Last week, I spoke for NCHE (North Carolinians for Home Education) at their awesome conference in Winston-Salem. I loved being able to talk with many of the 6000+ attendees on everything from multi-level teaching to marriage. Moms, and especially homeschool moms really float my boat. They are my people, if you know what I mean. I get being a mom. Most of the women I spoke to had similar questions and the biggest one is usually “Am I doing enough?”
We do so much, don’t we? Or at least we try to do so much. Ballet, soccer, music lessons, co-op, church, birthday parties. Just looking at a potential list of all the things I “could” be doing but am not makes me feel like a failure sometimes.
Man, we’re hard on ourselves! I used to ask myself if I was doing enough a lot when our kids were all little, but I must admit, it’s lessening with each passing year. Now that two of our daughters are grown, I find myself emotionally tied to less “super” things … and more sappy ones. Turns out that the best memories we all share are pretty simple. Like reading together. Nothing “super” about that… or is there?
One of the reasons I love speaking to moms is because it provides me with an opportunity to “be real” about my own life—flaws and all. You see, there’s no such thing as a mom who has it all together. The mom who is SUPER academic will often wonder why she can’t be more laid back like her unschooling friend. And the mom who is SUPER organized may secretly wish she could be more laid back. Some moms are SUPER at socializing while others are SUPER at crockpot dinners. We’ve all got our strengths and weaknesses. And that’s okay. I think the key to avoiding Super Mom Syndrome is just to keep being real with each other.
You see I’ve come to believe that the best encouragement comes from ordinary moms being … well … ordinary. It’s not the “Super Moms” that encourage me. It’s the moms who share the same struggles I do but who remain willing to try again tomorrow. The mom who can say “Yeah, I thought about quitting homeschooling last week too!” … and then didn’t quit because she was reminded of the why rather just the oh-so-daily tasks of homeschooling.
The mom who falls down, and then talks about how God met her where she was at—and kept at it—shows us that His strength really is made perfect in weakness.
That’s the good stuff.
At the end of the day, my kids won’t remember me as Super Mom. But I hope they remember that I loved them. That I asked for forgiveness when it was necessary. That I wasn’t embarrassed to put a frozen pizza in the oven even when company came over for dinner unannounced and that I taught them how to navigate the often rough waters of parenthood with a little flair all their own. I hope they learn how to listen for the Lord so that they take on His yoke and not someone else’s. His yoke is easy. His burden is light.
You don’t have to be Super Mom. Just have to Abide in Him. You can do all things through Christ.