As the snow comes down, recent conversations with women flood my mind. Conversations with moms who are struggling with the past, the present, and the future.
The conversations center on the image that women should be supermoms. In Victorian times, the image of motherhood was glorified yet women toiled as domestics or farmhands in their homes to care for basic needs of their families. During the Depression and World War II, women worked outside the home when possible while learning creative ways just to feed their families. Stresses outside the home affected their daily lives. These moms weren’t supermoms, they worked hard doing what needed to be done.
The 1950’s brought idealism as modern conveniences overtook daily toil and men were home from the war to be breadwinners. Women were supermom-like because they didn’t consider things outside of the home as options. The 1960’s and 70’s said that women could do it all – hold down a job like a man while being the ultimate mom. By the 1980’s and 1990’s, women were doing it all. Today, generations of women struggle with the images of their upbringing that conflict with the reality of their lives.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a great-grandma, a soccer mom, or a mother of preschoolers – we absorb distorted images of what we’re supposed to be as moms. We compare ourselves with her – Supermom. We carry guilt from the past and live in frustration with the present. We worry about the future because the guilt is already waiting for us.
This isn’t what God intends for us.
God doesn’t love you for what you accomplish as a wife and mother. He doesn’t want you to be Supermom. He’s given you a unique personality tailor-made for your family. You don’t have to do what your mother did. You don’t have to do what your neighbor does or what the women in your bible study do. If you’re married, God has given you a mate to parent your children with. You, your spouse and God define your expectations as the nurturer of the family.
You don’t have to fit the image.
You only have to fit God’s image.
I hear grief and disappointment from women everywhere as I interact with them as a speaker, woman, counselor or friend.
Somehow, somewhere, we all feel like we don’t measure up. This is not of God.
But we can help each other by eliminating expectations of “if-only’s.”
- If only I was more organized, I’d be a better mom.
- If only I didn’t work, I’d be the perfect mom.
- If only I had more money, then things would be better.
- If only I was like her, then……..
God’s created you with a unique personality, with gifts and talents to be used for His honor and glory. He’s given you children with unique personalities and He knows how you all beautifully fit together. Don’t look to the left or to the right, but to Him and His expectations for you as a mom at whatever stage you’re in.
“Thy word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.” Psalm 119:105. As you spend time in His word, He will show you what His expectations are for you. God longs to show you what He has just for you. You’re different than your neighbor and He loves you just as you are.
What are the Supermom images you struggle with? What are the voices from the ideal image that bring frustration to you?