Letting Go of the Mom You Think You Should Be

I think every mom, at some point in her life, has envied another mom. It could be that it’s not even a specific person that we envy-but rather an idealized mom-type. It is the Fantasy Mom, always better than us, always on top of everything, always cheerful, with well-behaved children, a clean house always, and has never been crazy ever. Us moms dream about being that kind of mom in the midst of our own messy, un-put together lives.

But ladies, she’s not real.

Or maybe she is. It’s the neighbor or the friend or the blogger who has their crap together and you just know they’d judge you down to your insides if they only knew what kind of a mom you were.

How you rely way too much on frozen pizzas to get your family through the week, or how you can’t seem to make it out of a season of just surviving. And your house has literally never been spring cleaned, cause what’s the point?

Or maybe it’s because this last week was Holy Week, leading up to Easter, and you didn’t even realize it was Palm Sunday until your kids came bearing palm leaves from their church service? And you felt that deep shame-you are going to ruin your kids. And so you try to make up for it by talking about the resurrection on the way to school next morning, and there is absolute silence in the backseat when all you want is discussion. Before that they would not stop talking. And you find yourself a failure again.

I realized this last week how much I have been trying to be that Fantasy Mom, a mashup of all the amazing mom types I strive to be. At the end of the day, all I see is my failure to be what I think I should be. And then it dawned on me.

Maybe God doesn’t want another replica. And maybe what I think I should be is not what God wants me to be.

Maybe he’s designed me the way I am for a reason, and it wasn’t an accident. And there’s only one me in the entire world, just like there’s only one you.

So I could keep striving…

Or I could just stop and rest and embrace who I am, with all my strengths and weaknesses, and live each day as if God really has given me all that I need. Because he has, even when I don’t live up to my own expectations. Even when I feel like a failure. Maybe especially then, because it is those particularly painful moments that point me to his holiness.

His greatness is remedy to my smallness.

As long as we are striving to be somebody else, we will never completely come into what God has for us. So imitate what you want to grow in as a mother, but don’t try to replicate. We were created to be molded to one person only, and that is Jesus Christ.

I’m learning this right now. This week has been the week of insecurity, and feeling inadequate in almost every area of my life, especially in relation to other moms. And as much as I’d like to just turn these feelings off, and experience the freedom and joy of fully accepting myself, it’s never just that easy. It’s always a journey.

But it begins with a choice.

And so I’ve decided to let some stuff go this week.


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