By Christina McConnell
Okay ladies, pay attention. I am about to give you all of the secrets. This is no time for joking. We Christian women must share this wisdom with each other so we can be perfect and flawless. Being the best wife and mom and everything else is just so easy, tra-la-la (as my favorite blogger, Jen Hatmaker would say)…Working mom, wife, volunteer, team member, taxi-driver, cook, laundress. I have it all together!
And if you think all that is true, you probably still believe in unicorns.
The perfect wife, mom and everything else who also honors God isn’t even a real thing. Back in the day, women didn’t run themselves ragged trying to do everything and be everything to everyone. Somehow us women have bought into the idea that we must have Pinterest-worthy birthday parties for our kids EVERY YEAR and make paleo meals with only organic hormone-free foods and spend our evenings driving kids to soccer and dance and baseball and tutoring and guitar-lessons so our kids will grow up perfect, all with stunning homes and world-changing careers, keeping our marriage fresh and new and serving our neighbors near and far while nurturing our relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Girlfriend, that ain’t possible. I’ve tried. And I fail pretty much every day. I often think I should and can do all of this. I mean, why can’t I be like the Proverbs 31 woman and get up early and get my fitness on, then come home and make a bountiful breakfast for my family while K-Love plays softly in the background as we have a meaningful devotional time with children who sit quietly, listening and taking notes without eye-rolling or arguing?
And then I whisk them off to school with a freshly-made lunch of nitrate-free turkey and grass-fed cheese on flax-meal bread with organic grapes and carrots. And then put in a productive 8-hour day at work. And then come home and make a nutritious dinner that of course everyone in my family will love and appreciate. And walk the dogs. And spend quality time with each of my kids. And do 3 loads of laundry. And help with homework. And spend some quality time with my husband. And…And…And…I mean, the list is endless of what I expect of myself.
But the reality is more like this….Kids make their own frozen waffles, dirty dishes are left on the counter, and there is a laundry basket or 3 on the floor somewhere with clean clothes that haven’t been folded in 2 days. The dog had an accident on the floor, AGAIN!, and the littlest one is screaming at me because his underwear fell in the floor while he was going potty. I get to work 2 hours later than I really should, and since I didn’t plan ahead, we have take-out for dinner while everyone is arguing over who has to clean up. Hubby is tired, homework help is a screaming match and I feel like I’m doing a terrible job at everything. How do I honor God in the middle of all of this crazy?
Here’s the thing: We have to stop with the foolish comparisons. If only I were like her…if only I had a house like her’s…if only my children behaved like her’s. Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 10:12 “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”
Maybe we have to figure out what we’re good at and get some help for the rest. Some stuff might have to be given up so other stuff can actually get done. I love cooking and meal planning, but I am terrible at crafts. I love playing music and working out but I can’t make random coffee dates or go on every field trip. I cannot be Class Mom. So I try to figure out what I can handle and what God designed me to do well, and let my people help with the rest.
3 John 1:4 says I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Jesus wants us wives and moms to walk with him and talk with him. That is His greatest joy! And that should be our greatest goal for our children. Don’t let guilt rob you of the joy that is right in front of you. A little boy who will cross the room to give you a hug. A teenager who still holds your hand in public. A guy who makes your coffee just the way you like it.
Use your God-given gifts and leave the rest to someone else. Simplify your lives to what’s beautiful and good and essential. And don’t guilt other moms for making different choices. God gave them different gifts than you and that’s ok. Celebrate each others’ accomplishments. Spend a little time alone with Jesus every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes before the kids wake up and start making you crazy. But talk to him all throughout the day!
He is with you always. We will never be the perfect wife and mother, but If we let His light shine through all of our imperfections, I believe we’re getting it right.