There is No Such Thing as a Perfect Mother by Tracie Miles
I thought since I hadn’t given life to my first unborn child, that when God did bless me with a child, I had to be the very best mother the universe had ever known.
You see, in 1986, I was a 19 year old pregnant, unmarried, college student, and obviously not making the best of choices. I was not walking with God, and one bad decision had led to another, eventually landing me in an abortion clinic. A decision that would haunt me for decades.
Years later, my husband and I held our first baby girl in our arms and I vividly remember, laying in the maternity ward holding Morgan ever so gently, peering into her blue eyes and breathing in the scent of her fragile adorableness. For the first time in fourteen years, I began thinking positive, hopeful thoughts….. Maybe God doesn’t despise me after all. Maybe He does see some good in me. Maybe He does love me and have a purpose for me. After all, if God would allow me to be a mom to something so tiny and precious, could He really hate me? Maybe I do have a purpose.
You see, in that quiet moment long ago, I had begun to question whose voice I had been listening to. I had been deceived by the enemy’s voice for fourteen years, all the while believing God could never love me. Believing the lies that I was unforgivable. That my slate in heaven was forever marred because of my mistakes. But now, the foundation these lies were built on had been shaken by the birth of this baby, and hope was beginning to break through my shattered heart.
Despite feeling God’s sweet whispers of grace and mercy, I still felt like I had a lot to make up for – hence the quest for the mother of the universe award. I was convinced I had to be the best mommy in the history of all mommies. I had to prove to myself, to God, to my family, and to this child, that I deserved her and that I could be the most perfect mom there ever was. In addition, I had to protect this child and it was my maternal duty to hover over her, even if that meant grandparents, aunts, uncles, and maybe even her daddy, would rarely get to hold her or take care of her. No sir, this tiny little human was never leaving my sight, or my arms. Every waking moment had to be devoted to meeting every need of this baby, at all costs.
Can we say irrational? Obsessed? Over achieving? Selfish? Yes, I was all of those things, but my heart was in the right place. You see, I just wanted to be a good mom, the best mom, an incredible mom, and I wanted to make up for my mistakes by trying to be a perfect mom.
Needless to say, I set standards for myself I couldn’t possibly meet. Regardless of how great a mom I desired to be, I was still just a human.
Can you relate? Have you ever set such high standards for yourself that you set yourself up for disappointment? Have you ever tried to be the perfect mom, but eventually realized it wasn’t possible and felt like a failure? Have you ever tried so hard to be perfect, that you began to feel hopeless and worthless? Me too, friend. And it’s no fun.
I dare say all moms feel that way at times. We set our minds to being the most patient, loving, thoughtful, caring, kind, generous and selfless mother ever, but life and reality get in the way. Colicky babies, tantrum throwing toddlers, defiant third graders, disrespectful middle schoolers, hormonal teenagers, and self centered young adults eventually shake our quest for perfection to the core. No matter how hard we try, we can’t live up to the standards we set for ourselves – of being the perfect mom with perfect kids who rise up every day and call her blessed.
Whether our past includes abortion, or other poor decisions or experiences that shook our confidence, us moms just want to be the best moms we can be, strive for perfection and prevent our kids from ever making bad choices or feeling hurt. But only God has that kind of sovereignty. We are not perfect, nor will our kids be perfect, and trying to strive for perfection as a mom only brings discouragement and frustration.
How might this journey of motherhood be different if we stopped trying to be perfect, and started leaning on the One perfect parent? How might our hearts for God grow if we stop trying to meet expectations that He would never expect us to meet, and give ourselves some slack in this calling of motherhood?
All moms have made mistakes or endured hardships in life, but we don’t have to let our past become a stumbling block for our future. God has called us all to a divine purpose in this life, and sometimes the highest, most divine calling of all, is being a mom. Not a perfect mom, but a mom who loves the Lord and asks for grace when she stumbles, and strength when she’s weary. A mom who pushes past her lack of confidence and regrets from the past, and allows God to use those experiences to shape her into a faith role model for her kids. A mom who loves her kids enough to teach them to love Him too.
A mom who tries her best, while knowing she is only human, and remembering that she has a God who will help her get through each season of parenting, one imperfect day after another.
And one day, they just might rise up and call us blessed, and every prayer for grace will prove worth the wait.
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Tracie Miles Author of Your Life Still Counts
Tracie Miles is a member of the national speaker team with Proverbs 31 Ministries and enjoys speaking to women’s groups at keynote events and weekend retreats across the country. Her passion is to lead women closer to the heart of God, help them embrace their value and purpose in Him, and inspire them to live intentionally for Christ. For more information about Tracie, visit her blog at www.traciemiles.com, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Make a Comment Below to be entered into a drawing for a free book “Your Life Counts” by Tracie Miles!