I love the days when I seem to have it all together as a mom, and I am the mom at the park who did not forget to pack extra wipes, my kids are playing happily, and we do not have to leave early because of a meltdown. The reason I love days like that is because it is like getting a good performance review at work. If you are a stay at home mom like me, you are not getting paychecks with your name on them or reviews from your boss to tell you that you are doing a good job. We are depending on the compliments and feedback of others, and if you are like me, one bad day can make all the affirmation of a job well done seem to evaporate. One meltdown or defiant attitude from one of the kids sends me back into negativity. “What am I doing wrong? Should I really be a mom?” Then I have a day where I am the mom on top of my game, and I feel like I should be getting five stars punched on my mom card.
The pandemic of 2020 sure sent my “I’m killing this!” attitude for a turn. Suddenly the extras that seemed to be the source for me thinking I was doing a good job were gone. No longer was I busy driving the kids to activities, and my regular routine had evaporated. Everyone was talking about finding a new normal (and they still are). “Lord, what is going on here? I was doing such a good job.”
I have come to realize that I was not doing such a bad job of parenting, but rather that my dependence and my source for affirming myself was skewed. I kept looking to myself—trying to build myself up instead of letting God speak to me. When I stopped to think and pray about it, it became clear that I needed to look to the Lord—to listen to him, to follow him. So obvious, but it’s a lesson I need to learn over and over again.
In Second Corinthians, Paul speaks to us of how the Lord kept him from becoming prideful in his work, that the Lord allowed there to be torments in his life so that Paul would not become prideful and lose his dependence on God.
When we lose our dependence on God in our lives, we are also losing the opportunity for him to work in our lives. Paul says, That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor 12:10). As hard as it may be to lose control at times with all the trials and tribulations this year had to offer, I think we can all take something from the words of Paul.