I’m Not a Good Mother and Neither Are You

It’s Mother’s Day, such a great holiday in my opinion. Well, not just because I’m a Mom. I love the opportunity to honor our parents… it’s one of the 10 Commandments after all!

On this Mother’s Day, I think it is a good chance for all Mom’s to remind ourselves of a few things.

God didn’t invent Pinterest.

Pinterest has become the symbol of societal pressure on women the world over.

By: Clever Cupcakes

Mother’s can no longer bake a simple cake for the Birthday party. Move over sheet cake, hello Dora in buttercream.

We can no longer just decorate our homes, they need to be gorgeous, unique and reflect our “personal style”.

Don’t just take your kids to church, family devotions with a craft each night would be better!

Let us remember this Mother’s Day that God didn’t invent Pinterest. The pressure we feel. The expectations we carry. The standards we hold to. Those are not from God. They may be real to us but they ain’t from the Father.

No matter what type of Mom you are, it’s not good enough.

So what about the things that do matter? Well, we fail at those too.

We yell when we shouldn’t. We show endless re-runs of cartoons just to survive certain days. We hold secret guilt over our failures. We hide in the bathroom reading People Magazine while our children fight outside the door. We take pride in things that don’t really matter.

Basically, we can be a bit of a mess.

The good news is we don’t have to hide this. With Jesus, our role as Mother can be enough because it’s not about what we can do, it’s about what He has done and will do.

God made us a Mother and he will sustain us… He was “good enough” so that our “not good enough” can be enough. Got that?

It is a miracle that God would trust any human being in to my care… truly. I think of this every day. Some days more than others, as I’m sure you can relate. On those days that we wonder if we are ruining these young persons lives, remember this: He’s not entrusting us to be good enough. God is trusting us to trust Him.

When it comes to being a mother, let this be our motto: God draws straight lines with crooked sticks. It’s his speciality. That is exactly why he made you a mother.

I’m not succeeding because I’m so great. I’m succeeding because He is so great.

Mom’s need Jesus to survive.

Today, while everyone is celebrating us we can have a different celebration that is going on inside our hearts. A celebration that looks like this: Falling into the arms of the Father.

We need Jesus to survive this journey. We need Jesus to make straight lines with our crooked sticks of a life. We need Jesus to rescue our children from our own inabilities.

Our hearts are willing but the flesh is week. That’s ok. Jesus is in this journey. He knows that secret list we have of “Top 10 Reasons my Children might end up in Prison by their 21st Birthday.”  Let us throw ourselves, with all our weaknesses and worries, in to the hands of the Father who will carry our family in to the future.

May our children not remember any craft projects, wonderful meals, or well planned birthday parties. May our children honestly say, “Mom wasn’t perfect but she sure did trust Jesus.”

I don’t know about you but that sounds doable to me. I can throw all my mothering dreams and failures into the hands of Jesus and trust Him with this journey. I can’t trust myself always. But I know He is always trustworthy.

That’s the type of mother I want to be on this Mother’s Day. I’ll leave everything else to Pinterest.

Let’s Talk About Sex: With Your Kids

Recently, the web has been ablaze with panicking parents and worried sociologists.  All around the issue of children and porn use.

The latest research and studies can be fear inducing… 8 year olds addicted to porn, really!?! (Yes, too often, porn starts early, is addictive and changes futures). Without a doubt the world our children are growing up in is a completely different world than the past.  The stakes are higher and the rules different. The parent that denies this reality does great harm to their child, without exception, in my opinion.

But what is a parent to do?  Should we walk up to our 8-year-old and begin talking about porn?!

I think what we do today has the same foundation as in all generations past, start with the basics.  If we don’t talk about relationships, love, and sex we can never get to the issue of porn.

In the hundreds of articles I have read about porn use, I also couldn’t help but notice that often there were basic things that could have been done. I’m not blaming all the parents but the reality is this; if something can’t be done to prevent this then we should just throw in the towel.

What can be done?

We as parents can take our cues from the ancient book. In the Bible, there is a man named Paul who is my hero in the area of dealing with complicated sexual issues. He ministered in highly sexualised cultures in Asia.  Paul was the church leader who found himself dealing with church members who were having sex with their mother-in-law and flaunting it (1 Cor 6:1). It’s the first Cougars with a family twist! Reality TV dreams of situations like this.

early-openly-oftenFrom Paul’s writings in the the Bible I have observed that his strategy was basically this: Talk about sex early, openly and often.  Paul quickly jumped in to the issue of sex with his people, constantly talked about sex, and openly talking about sex.

I think his principals can give us a grid for raising our own kids today.

Here’s some thoughts on the “early, openly and often” strategy.

Early:
Human development studies suggest that we talk about sex earlier than you might think.  The average age suggested from both religious and non-religious sources is between the ages of 8 and 9.  If you add to that, the amount of sexual content available to our children, I believe it is even more relevant to begin the discussion about sex and relationships earlier rather than later.  This sets the foundation to continue to add more information as they grow older.  We want our sons and daughters, when faced with comments or information from friends to say, “Oh, I know all about that stuff, my Dad talks to me about it”  instead of standing there with wide eyes and a confused mind and heart.

Openly:
Being honest and open is always the best strategy.  Using code words and beating around the bush only confuses.  It might feel awkward to us as parents.  But, we need to be the adults they need us to be and not act like an immature playmate who explains sex in code words and immature giggles.  What can we be open about?  In age appropriate ways we explain what sex physically is, when sex happens, how sex is fun and makes us feel good, and how sex can be a burden and bring pain.  Not all of this needs to happen at 8 years old!  But, through the years this openness about sex needs to pervade our conversations.

Often:
I have asked many, many people how they found out about sex.  Of those that heard from their parents there were basically two categories.  The first is parents that sat down, explained things and never spoke of it again.  The second are parents that had the big explanation but also had an ongoing conversation through the years.  Of those that had parents that spoke of sex in an ongoing manner, I find they are healthier and can be more open today about their sexuality.  My husband and I, in our own family try to find little opportunities to talk about things that pertain to sex.

Here are a few resources we have found helpful in explaining sex to our boys:
Two helpful articles from Focus on the Family here and here.
A very detailed article on how and what to talk about at each age.
Information from the perspective of human development.

Coming soon I will be giving more detailed thoughts and strategies for raising children in a porn filled world.