No More Perfect Moms Week THREE

10
Feb
2014

Main-No-More-Perfect-Moms

Ladies, the walls are coming down, the masks being taken off.  I have felt so encouraged and accepted while reading the conversation on the Facebook page.  We all struggle and we all have our weaknesses – I am THANKFUL we have a place to share authentically – thank you for having grace for others and allowing the precious space to be genuine.

One of the most authentic posts shared on Facebook last week which I know trigger emotions for me as well as many other moms too.

I have been super critical and judgmental of myself for as long as I can remember. That has led me to become critical and judgmental of others. I now see that reflected in my own children. It feels so much like failure as a parent to see the negative things rear their ugly heads. Yes, there are positive things that I have instilled in my children but I tend to focus on the negative things. I am slowly learning to extend grace to myself when I fail or perceive that I have failed. I am much quicker to forgive others for offenses than I am to forgive myself. As I read this chapter I found myself in so much of the writing. I am fearful–fearful of what others think of me–fearful of failing yet again. Insecure in who I am and what I am here for. Judgmental of myself and those around me. I feel like I am stuck. But–knowing that God accepts and loves me right where I am gives me hope. Hope that He will help me to change with His strength and not in my own strength.

Did any of that resonate with you?

We have looked at judging others, judging ourselves, having expectations that are unrealistic, the greatest thing we can add to our life GRACE, and this week we jump into the topic of our kids – I think this may be a very difficult topic for many.

 Our kids are so close to our hearts and I know we all feel that their success or lack thereof really demonstrates our effectiveness as parents.

I loved these lines in the very first few pages in this chapter:

“Kids make mistakes.  They make poor choices sometimes – whether they are two years old and decide to throw a fit in the grocery store or they are seventeen and decide to sneak out of the house.  That’s real life.  Welcome to motherhood.”

Does that make you feel better today?

Here is the agenda for this week:

{If you are viewing this post via email, you will need to click through to the website to view the video}

 

Week 3:  February 10 – 14, 2014

Monday – watch the video, download the discussion questions for WEEK THREE

Tuesday – come prepared by having read Chapter Three, join the conversation

Wednesday – check in over at Facebook for a few questions

Thursday – read the blog post on applying what we’ve learned this week; get started reading Chapter 4

Was there something that spoke to you in the video?  Please share in the comments and hop over to the Facebook page.  What about parenting creates fear for you or feelings of insecurity? 

The Cure for Judgment = Grace

6
Feb
2014

 Judgment-Grace

This quote literally struck me right between the eyes:

“Judging is the brick, and pride is the mortar holding the judging attitudes in place.”

As I read the chapter, I realized that even though I didn’t see myself as a prideful person, that in fact…… Pride is an issue for me.  I can easily come to conclusions without even considering anyone’s unique situation, somewhat like the story of Emily.  I can see myself being guilty of the same exact stance she took when seeing the mother sitting inside her car.

I have grown in this area as my years increase, meaning….I have learned to give grace more often when looking at others, but I still have a long way to go.  

What I struggle with most

It is hard for me to be authentic here, as I am sure I will take some of you by surprise, but I have to be genuine and tell it like it is.  I pray my offering of my own faults and weaknesses will somehow be used by God to help another mom along in her journey.  That is what I pray.   Because honestly, it is embarrassing and even a bit disgusting to have to share some of these areas with you all, and admit it.

I impose my “perfect” expectations on others – all the time.  Just like Jill suggests, I can mark all the boxes – my kids, my husband, my friends (not quite to the degree that I do close family) and sometimes even complete strangers.  I can pick someone apart without even consciously realizing it – that is the shameful part.

“Judging is ugly.  It demands.  It criticizes.  It divides.  It destroys. It blinds us to our own faults.  Judging imposes our opinions on other people.  It leaves little room for others to be different from us because it sees those differences as wrong.” 

Why do we – or more importantly – why do I,  jump to judgment instead of giving one grace.   As I do a self-examination of myself and my normal mode of operation, I honestly do not feel I come from a natural place of offering grace to those around me.  I judge and inflict a sense of perfection.  I am always wanting to help solve a problem, rather than let someone else come to a conclusion on their own, or even maybe not solving the problem all together, just allowing it to be.

It is all about Grace

I have ben convicted in this week’s chapter.  Severely!  My heart was hurt a bit and then I was encouraged with this quote:

“Conviction is a good thing because it holds us accountable and motivates us to change.”

I love that, motivates us to change!  You know, God nudges us – all too well.  He knows our hearts and knows what we can handle – how to “give us His opinion” and how to continue to mold us into who He wants us to be.  I may be an older mom, but I am certainly not done growing, learning and changing.

My assignment is to offer Grace more -everyday.  Even to myself, which as a perfectionist is very hard to do.  I’ve struggled with emotional issues all my life that stem from many things, but have a lot to do with this ugly perfectionist portion of my nature.  Thank goodness God has led me along the way to a solution where I can continue to push forward past the depression that use to suffocate me.  He is so good and He is always near.

“In human relationships, grace is allowing others to be human, to make mistakes and not get criticized for every little thing they do wrong or differently form the way we do it.”

