Now that it’s summer, I find myself at the parks, visiting with friends, and participating in happy sunny play dates. And unfortunately, I see an ugly part of my heart appear as I hang out with other moms.
I’m not talking about if my team won the NCAA Tournament or if my husband makes more money. I’m talking about something far more fragile: my children.
This trap I find myself in often is the one of telling other moms what my boys can do, hoping to see if there boys are doing the same thing or if my boys are well ahead of where theirs are. How silly is that?
Me: “He can jump off the top bleacher and land on both feet with no help. He can sing the ABC song. He can swing on a big boy swing all by himself.”
I do this for two reasons: I want to be seen as a great mom. And I want my boys to be seen as great.
Here’s the problem with that: it reveals a pride that is awful in the sight of God. I want to be a great mom and for no one to see the weakness in me because I think parenting is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had. I want to be a great mom so everyone will think I have it all together when I really just want a break to go and hear myself think or sing something other than the Wheels on the Bus song. I want to be a great mom so that my boys will have a great mom.
I want my boys to be great because I think they are. I want my boys to be great because I don’t want anyone to think they are the troublemaker kids who no one wants to babysit or have in Sunday School. I want them to be great so they will head toward greatness.
This comparison and competition game — this mommy trap — is dangerous for our souls. Mommies, please hear me: your worth does not lie in the fact that you are a great mom or you have great kids. Stop playing this game.
This game will lead you to believe that you are better than you are. You are a sinner in need of grace. I need a lot of grace upon grace. Amazing grace. This game will lead you to believe that your kids don’t need Jesus. They are sinners — and need Jesus. This game will lead you also to believe that you are a bad mom. That you are a bad mom because you allow your mind, heart, and relationships to bear witness to this game. This game will not let you hear that Jesus loves you because you are in Him, not because you are the coolest parent in the carpool line or your kids make the the Dean’s list. You are His. You are beloved! That is some wonderful news.
So, as one mommy trap game player to another, set your hope in Christ and not in how great you or your kids are. He is better than both anyway.