This is a post for 31 Days about making it as a mom. Check out the intro post if this is your first time here!
I am so excited today to have a guest post written by my dear friend, Jaimie Krycho. Jaimie's wise words were so important and convicting for me; perhaps they will be for you, as well. Enjoy Jaimie's post!
When I first approached writing this blog post, I came dead set on giving you an answer. A silver bullet for "How to Make it as a Mom," or some panacea for all your parenting woes.
The truth was, I was coming to you in pride. Thinking that I had something that you sweet moms out there were dying for, I alone holding the cure. Now I see how well the proverb "pride cometh before a fall" applies to me, a mother in need of great grace.
I have, in the words of the most recent Pride and Prejudice movie, been "an unmitigated ass" to my child today. To those for whom that word makes them squirm: I mean it to shock you, to seem ugly and terrible. Because that's exactly what my sin was - ugly and terrible.
I've been lashing out at my four-year- old daughter because she doesn't measure up the intellectual standard I've set for her. I've used a mishmash of other people's children's accomplishments - as well as ideals I've created in my head, and my own inflated opinion of myself - to create that standard. I am a perfectionist, and I've been foisting my perfectionistic tendencies on my children, arrogantly expecting God to give me a child with an intellect of gold to match up to my great need to accomplish vicariously through her.
I'm sure you can see several things wrong with this way of thinking, and perhaps a post could be written on any number of points therein. However, what I'm here to say is that part of "making it as a mom" means willingness to repent of our sin - of pride like the kind I've just detailed, of anger that causes us to lash out. And I don't mean feeling vaguely sorry and/or guilty for what we did (or didn't) do. I mean a full-on, painful, tet-a-tet with both God and the child we have wronged, even if she is too young to fully understand why we're apologizing and what we're going on and on about.
Only real repentance and apology can restore fellowship to the family when our sin has broken that fellowship. Just as in a marriage, a wrong that is never addressed will fester, both in one's own heart and the heart of the person who has been wronged. Don't get me wrong - we all make mistakes, and little children's short memories cover over many shortcomings. But if we develop a pattern of ignoring our sins in parenting - a cavalcade of excuses for why we don't need to actually say the words "I'm sorry" to our children - that can lead to a lifestyle, one that we would never affirm from the outset. That lifestyle not only dishonors God and others, but makes us miserable, too.
In sum, I don't really know how to "make it as a mom," but I think part of it means "[throwing] off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles," so that we can "run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1). How appropriate! As we parent - part of that great marathon we're all running - let's encourage one another to be people of repentance and look to Christ as the source of all goodness, glory, and restoring grace.
So good, right? Let Jaimie and me know what you thought in the comments below or on Facebook!