself up for not having the house clean all the time. Your kids know you love them even when the laundry’s behind and you don’t make 4 course meals every day. God’s grace is sufficient for you.
To stay at home moms: You’re doing enough. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t do enough. You do so much for your children, make sure you don’t neglect your own needs. It’s ok to take time out for yourself. God’s grace is sufficient for you.
To single moms: You don’t have to fill two roles. Just be the mom God created you to be for your kids and trust Him with the rest. God’s grace is sufficient for you.
To homeschool moms: You’re giving your kids a great education. Their grades are not a reflection on you anymore than my kids grades are a reflection on their teachers. Some kids just aren’t scholastics and some are. It’s ok. Doing double duty as mom and teacher is especially heavy, but you don’t have to live up to anyone else’s standard. God’s grace is sufficient for you.
To all moms: What you do matters! Your children love you for you who are, not for the images you portray to the rest of the world. They love you for your hugs, for your unconditional love, and for your support of them. Let go of the cape. GOD’S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!