Influencing our children.

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There has been a theme running through my head the last few months, and I wanted to share it in case it was new to you or if you just needed a reminder.

You are not your child’s mother by mistake. 

(Or father. I’m simply writing from a mother’s perspective.)

There are days that I feel sometimes that I was crazy for thinking I could do this whole motherhood thing. On the days where my kids seem to be immune to correction, I’m pretty sure I’m raising future convicts. At the very least, a few misdemeanors.

I want to believe that my life is going to be all roses, or if I am doing exactly what I both love and feel called to be doing, that I will excel at it. The truth is, some days just …suck. No better word for it. I feel as if I lose any right to complain, because I am well aware that this is what I am choosing to do. Whether you’re a working mom or you stay at home, whether you do this by choice or necessity, there will be periods and times of self-doubt.

Who am I kidding? You will think you are screwing the whole thing up.

When I was in the early months of motherhood with Dean Bean, I picked up the book Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. Within those pages, I realized that I was not the only woman who felt absolutely overwhelmed by the task that lay before me. I’m not the only woman who wonders where in the world her identity has gone. I’m sure I’m not the only person who sees other women encouraging others and thinks, “Yeah, what does she know? Her life is so much easier.”

It had never really occurred to me that my sensitive nature, my love of music, my clean-freak obsession, my compulsiveness and my quirks and foibles were no surprise to the One who made me. That God was well aware of the influence I would pass on. He knew that I would share my love of Pitch Perfect and Gilmore Girls. He knew I would still hate talking in the morning and too much noise.

Even on days when I am at my worst, I am still no surprise to God.

Realizing I am permitted and expected to put my own one-of-a-kind influence on my children has freed me in a way I wasn’t before. Moms, we are encouraged to cultivate our own homes just the way we like! It doesn’t matter one single bit how your neighbor/mom/friend runs her home, because you are creating your own unique environment for your children. Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram… these things are well and good, but they are not manuals for you to follow. They’re ideas. Suggestions. Sometimes they’re warnings on what not to do. But they are never the rule.

So be encouraged today. You are exactly where you need to be. You don’t have to have a clean house, or be a better home teacher, or supermom. Your kids will remember how much you loved Doctor Who, or how good you were at making jewelry, or how you loved to take them on walks. They’ll remember you encouraging them to love reading, or how you didn’t mind making a mess to have fun. They’ll remember those unique things that made you who you are, whatever that may be. My mom has coffee for blood, she loves trashy reality TV, scary movies, and believes in the supernatural. She also wants to help everyone she knows, knows everything that’s going on in her neighborhood, and is obsessed with clean floors. She’s passed on some of these things, and I love how I think of her every time I brew a cup of coffee in the afternoon.

Now it’s our turn to pass on our interests and passions. Which ones are you going to pass on? Remember, who you are and what you love is not a mistake. It’s time to be who we’re supposed to be!

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