Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Perfect Mom

Do you have a picture in your mind of who the perfect mom is? Perhaps she's a real person that you know. Maybe she's a proto-type that fits a list of characteristics and qualities. Have you found, over the years, that your image of what makes a perfect mom is changing?

Us women, we are all about perfection, aren't we? It's not okay to just be a good mom (or even a great mom). Nope, the goal is Super Mom! Unfortunately, when we fall short of our perfect goals, we carry around a big backpack of guilt. After all, if so-and-so can handle this and do it that way, why can't I?

I am here today to throw that monkey off my (and your) back! Get lost, guilt!

Here is my image of the Super Mom:
- She stays home with her children (probably a dozen of them).
- Her house is usually immaculate.
- She bakes yummy goodies for her family all the time.
- She provides colourful and well-balanced meals three times per day.
- She has a set snack time, where her children eat at the table.
- Her laundry is virtually always caught-up.
- She probably home-schools her children.
- Her kids are incredibly well-mannered.
- She leads the children in Bible study and prayer time every single morning (and/or evening).
- She dresses nicely and wears make-up every day.
- Her children are the recipients of utterly consistent discipline (though they rarely need it).
- She wears nice shoes.
- Her kids don't really fight with one another (not even at home).
- Her cupboards don't contain sugary cereals or potato chips.
- She is always patient with her children.
- She never raises her voice.
- Her husband is greeted with a hug, a kiss, and a hot meal the moment he walks in the door each day.
- She always has a smile on her face.
- Her children seldom watch television or play video games, unless there is educational or spiritual merit to it.
- She never swears, even if she stubs her toe really, really hard.

If you know me, and you're keeping score, I get 1 point for staying home with my children (but maybe it's only half a point, because there are only 5 of them...and I was in university and then worked until the birth of the third). I'm curious, what would be on your list and how many points would you get?

Here is something I think we all need to remember - there is an enemy, and his goal is bring death and destruction to our families. And he will start his nasty work right at the family's heart - the mother. He's got two dirty little strategies that manage to catch all of us at one time or another: the "I'm not good enough" and the "I've got it right."

I think that the enemy likes to lure us into the trap of "all-or-nothing" thinking. He wants us to believe that we must be everything on our list to be good enough. And if he can't wear us down with guilt, he'll fill our heads with a sense of superiority. If we are doing all (or many) of the things we think are right, we are certain that our way is the only way and those who don't do what we do are falling short.

Before we go one step further, I just want to name the devil's tricks for what they are - PRIDE. The latter is obvious, but keep in mind that thinking badly of yourself is still simply "thinking all about yourself." Whether we think we're awesome or pathetic, we are caught in the trap of being solely focused on ourselves (aka: prideful).

Here are some questions that wander through my mind (and maybe yours) a lot. Do I have to be a full-time stay at home mother to be a good mom? If I work outside of the home, am I a bad or neglectful mom? Must I homeschool my children in order to truly fulfill God's parenting requirements? Is sending my children to school a cop-out (or even detrimental)? Does every mom really bake and cook like Betty Crocker?!

This post is getting long. My four younger children are being cared for by the "electronic babysitter" and Hannah Montana. My eldest has been sent away for the week. My house is dirty. The laundry pile is enormous. And I haven't brushed my teeth yet. So given my multiple failings (according to my list of perfection), I better get to work! But tomorrow, I'd like to tackle the answers to some of those questions. (Said tongue in cheek.) ;)

Disclaimer: Lots of what I have to say on this here blog spot is solely my personal opinion. But I don't say much on here without hitting God's Word to see what He has to say on the matters I think about, and I seldom click the "publish" button without praying. I pray that my words will not offend, but will encourage (and I pray the same for your thoughts posted in the comments - so if you disagree, don't be mean, okay?! *grin).


  1. We'll your obviously not perfect - yet. And like your husband likes to say, "there was only one perfect being and he was crucified." One day we will be perfect. One thing I do believe is that you are perfectly where you are supposed to be and God trusted you with the 5 He gave you - so I think you're doing okay in His eyes. If He keeps points I bet you score 100%.

