We all have those inner voices telling us we are not good enough at one or more of our roles in life. My loudest voice is from one of my inner demons I call the Perfect Mommy. She makes me feel like I am never good enough as a parent due to my many imperfections.
I’m here to tell her I am no longer at her mercy. God is the only one I answer to and He is not the condescending presence Perfect Mommy is. As Renee Swope tells us in A Confident Heart, “His goodness makes me good enough.”
Dear Perfect Mommy,
For so many years you have made me feel less than. You see me as completely inept as a mother, the role that is most important to me. I’m done listening to you. I’m done feeling the pain and doubt you inflict on me.
I don’t feed my kids properly. I don’t keep our house clean enough. I don’t teach them enough about exercise, doing chores, good manners…
Blah, blah, blah…
I can’t hear you anymore.
As I watch helplessly as my precious daughter wanders lost, away from her faith, you tell me it’s all my fault. I was inconsistent with church while she was growing up. I haven’t always been the best example of a Christian woman for her. These things may be true, but I will no longer take on all of the responsibility. She is at an age where many wander, and I’m deep in prayer for her every day begging God to bring her back to Him. This is the greatest gift I can give to her.
When my son goes into one of his horrifying seizures, you blame me. You kick me when I am at my lowest, broken from witnessing such a frightening event. You tell me it must be something I have done wrong. You say I must be a defective mother for my son to have epilepsy and my daughter to suffer through multiple painful injections every day to try to control her diabetes. I hear from you, loud and clear, my children are dealing with these terrible inflictions because of the sins of their mother…
I now know all of these accusations from you are lies. I’m far from a perfect mom, but there is only one perfect parent. That is our Father, God. He has adopted all of us, me and my children included.
Yet to all who did receive him,
to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God.
I am not in control of their lives. He is. I cannot possibly care for them as He does. Your constant lies, telling me I’m in control, have caused me a ridiculous amount of worry for almost 20 long years.
Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
it is not for them to direct their steps.
I’m here to love them and guide them to the best of my ability. I love them fiercely, with every single corner of my being. My guidance is improving daily as my relationship with Christ grows monumentally.
You are right about many things, Perfect Mommy. I don’t always make the best choices. My kids are definitely not getting the 5+ daily fruits and vegetables they should. Honestly, as you know, many days I’m lucky to fit in one or two. You have mocked me as I pulled dirty jeans from the hamper for my son to wear to school.
However, I delight in the fact my precious children know beyond a shadow of a doubt I love them and would give my life for them. For this reason alone, I can let go of my need to please you forever more…
Candace, an imperfect mommy and thankful child of God