I sat outside of his recently slammed door, head held in shame, sobbing, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
My throat still stung from my high-pitched crazed scream: WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
What was he doing? Kicking his sister off the bed—literally—with a swift kick right in her newly turned 1 face. And I lost my mind and my temper, and I screamed, took him by the arm, and escorted him into his room slamming the door for good measure. What is wrong with that child?
What is wrong with me? This isn’t the mom I set out to be. And yet, this was the stressed-out, losing-it mom I had become.
My Kids Aren’t The Problem
When my little convict with Pelé-like skills escaped, he found me right outside his room—still sobbing. I grabbed ahold of him—this time, to squeeze him tight not to send him away—and I apologized over and over, again.
I fine, Momma.
Momma, I okay!
The sweet boy was more freaked out by my repentant theatrics than me losing it on him merely minutes earlier.
With a smooch, he got up and played like nothing had happened. I, on the other hand, poured my grieving I-suck-at-this heart out to God.
As soon as I stopped dramatically lamenting, I felt the prick on my soul. I knew what it was—what had been building up—that led to my outburst. Pride.
How to Let Go of Pride to Parent in God’s Strength
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The Problem Wih Prideful Parenting
Pride says we can’t be mothers who have children who hurt their sisters or throw tantrums and run from us at Target or tackle little girls at Chik-fil-A. (Just me?)
- Pride has us reacting out of the fear of not being good enough.
- Pride brings out all of our insecurities as mommas.
- Pride says she’s doing it better than me.
- Pride stops us from asking for help from God and other mommas.
Humbly Parenting in His Strength & Grace
The ministry of the Holy Spirit includes bringing our subjective insecurities as mothers in line with the objective reality of our eternal security in Christ. – Gloria Furman, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full (emphasis mine)
There isn’t a single self-help guide, parenting book or post or podcast that can help us if Divine Love isn’t our first and primary focus.
It’s only when we admit our need for God that we can look at motherhood through Gospel-eyes.
The good news of Jesus Christ is superior to our to-do lists and metaphorical mother-of-the-year trophies. This is because the greatest problem a mother has is not a lack of creativity, accomplishment, or skill, but her inability to love God and others as Jesus loves her. – Gloria Furman, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full (emphasis mine)
Moving Forward in Humility
So yeah, the problem isn’t my rambunctious kids—it’s me trying to raise them without a Love-centered heart.
We can’t parent effectively in our own strength. And why would we want to when we have access to God’s power?
So we pray and journal and read God’s Word. We seek wisdom from Christian mothers who have gone before us. We ask trusted friends to pray and keep us accountable, and then we rest.
Yes, rest. We don’t strive. We don’t step ahead. We don’t plan one hundred ways to be a better mom. We rest in Divine truth. We take it slow. We are gentle with ourselves and our family.
And, sweet friend, we raise each other up in prayer and love. Because that’s what the Body does.
Go love well, sweet friend.
If you are looking for a wonderful Gospel-focused book on motherhood, I highly recommend the book I quoted in this post:
Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, by Gloria Furman