Last week was Valentine's Day, a day of celebrating those we love. As I was tucking in my sweet seven year old boy on Valentine's Day, he hesitantly informed me that all the other kids in his class received a ring pop or M&M's candy gram from their parents. He politely inquired as to why he did not receive one.
Just to clarify, we did give him a Valentine at home, a heart with assorted chocolates and a Snickers bar. He was very appreciative. He was only wondering why he was the only one in his class that did not receive a candy gram at school.
My heart sank as I assured him, "You were the only one? I'm so sorry, Luke. I did not know about the candy grams. We gave you the candy bar and heart full of chocolates. We love you so much." (As if any amount of candy would be an indicator or measuring meter of our love for him.)
At that moment I felt I had somehow failed the "Good Mom" test. You know, the standards put out there by the world that desire to dictate who is and who is not a "Good Mom".
Seriously, who writes these rules and how are we suppose to know the "Good Mom Rules"?
These unwritten rules of society try to paint a picture of the "Good Mom". The problem is the canvas is too heavy for any of us to bear.
Pinterest is pandering to our desire to be the "good mom". I don't think there is anything wrong with Pinterest. It hosts many good ideas and it can be a good tool. However, it should only be a tool and not a place where we pin our parenting skills up for comparison.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best mom we can be to our kids. However, God made us all unique. He placed gifts in you knowing the kids He would give you.
He knows what your kids need and it is not a one size fits all when it comes to being a "good mom".
Just because you don't do crafts daily or weekly with your kids doesn't mean you are stifling your kid's creativity. Just because you work outside the home doesn't mean you love your kids any less than someone who stays at home. Just because you aren't able to volunteer at your kid's school doesn't mean you aren't engaged in their learning. And just because you didn't know about Valentine's Day candy grams does not mean you are a bad mom.
There is, thankfully, no "Good Mom Rule Book". We have but only two rules to live by:
"And you shall love the LORD your God with
all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all
your strength.' This [is] the first commandment." Mark 12:30
"And the second, like [it, is] this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:31
John 13:34 says it this way:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
When we get these two rules down, we will be following the "Good Mom Rules".
It does not matter what other parents do or don't do. We have but one requirement as moms...Love the Lord your God with all our heart and love our children (and others).
Doesn't that make you just sigh a breath of relief? We don't have to be like "Suzy Homemaker" or "Betty Crocker."
When we love the Lord our God with all our hearts and love others, we are walking in the Spirit. The Spirit will show you what is needed for you to be a "good mom" to your children. Parenting by walking in the Spirit is truly sweeter than any candy gram you could ever send.