Happy Friday! Can you believe we are halfway through October already? I’ve mentioned before how much I adore the fall season! It is such a cozy and delightful time filled with countless comforts: warm knits, hot drinks, crunchy leaves, crisp mornings, and spicy smells…
Unfortunately, many of these pleasures are conjured up in my imagination every year until we get a true cold front here in Florida (Think: turning down the AC, baking pumpkin bread, and burning holiday candles to create the autumn “mood…” Ha! My desperation is not exaggerated!) Just this past week, we had a bit of cooler weather – the mornings were in the 70s – so I broke out a sweater (paired with shorts and flip-flops) and celebrated the beginning of fall (never mind that the cool weather hasn’t lasted!)
My dear mama friends, this leads me into part 2 of my posts about feeling inadequate as a mom. Earlier this week I wrote about how the world’s opinion of stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) had led me in previous seasons to believe that my role was insignificant and of little value (part 1). Now I want to address the other inadequacy I have felt, and it comes from comparing myself to other SAHMs.
Can you relate at all? Let me be fully transparent… when I feel that I am not being a good mama, it is most often because I am comparing myself to another mother on social media. We all know that using the perfect backdrop of social media as a standard is bad, but don’t we all still do it to some degree? I know I do!
Let me shed more light on this subject by continuing my story about fall…
Inadequacy per other mothers
In light of the cooler weather, my mind immediately began to brainstorm fun fall activities that I could do with little B. Isn’t that the beauty of being a SAHM anyways? She deserved the autumn experience and I wanted to give it to her! The problem was that I was grasping at straws. I felt guilty about not making the most of the nice weather, but all that I truly wanted to do was stay indoors and play in our living room together. Is there anything wrong with that? Of course not! But to me there seemed to be so much wrong with it… Shouldn’t I take my child out to a park? My Instagram mommy friends are always posting pictures of their kids playing outside and dressed in adorable sweaters and hats. What’s wrong with me? Am I lazy for wanting to stay home? Am I depriving my little of experiences she ought to have?
I’m sure you’re reading this and thinking that I’m crazy! But honestly, I’m just trying to keep it real. It seems silly now, but at the time it felt like a very real issue. Why couldn’t I keep up with other moms? And the bigger question – why did I care whether or not I was meeting these “standards”?
Eventually common sense won and I realized how silly I was being. It was completely fine to stay home and do whatever WE wanted to do… instead of trying to live another mother’s Instagram-ed life.
Has anyone else found themselves doing this? It’s such an easy trap to fall into. And it truly opened my eyes to see that I was distracted by living that “perfect” life and meeting human standards. It made me lose sight of the True Standard I am called to live my life before. God has called me to be more Christ-like. He is my standard.
Yet I can’t live up to these ideals on my own. In fact, it is impossible because these are standards of perfection! But praise God! He made a way for me by sending His only Son to pay the price that justice demands because of my sin and my inadequacies. I have trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior, and He has forgiven me of my rebellion towards Him and my inadequacies as a mom and as a human. He has also given me His Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me His ways. This is how I become more Christ-like, by learning and following the Holy Spirit’s guidance in my life.
I don’t want to be caught up in the comparison game with other SAHMs. What a distracting and fruitless pursuit! Instead, I want to model Christ-like behavior to my children as I choose obedience to my Father in heaven every day. I won’t always make good choices, but my littles can also learn from my humility and repentance in those moments of failure.
…serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. (1 Chronicles 28:9b)
God is the judge of whether or not we are living well. I want to live my life before Him rather than before others. I don’t want my goal in life to have the “perfect blog” or the “ideal social media account.” God doesn’t place value in these things, and I don’t want to either. He places value on the content of our hearts – the hidden parts of us that no one sees.
Father, help us to place our value in what You think of us and not what kind of a lives we are perceived to have by others. You know the inner workings of our hearts and this is what You evaluate. Let us be found faithful in this area of our lives and let that faithfulness bless Your heart. Give us loyal hearts that live for You and not for the approval of the world or the “likes” of social media. May You be glorified in all that we do, think, and say. Amen!
I pray that these last two blog posts have been reminders to you that your value is not found in the opinions or standards of others. You are exactly what your little ones need in a mama! Cling to Jesus, and He will give you strategy, grace, and strength for every trial you will face in motherhood. He is all we will ever need, and He will be that for you – just ask Him*! Praying for you mamas! ♥
Grace and peace!
*If you want to dialogue more about a relationship with God, please send me a comment or an email (see the contact page on the main menu). I’d love to chat with you!
You can also check out part 1: “inadequacies of a SAHM – part 1”
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