Before you become a first-time parent, you expect to feel overwhelming amounts of LOVE! JOY! HAPPINESS! EXCITEMENT! ADVENTURE! And you’re right to feel those things. However, if you are now a mom or dad to a precious little one (or several!), you know that other feelings come along with parenthood.
And those nagging voices in your head…
Do I read to them enough?
Do I play with them enough?
Do I encourage and praise them enough?
Should I be more flexible with their sleeping schedules? Or are they staying up too late the way it is?
Am I too strict with their diet? Or did I just give them WAY too much sugar?
Is it bad that I’m letting them watch (yet another) show so that I can have a little quiet time?
Was that punishment too harsh?... or too lenient?
Do I yell at my kids too much?
Do they KNOW that I love them?
We’re late to school again. How is everyone else ALWAYS on time?!
I forgot to make sure my kids did their homework.
If any of the above thoughts have run across your mind, you’re not alone! They are all genuine concerns that I have had at times, and I guarantee there are other moms out there with them as well (anyone willing to raise your hand??).
I fail every single day as a mother, but guess what? Christ’s love never fails us! He takes all of my imperfections and covers them with His cleansing blood. When the feelings of mommy-guilt consume me, there is nothing more comforting than the words Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Grace. Thank you, Lord, for the grace you have shown me as a mother. Thank you for the forgiveness you’ve given me when I fall short, and for helping my children forgive my daily shortcomings to them.
Grace. It’s all we need to remember when we feel like the mom next to us at the school pick-up has it all together perfectly. Her daily mess-ups with her kids are covered by God’s grace, too, and maybe that’s the reason why I don’t see them.
Grace. The more weaknesses we have, the more of God’s grace we receive.
Grace. I knew there was a reason we gave our first-born this middle name; it’s a reminder of what I need each and every day to survive this thing we call parenting. May God’s grace also cover you as you navigate this winding road, and remember that you are not alone.
Beth Shiels is married to her husband, Zach, and together they have three charismatic daughters, with a fourth baby arriving in December. Beth splits her time between staying at home with her children, working at New Beginnings, and assisting in Zach's chiropractic clinic. She loves this crazy busy life Gods has blessed her with and is thankful to have the opportunity to share His love with the moms and babies at New Beginnings.