What Would I Say If I Weren’t a Messed-Up Mom (Day 14)

boy mom
My three, who have taught me more about living small than anything else in my life!

I used to think marriage was the ultimate sharpening tool for a selfish heart. Until… I became a mom. Parenting has revealed layers of selfishness in the nooks and crannies of my heart that I never knew existed.

Some of my most messed-up moments are when I crash-and-burn as a parent.

I lose my temper at my 3-year-old who won’t stop asking me questions.

I yell at all the noise and chaos that goes down prior to us trying to get out the door.

I discipline out of insecurity or fear because I see their bad behavior as my failure as a mom.

Admittedly, I’m one messed up chick.  So, how does one messed-up parent parent well?

live small in parenting

God’s grace is where it begins.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment {to put a moderate estimate upon one’s self, use self control}, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3 NIV

Let’s pretend… I’m not a messed-up mom. What would I say if I lived small within each little moment of every day?

1. “My children are not me.”

I will not pull my significance from my kids. I will not look to their behavior or accomplishments or image or popularity or grades (or any lack thereof) as a reflection for my worth or value.

2. “I will not own my children’s emotions.”

This is so hard for me.  When my kids are fussy, I get fussy.  I tend to take responsibility for how they are feeling. I am learning this grace-filled truth:

mothering feeling

3. “Training my children’s heart is my goal not forcing certain behaviors.”

Looking beyond the quick fixes of “yes ma’am” and “no sirs.”  Uncovering the whys to the sass talk and disrespect. Taking the extra time to train and teach the heart rather than lecture out of selfish irritation. How many times have I cringed because I want (no, need) my kids to behave for me so that I will look good in front of my friends, at church, with my family. Getting to the heart of the matter takes time, patience, and guts.

Within my mess, I can live small by the grace of God. Join me? In doing so, we might just find ourselves on the doorway to something big in our parenting.

31 days, the nester, live smallClick here to see other posts in this series.