I will keep this quote handy as I go through my days, caring for my home and cleaning up yet one more BIG mess from someone who didn’t take my suggestion and listen to me  {You know, because I do know everything – yeah, right!}

Jill makes a statement about starting with ourselves on offering Grace, and I couldn’t agree more.  I am not sure what that looks like for you, but we all need to give ourselves Grace.  I need to work on my expectations with myself, the mom guilt I often carry for days and also watch my words – those are key areas for me.

What area is being brought to your attention to change?

Can you take a minute and pray this prayer with me:

God, we know that we’re not perfect, but we do want to allow you to perfect us and make us more like you.  Show us what antidotes need to be applied to eradicate the Perfection Infection from our lives.  Thank you for leading and guiding us.  Thank you for the Bible that shows us the way.  Help us to re-engage with our family with grace for their imperfections.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Begin reading Chapter 3 – see you next week!

The Danger of Comparison

30
Jan
2014

Comparison-Main-Motherhood

We’ve been sharing about the effect comparing ourselves has on our self-esteem, motivation and our perceived reality.  Comparison is like a poison that quickly seeps into other areas, creating dissatisfaction, and discontentment.  

Not too long ago I was going through a very discontent season and God called me out on it, I shared about it here.  I was spent and tired and felt really lost – but when I pushed in to find grace and ask forgiveness, God met me and healed my heart.

When Jill talked about how our high expectations end up fueling these scenes we see played out so perfectly in others’ lives, I saw very clearly how they can be a breeding ground for discontentment with our real lives.  What is worse is that we don’t even know it until it has truly poisoned our thinking and view.  We end up having a distorted perspective and viewpoint, she says this:

“It’s a subtle erosion of our satisfaction.  If we don’t recognize it, the discontentment can turn into disappointment, and then the disappointment can eventually turn into disillusionment.”

We need to keep our perspective clear and not fogged by the lenses we look at daily.  Unless you do not turn on TV, go to the grocery store, a PTA meeting for check Facebook – you are bombarded with what seems perfect.  

Take a step forward and recognize the desire that lies within to compare yourself to others.  When you recognize it and name it, it is a bit easier to try to curb.

APPLY

Here is the topic for this week from our discussion questions:

Identify one place where you tend to unfairly compare yourself to other moms.  Some  places to consider might include church, moms groups, grocery store, your child’s school, Facebook, mommy blogs, magazines, etc.  Ask God to help you identify when you are unconsciously making comparisons.  When you realize what you are doing, thank God for showing you your unconscious thoughts.  Then thank Him for making YOU the unique mom that you are.

Spillin’ the Beans

Here is where I come clean and answer the above for you.  

So, I struggle with several areas, all at the same time!  You see, I am right now an “older” mom of a toddler.  Most of those who have kids the age of my son, four, are much younger than I.  So perhaps they are in a bit better shape, wear cuter clothes because they are just a bit more “hip” and also have a fresher viewpoint of motherhood than I do.  

I struggle with not wanting to do all the crafty things I may have done with my kids who are much older when they were my son’s age.  I feel like I don’t fit in.  Period.  That is the exact line that has been achy to be released from my heart.

I don’t fit in as a mom of a four year old at 46 {almost 47}.

This is where I need to stop the train and check out what is TRUTH.  The Truth is that God placed this little guy in my life for a specific reason.  I may not know and understand what that reason is {okay, there are many reasons I do know, but don’t understand it all yet!}  I do know and believe there is a much bigger reason and beast that I am trying to conquer with this feeling that I don’t fit it all the time in this season.  Maybe it is to stay uncomfortable so I can help other moms who may be experiencing similar feelings – God doesn’t want us to get too comfortable because that can lead to pride – ouch!  Been guilty of that.

Perhaps being confident is good, but He doesn’t want me to become ‘over-confident’?  That could surely be the case as well.  Whatever the reason, I hope to find out one day, but for now I know I need to recognize when I compare, hold onto the truth, which is – God placed this little boy in my life at just this time because I was perfect for him to have as his mom.  I need to write that down over and over again, to have it embed in my heart and not let the enemies lies seep in.

I ask you, can you do the same???  Write a one sentence TRUTH out that you can hold onto even when you are feeling stuck in the comparison trap?

Get a jumpstart on your reading over the weekend by reading Chapter Two – feel free to share in the community over on the Facebook page and I will be back on Monday with our Week Two schedule.

Chapter ONE – The Perfection Infection

28
Jan
2014

Embracing-Imperfection-bookstudy

Welcome again, to all the lovely moms who’ve gathered here to go through this study, No More Perfect Moms.  I know the video yesterday really hit home for so many – I loved reading what you shared on the Facebook page.  Here are a few in case you missed them:

Loved the video for today! It made me smile seeing those moms hold up signs of their children when they were younger compared to now. My 3 year old has been a handful lately.But I know he’ll grow up to be a great man because he will have God on his side. One day I’ll be able to make my own sign and encourage other moms the way this video encouraged me.