    I think you're real - what's more important than that.


  2. Oh Dear . . . me thinks me failed!

    Let me see . . . boy, this is discouraging . . . I have failed them all!

    I really think being the perfect Mom is more of an idea than a fact of life. We must all strive to do our best . . . that is all that God or anyone can expect.

  3. Let's see...I would add "...but doesn't eat them herself" to the end of "She bakes yummy goodies...". I'd also add the following:

    *Exercises regularly and it shows
    *Reads 10 books a day to her kids


    Hmmm...I didn't score very well at all.

    And now I'll weigh in on some of your questions. ;)

    "Do I have to be a full-time stay at home mother to be a good mom?" No. But I do believe that there are far far too many children in day care. Call me an anti-feminist...it's okay. :)

    "Must I homeschool my children in order to truly fulfill God's parenting requirements?" Yes, but only IF it's God's calling on your life. I wish more parents would prayerfully consider whether homeschooling is God's will for their family. Too many limit themselves "I could never homeschool" and "I don't have the patience" and so on. Lies...all lies. If God calls, he equips.

    "Does every mom really bake and cook like Betty Crocker?!" What? You don't bake and cook like Betty? Pssh. Get with the program. ;)

    Wow...longest comment ever! Sorry 'bout that! I loved this post, by the way. Just loved it. :)

  4. I thought your post was great and very encouraging. It's a relief to know I'm not the only one with those thoughts! And I completely agree with the "all or nothing" guilt thoughts. My children are currently being"electronically babysat" while I take a few minutes but then I remember they are loved, cared for, and getting over being sick so that is an okay way for us to be right now. Thanks for always being so open and honest!

  5. Wow! Our "super mom" lists are eerily similar!! I would add:
    - never feels guilty or the need to explain herself
    - easily finds gratitude and joy in all circumstances

    I agree with the above commenters that I appreciate and love your "realness" and honesty. (sigh) If only I leapt up to fold that clean laundry when it needs me most...

  6. Okay, I think I actually scored negative on your super mom scale if that is even possible.

    Can I tell you a secret? I think you are my definition of a super mom. A perfect mom, who wants that. You are much, much better. You are also a super women and a super friend (and really if people don`t like what you write, they don`t have to read it). I always thought before I got to know you, you were the `perfect` mom but when I got to know you and saw some flaws is when I knew you were super!!!

    Why do I think you are a super mom. Even when there is anger and frustration in your voice (we all get there) I can tell you are speaking out of love and wanting to show your children the right way. Who cares about the esthetics of life, its the love on the inside that counts. You try to show your children right from wrong even if a f-bomb slips out on occasion.

    It is not an all or nothing. God created us all with special talents and gifts. I feel that I am a valuable outside the home as in. I know in my heart I am not a great teacher although there are many blessed with that gift. Although I work outside the home and sometimes feel like a neglectful mom I know I am not. I do what needs to be done for my child. Do I need to make so much money and work so much - maybe not but I do it to enjoy some of the finer things in life and will not appologize to anyone for it.

    Oh and by the way, Betty Crocker is a made up person. There is a reason there is instant mixes, cause not everyone can (or wants to bake).

    Ask your kids, they will tell you how you are doing. I am guessing 95% of the time they will tell you that you are a super mom. Who cares what the other bi&*hes super anal, always perfect on the outside people think.

  7. Oh no, I got 4 points. I guess I may be a super mom. We all have a dream of what a Proverbs or Titus 2 woman looks like since childhood. I think wwe cant help but try to achieve that...but we have to be careful it does not consume us.


I am so glad you stopped by! My hope is that we can engage in a conversation together. I love to reply to your comments, but I need your help to make that happen.

If you have a blogger profile, would you consider editing your profile to "show my email address?" Then, when I receive your comment in my email inbox, I can reply directly to you.

Alternately, you can check the box "email follow up comments to..." so that I can reply to you right here. (You will also receive other readers' comments using this method.)

I'm excited to get to know you better!