I’m a pretty positive person most of the time. In fact, some would probably describe me as joyful or one with a sunny disposition. But you know what makes no sense at all? I am pretty negative and hard on myself. And I know we all are, and the phrase “your own worst critic” exists for a reason. But should it really be that way? Shouldn’t we strive to look at ourselves and love ourselves the way God does, not the way parenting critics do? Why is it that I can give everyone around me grace and forgiveness except myself?
I think many parents, moms especially, struggle with their identity on motherhood. Who have I become? Do I really love myself? What happened to the woman I used to be? There is so much on our plates and we wear so many hats. Sometimes it seems we play all of our roles okay but none of them really to the best of our abilities.
Parenting Critics: The World’s View
And from a worldview, this parenting gig is very tricky. The world tells us we should be a certain way, look a certain way, act a certain way, talk a certain way, vote a certain way. We should do it all perfectly, mistake-free. If not, we are a failure. If not, we aren’t worthy of love and attention.
Social media, though often useful, can be a distraction and a hindrance to our personal growth. Do you want to get noticed? Be perfect, be beautiful, be hilarious. Keep trying to make yourself someone you are not. Use that filter, get that perfect lighting, take a million pictures (while in the background yelling, and stressing until each kid is smiling and looking at the camera – guilty!), post pictures of that clean room in your house, while the rest is covered in toys, dog hair, and laundry. There, you did it – perfection. Now you’ll be loved and accepted by the world. But, the thing is, as Christians, we are not of this world. We are not called to conform to this world. Stop wasting your time and energy on things that don’t matter!
Don’t Listen To Parenting Critics
My worth is not measured in how pretty, or tall, or thin, or funny, PERFECT, or successful I am. And my worth is not measured in how big my house is, how many cars I have, or how well-behaved my kids are, or how many Pinterest-worthy Halloween costumes I have sewn (zero, by the way, thank you very much). My worth is not measured in how good of a mom others (or even myself) think I am. Thank God. Because if it was… I would never, ever measure up. I would just keep failing, and failing, and failing. I’d keep chasing an unattainable goal like a puppy on his tail.
That last one has been the hardest in this journey of identity. In every job we have, we are given a review, an end-of-year check-in with our boss. Where are your strengths? What are you doing well? Where are your weaknesses? What do you need to work on? But, in parenthood? It often feels like our feedback comes from an “unstable” toddler who can’t even dress himself, yet wants all the independence in the world. Not very affirming, or uplifting.
You Are Enough. You Are Who He Says You Are.
Most days I can feel the joy around me. I can feel how blessed I am. How God chose me to guide these precious lives on Earth. He chose me and ONLY ME to be the mother of these three boys. The Lord of the Universe picked me, so that means I am qualified to do it. I am enough. Even though I have voices telling me I will never be good enough and I will never measure up – like that 3-year-old, or the lies of Satan, or social media, or my own voice inside – none of those voices and opinions matter. The only voice that matters is the God of Creation, the One who calls me His, the One who chose me for this very important job.
Maybe you aren’t a parent, but maybe you struggle with really owning your identity in Christ. You struggle with believing His voice and instead search everywhere else for validation. Stop. You are the daughter or son of the King, you are royalty, you are ENOUGH, and you matter. Challenge those voices and lies that are telling you otherwise, and I promise you will find God’s truth in your life louder and more powerful than ever.
I am who You say I am.