 

The idea that we compare our insides to the outsides others are able to present really resonated with me. I think I need to be as careful with my own feelings and self-confidence as I am with my children’s. I was realizing that I would definitely step in and want to figure out why someone was so hard on themselves if they said the things I tell myself internally all the time. I guess I need more patience with me.

Can you relate to either of these moms statements?

I think we all have great intentions to be Super Moms – the ones who have it all together all the time, but then reality hits and all those expectations we’ve placed on ourselves fall short.  It is almost like the feeling to be “better than” the others is automatically built into our nature when it comes to motherhood.  Do you feel that?

I can feel it and I’ve been a mom for over 21 years – with kids in all different seasons.  From the time I ventured into motherhood all wonder-eyed and full of excitement, I see how pressure has been beating down from all sides for me to be better, superior to the other mom who gave her kids chicken nuggets from the freezer every night and oh my – how about the mom you know who lets their child watch 4 hours of TV a day!!  GADS!!  

Well, let’s break the bubble right now ladies…..I’ve been at this mom gig for a few years and you know what?  Last night even through my effort to eat Paleo and feed my family really good food, we all ate Dinosaur chicken nuggets and Tater Tots for dinner last night.  Yep, no fruit or vegetable included – just processed food to fill our tummies.  

I also have been known to park my little guy in front of the TV for several hours to meet a deadline, take a much needed bath or even perhaps have a good cry when I am on day four of my husband traveling out of town.  Yep, the truth comes out.

Me…the one who encourages you to be your best mom.  Well you know, sometimes our best doesn’t look so pretty and perfect.  Some days are rough and when we allow ourselves the grace to just let our guard down and honestly…..get by, things turn out okay on the other side.

“There are no perfect moms – just imperfect women who will fall off the pedestal of their own expectations more often than they care to admit”  Jill Savage

I have very high expectations of myself and they hinder my ability to enjoy the everyday.  It is a process to learn to let go and God is working in my heart, but I know I am not the only one.  

Do you feel your expectations are too high?  

How did we get here, feeling like we have so many things to check off to be complete?

I am prepared in this journey to grow and this will unfortunately show you my “not so perfect” side I am sure through the journey.  So be prepared – I love to encourage you, I know we are all great moms, but there are always little changes that we can make so things run a little smoother, or we grow in an area that the Lord is tugging at us to.  

I need to make changes too and will be open and honest with the areas I struggle with and reveal some things that may surprise you.  But it is time for REAL here – this is the place and I pray for grace and your virtual hugs as I share from my heart and take you on a journey.

“Masks do not serve us well.  They keep us at an arm’s length from our friends, our family, and our God.”  Jill Savage

The mask will be taken off ladies, as it so often is here – you see the good, the bad and the ugly!  Please try to embrace where you are and where you would like to be.  This idea of high expectations giving us a ‘Perfection Infection’ is very real.

 As Jill says – we are constantly bombarded with these images of perfect families, neat and tidy rooms and way too much Pinterest!!  I love Pinterest, but it is something to be taken in small doses or you can really overload yourself with these perfect images.

So I challenge you today, as well as myself – to take a reality check.  I know that I miss so many of the moments of motherhood because I allow my emotions to carry me or I put too much on my ‘to-do’ list.  

How can you be present in a way that perhaps you were yesterday?

Remember, you are not alone – there are many of us here together – all sharing in this journey of imperfection.  We need to celebrate together and fight off perfection.

Did you download the discussion questions for this weeks chapter?  You can do that HERE.  Grab a notebook to place them in or jot them down in a journal.

Feel free to answer this question here on the blog:

What one-word emotion listed in Chapter One can you relate to?  Or do you have another to add to the list?   If you would like to share a bit more as to why that particular word resonated, please do.  I will be praying for each of these comments posted.

Top 10 Posts from 2013

6
Jan
2014

Top-10-Posts-2013-Confident-Mom

Welcome to a new week wonderful ladies!  Is it just me or is everyone looking forward to getting back to a routine?  Oh my goodness…this Christmas break was so long for me!

I thought it would be fun to highlight the 10 Top Posts from 2013, especially since we have a lot of new moms who have discovered The Confident Mom – woo-hoo!  I love that everyone is excited to begin their New Year with a laid out plan to help organize their home management tasks with the Weekly Household Planner.  So far the free household planner has been downloaded over 30,000.  That makes my heart smile big, even with all the technical issues – thank you for your grace!

1-overcoming-depression-essential-oils

1.  Breaking Free from Depression – Naturally

 

Easy-Homemade-Body Wash

2.  DIY  *Good For You* Body Wash

 

Discipline-Toddlers-Kids-Consistency

3.  Four Tips to Better Consistency

 

household-routines

4.  Weekly Household Quick Tip – Creating Routines

 

Ways-Serve-Foster-Care

5.  Answer the Call to Serve

 

My Dad

6.  Four Things I Learned from My Dad

 

Christian-Homemakers-Guide

7.  The Christian Homemakers Guide

 

 

hand of young  woman  melancholy and sad  at the window in the rain

8.  My Struggle with Sin

 

Riley-Miracle-Story

9.  You’re a Good Dog Riley – We Will Miss You!

 

Feet soaking in spa bath with space for text

10.  20 Ways to Take Care of Mom