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Today I’m linking up over at Kelly’s Korner to participate in the “Build ‘Em Up Series” the topic today is being confident in motherhood and I’ve been really excited to write on this topic!
My mother in law (Mrs. Charlotte) often tells this little story about her two daughters. She talks about how out of the two girl’s Casey was born with the most natural athletic ability but that she didn’t really have a big passion for sports and therefore didn’t pursue athletic endeavors. Courtney was less of a “natural talent” yet was very, very passionate about basketball. Anywhere she went she was practicing. Running laps around her house. Shooting baskets for hours. She worked and worked and truly put her full complete self into her sport. And she ended up playing basketball on full scholarship in college and won many, many awards during her basketball career.
While I’m not Mrs. Charlotte’s “blood daughter” I do think that if she were to interject me into that story she’d say that the way Courtney was about basketball is the way I am about parenting. I do not think I’m a natural born parent. When I hear people say that mothering “just comes naturally” or that they have a “natural instinct” on how to care for their children I cannot relate to that. I do not think I was born with a natural talent as a mother. However, it is my PASSION. It’s my run-around-the-house-and-shoot-hoops-all-day drive. And I feel that my hard work, determination, and constant effort in parenting has made me a “star player” in the motherhood sport.
Prior to becoming a parent I didn’t know what my “talent” was. I knew that God blessed us each with a talent and that we are called to use that talent to glorify Him. Becoming a mother showed me that gift. It may not be a natural gift that I was born with, but my gift is my DRIVE to be the best mother possible. I push myself to excel in all aspects of motherhood. I feel that I use my talent of parenting to praise God by raising my children up in Him and by helping other new moms who, like me, may not have a clue what they are dealing with as first time mommies!
I am not an overly confident person. I do not think I’m very physically attractive and don’t have a lot of confidence in my appearance. I do not think I’m the world’s greatest wife and probably my role as a wife is where I struggle in sin the most. I know I have failed in many aspects as a daughter and sister. I have also fallen short in many, many friendships through the years. I struggle with sharing my love of God with others and often do not spread His word the way I should.
However, there is ONE area of my life that I am 100% confident in. And that’s my role as a mother to my children. I give my absolute best to them each and every day. I put their needs ahead of mine and I study all areas I can of parenting to try to raise them the best way possible. People can call me all kinds of names. They can cut me to the core with putdowns. But if someone tried to call me a bad mom? It wouldn’t phase me a BIT because I KNOW they are wrong in that! It’s my one untouchable area where I have so much confidence in myself that no one can tear that down!
I think a lot of my drive for being “the best” mom I can be is because I know I won’t get any “do-overs.” I get a small window of time to raise my children. I give all I can to them and then they grow up and I won’t really know how I did until they are adults. I can’t really get those “parenting awards” until I see our children as men and women. Until I know that my work paid off. That they turned out to be great adults. And that’s scary!!! I know I will answer on judgement day for how I did as a mother. And it’s so important to raise my children up in the Lord so that they can continue to spread His word even when I’m gone. I do not want to fail them, but I especially don’t want to fail Him.
How many people do you know that you think “wow their parents did a great job?” or…”dang they must have some mommy/daddy/someone issues?” We naturally do that when we meet others. And I never want to feel like I didn’t do my best as a mom. I know that my kids choose their own paths in life and that not everything they will do as an adult is a reflection of me or of the parenting choices I make now. However, I’m preparing them for those tough life choices. I’m leading them down the path that they will hopefully continue to pursue as adults. What I do NOW will matter THEN.
I don’t look at each day as a small accomplishment. “Whew! We survived the day!” I look at it as a piece of the future. My job as a parent is to raise MEN and WOMEN. Not cute little boys and girls. Not fun preschoolers. Not “friends” for myself. They will live their lives as adults much, much longer than they will be my children. I want to teach them independence. How to choose the righteous path without me standing there to push them along. I want to teach them respect for others. To be like Jesus and let their lights shine for Him in all that they do. I want to teach them responsibility. That the choices they make matter and that they answer to a higher calling then just their own selfish flesh. Each goal I have as a parent is one that has the broader goal of raising an adult.
I am not claiming to be a “perfect” mother. I have my shortcomings, as we all do in all things. Just like Courtney practiced and practiced with her basketball, I continue to practice and practice with my parenting. I strive to always be improving. Always growing. Always learning. Love goes a long way and I love my children so completely with my whole being and know that that love alone WILL bring so much goodness and happiness to their lives always.
I do not know what the future holds for my children. I cannot control every outcome for their lives. Much of their life path is based on their choices. All I can do is MY personal best to prepare them and guide them on their journeys. I am confident that I am doing all I can as a mother. I am confident in that role as a parent. And even if they make choices I may not have picked for them, even if their paths go astray, I do feel confident that I will always lay my head down at night knowing that I fulfilled my role as being the best mom I can be!
I’m not saying that the way I have chosen to parent is better than other ways other people choose to parent. We all have to make those personal decisions on what is best for our children. And I do feel strongly that the decisions I make as a mother are what is best for my children and for the goals I have for them. I try to take a step back and look at the bigger picture whenever I’m faced with a parenting dilemma and I strive to always “start as I mean to go on” meaning that I try to make decisions with a larger purpose. I’m very blessed to be married to a man who supports my passion for parenting and who has those “big picture goals” in mind at all times as well! Together we make a great team and he’s always there to have my back and allow me to excel in my role as a mother. I guess you could say he’s the “point guard” to my role as “shooting guard” (I had to google basketball positions to figure this out…and I might not have it right? Haha)
What makes you confident in your role as a mother? Be sure to join the link-up today!