Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Mother's Day Message: When children make you doubt that you are a good mother

Point your kids in the right direction-- when they're old they won't be lost.
The Message Translation

by Carolyn Bridges

            Do you ever feel that people think you are just not good enough? No matter how much you do for people, it never seems to be enough to please them.  I found out a little late in life that it doesn’t matter what you do for people, they will never be happy with you because they are not happy with themselves.

The people that make you feel that way the most are teenage children.  It was so with my own children, and over the years I have found that it is so with many families.   This is not a scientific study, but a mere observation that children, during the teen years, can cause a mother to feel inadequate as a human being.  In the child’s eyes, Mom doesn’t have enough money.  She doesn’t love enough or she’s too loving.  She doesn’t know anything or her thoughts are stupid.  What Mom does never seems to be enough.  What she gives never seems to be enough.  What she says never seems to be right.  It can seem that your very existence is grotesque in their sight.  At one point in my life when my children were teen agers, I would wake up in the morning and think, “Who am I going to disappoint today?”  You see, I am not only a mother, but a stepmother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a sister-in-law, an aunt, and at that time, an employee.

            At a time when financial troubles were seriously affecting my home, it became very difficult to attend to any other responsibility outside my home, but I had other obligations that I had to attend to. So, in my children’s eyes, and it the eyes of others (so it seemed) I was failing them.  At my lowest point, I had let it get me down and was getting depressed about it, until I realized that it is not God’s will for me to take such care over these things.

            I looked in the word of God and saw that God loves me just the way I am.  In His eyes, I am just fine.  I did the best I could for all three of my children.  Not a one of them lacked love, patience and kindness from me.  All of them received the word of God to set them up for a good life.  In that, I rested.  Once I realized that I am not the “end all” and “be all” for my children, I was able to love them and others even more.

            My point?  Don’t even attempt to be what your children think you should be.  Be all that God has called you to be.  You are a mother to them.  And single mom:  You are not a father, nor will you ever be.  Be a mother.  And by all means, you are not their God, so stop trying to be.  When they want something that you can’t give them, direct them to the One who can provide it for them – God, Who is more than enough is absolutely thrilled to meet their needs.   

The best thing we can do for our children to prepare them for real life is to introduce them to the Giver of Life – the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Introduce them to the Savior of the World, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Where under-age children are concerned, we can teach them how to go to God for their needs.  Where adult children are concerned, it is time for them to go to God themselves for their needs. The same Jesus that loves you, loves them.  If you haven’t taught them, or didn’t know to teach them how to go to God, then you can begin now.  Whether they listen is totally up to them.

            There are times when we must explain to our children that life is not fair, neither is it perfect.  Life is not a scene from their favorite movie. Prepare them for the storms that come by giving them the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And as a special note to you, “You are all right when you let the Word of God direct your steps.”

            Children will be children.  That’s just it.  Once they grow up they forget about how they were toward you. They begin to deal with life’s issues on their own.  Maybe they will call and ask for your advice, maybe they won’t. That’s okay.  Just be there for them.  That is why there is no need to change who you are because of the expectation of your children.  They will soon grow out of it and find out that you were right all along!

(PS - Happy Mother's Day!  Pass this on to another mother and leave us your comments)

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