Days, weeks, and months went by when my boys were little when not one of the most important things on my to-do lists were conquered. Hello, Motherhood! I was happy to be able to brush my teeth and get a bite to eat no less pee in privacy each day. My understanding of success was valued by the list of to-do’s marked off I felt like a failure.
Opinions from others sent me farther into the depths of feelings of failure. Trying to be a good mother, I chose to breastfeed. When I began breastfeeding my first son, I felt such a purpose and accomplishment. I was checking it off of my list for being a good mom. Then an older woman ripped me apart by confronting me in a department store bathroom where I sat in a chair in the corner sweating profusely covered in a huge blanket that covered the baby and all my vital parts. My girlfriend had a similar encounter as she sat in a mall feeding her baby formula from a bottle. We both had chosen what we thought was best for our children and our lives but others opinions set us both on a course of despair.
A mother can’t win for losing when it comes to others’ opinions on how our children sleep, in bed with us or alone in a crib (add the on belly or back!). People view putting your baby in a bouncy seat as dangerous, but holding them is detrimental to developing into an independent child. One of the biggest debates, a stay at home mom has given up her dreams, but a working mom has abandoned her children. There are so many opportunities, as a mom, to fail others’ expectations.
I had to ask myself as a mother, who am I allowing to dictate my success as a mother, as a woman? Ultimately if we put my value in the opinions of others or the checked off to-do list, we will fail. We fail because we give up on God.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1Samuel 16:7
Changing our perspective from allowing others or our ability to check off a to-do list creating our view of success or failure to our value in they eyes of God gives us a foundation of worth. When our worth is based on God’s view, we can flourish and bloom where He has placed us. God has created us for where He has us.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
God prepared in advance where we would be and who we would be with. He has given us these children to be Jesus in the skin on earth guiding leading and loving these little humans. Even when we don’t fell like we are making a difference or doing it well, He has created us for this time.
Refuse the condemnation from others and yourself.
Embrace God’s grace even when you may not feel like you are a success.
Entrust your life and your children’s life to Jesus.
Let God’s opinions set you firmly on the foundation of faith.
Live the immeasurably more that God desires for you.