Motherhood: Expectations

I seem to be a little lost these days. I have been doubting who I am and wondering what my purpose is. I have been fed up for quite some time with my doubts but honestly I have been winging it, hoping that things will fall into place, hoping for some grand revelation to give me a direction. Well, not any more…I think it’s time to re-evaluate - where I am now, how I am doing and what comes next.

“But God, where do I start? I need your direction!”

As I was sitting in church on Mother’s Day it became clear. As I was reminded of the importance of our role as mothers and the influence we have I decided this is a great place to start. I am eight years into motherhood and could use an fresh assessment and new vision.

These days I don’t feel like I am making outstanding marks in the area of motherhood. I always thought I would be a little better at it. I have been a little on edge for some time now, lacking the kindness and compassion I know is so important in building a relationship with children, with anyone really. I have become easily angered and dismayed. My priorities have become skewed. So I asked God…”What’s the root of the discouragement, frustration and impatience I am experiencing?” It was interesting what He showed me.

In college I went home with a friend for a visit over one of our breaks. When I woke up that first morning of our stay I was surprised to find my friend’s mother already out of bed, dressed, breakfast started and laundry already in the works. Wow! She was nothing like my mom; I wanted to be like her!

This might have been the start of it all.

Did I make a vow? I don’t remember. Vow are promises we make early in life and at times forget about. The thing we vow can be positive or negative but either way they prevent God from operating in that part of our life and keep us from being all that he created us to be.

Was I already carrying bitterness and resentment that at those times in high school when I showered, ate breakfast and got myself off to school all before my parents woke up in the mornings? I am not consciously aware of it but it’s possible… our lives don’t have to be devastated for us to carry hurt. My parents weren’t neglecting me nor were they lazy, they just didn’t have to get up as early as me. I know that know but did I know that then?

Fast forward to today. How well I “perform” affects my day. When I get up early, read my Bible, pray, get dressed and have breakfast on the table by a certain time I feel good about myself; I think I am a “good mom”. I’m kind, compassionate and helpful. When I don’t…well, it’s a crap shoot. I have shared this before but I will share it again… I have seemingly created this impossible standard by which I measure myself, trying to get it right. I am not sure who is keeping score but I want as many points as I can. This is not the way we are suppose to live.

I have recognized the enemy of my peace. Game on!

Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I have created this impossible standard in which I try to live my life, a standard that may not be yours for me. It is reeking havoc in my life and in my family. I repent for any bitterness or resentment I have towards my parents for not being there for me in the mornings as I prepared for school, I repent for comparing them to other parents or what I perceived other parents to be either in real life or on TV. Even though as an adult and parent I understand why they may have made the choices they made I didn’t as a child and I was hurt. I forgive them for hurting me, for not meeting my needs, not eating breakfast with me and not seeing me off to school with encouraging words. I repent for making a vow to be nothing like that and clinging to the image of a perfect mother. I repent for not coming to you sooner and asking you what motherhood should look like for me. I repent for leaning on my own understanding in this area. Please forgive me. I bring this to the cross and call it dead. I declare that the power of this vow is broken over my life and anger and bitterness can no longer produce fruit in my life. Speak truth to my heart Lord and show me who I am as a mother. As I continue to examine motherhood and evaluate my family’s needs give me wisdom. In Jesus name, Amen.

Have you experienced similar challenges in motherhood, marriage or another area in your life?

Know that there's hope! Release your own expectations and pray and ask God for His truth in each of these areas.

What do you expect of yourself as a mother? Where did those expectations come from?