Thursday, August 18, 2011

Performance Driven Mommy

Do you know a super mom?  I think we all know someone who fits the description.   She is easy to spot because she: looks great, has tons of energy, keeps a spotless house, has patience with her kids and volunteers tirelessly.  She works full-time and still has time to socialize.  She’s someone you wish you could be a little more like.  Everyone applauds her for all the tasks she’s performed so well. 

Reality in mothering looks nothing like the way I pictured it being.  I thought I could do and be all those things if I just tried hard enough.  And when I fail I feel like a loser.  I can’t be just like the super moms I know because I’m just me.  Just plain old lazy me.  We want love and acceptance.  The only way we know how to get it is by trying hard to perform. 

There are lots of reasons women want to be super moms.  Most of them are good reasons.  We want to be the best we can be for our kids.  Hey, we only get one shot at raising them!  We want to help them learn and grow and be productive members of society.  We want good relationships with them because family is important. 

Maybe there are even Godly reasons.  Doesn’t God want us to be the very best as a mom?  To nurture our kids’ hearts toward Him?

Well, yes He does.  But not necessarily by trying harder.  If we just try hard and harder, we can miss the point and fall into performance driven motherhood where we end up running frantically after the idea of perfection.  We think only about performing our tasks well so we will be deemed worthy by others of our “Mom” title. 

I’m good and worthy of love if my house is clean. 

And my kids are clean and well-dressed. 


If I cook a nice meal.  That’s edible.

If I spend lots of time with my kids.  With no iPod in front of my face.

If I buy my kids the presents and goodies they want. 

If I take my kids on outings. 

If I am fit and beautiful.

It’s easy to make our worth dependent of our efforts.  But they are not.  God loves us no matter what.  He created us just the way he wanted us to be.  He loves me whether or not my house is messy. 

Or my kids are still in their pajamas at…what time is it?  Oh yes, 4:00 p.m. 

Or if I make hot dogs for supper. 

Or I’m still holding on to a few post-pregnancy pounds. 

Maybe I don’t have the energy to sign up for every committee at my kids’ school. 

Or at church.  *gasp*

Maybe I spent time reading my book instead of being fully invested in my kids’ world. 

But if our worth and love are dependent on our performance then we have a problem.  Because God is love.  God’s love is not defined by performance.  He loves us no matter what.  Messy or clean.  Large or small.  Happy or sad.  Energetic or slothful.  God loves us. 

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:8-10

If we make our love and worth dependent on our performance we are undermining the faithfulness of God’s love.  God says He loves us.  Period.  If we make it based on our performance then we make him a liar.

Now, does God want us to make good choices?  Does He want us to work at being there for our kids and being healthy?  I think so.  But that’s never the basis for His love. 

I hate feeling like a loser, misfit mom.  I thought I would outgrow that but it keeps creeping back into my life and my mind.  When I let those attitudes win, I’m not trusting Christ.  I’m not trusting His love .  I’m not trusting His promise that we are worth His very life.  Not because of what we do, but because of who He made us to be.

1 comment:

Peter and Nancy said...

One reason it creeps back in (at least for me) is that we keep going through new stages with our kids! Every new phase of their lives has its own reasons to compare myself to other moms. Gotta stop that, for all the excellent reasons you wrote about here!

Thanks for your kind comment about our adoption . . . the short version of why it's taking so long is this: the country of India is revamping how they handle adoptions. While all the departments etc., adjust to the new guidelines, it's taking a long time, and there's no end in sight right now. Please pray . . .