I have a question for you, mommas.
Have you ever felt inadequate in the face of other mom’s social media posts?
I know, stupid question. I have, too.
I’ve been the mom who sees the Facebook posts and the Instagram pictures and feels like I’m not doing enough, leading to the feeling that I’m not enough.
But the other day, I discovered that there’s another side to the coin. The feeling of inadequacy when you are the poster.
I share cute pictures of my boys on my social media feeds often. Sometimes it’s just a cute snapshot, other times it’s a shot of us doing something together. In many instances, someone will come along and see pictures of us doing an activity, playing a game, or whatever, and say something along the lines of: “That’s so wonderful! You’re such a great mom!”
And honestly, if I’m not checking my heart, those comments make me feel more like a failure than seeing how I don’t measure up with the other moms’ feeds.
Because in that moment, the movie reel of all my failures starts to play at lightning speed. And I start saying in my head to these wonderful people with their kind words, “If only you knew, you would think I’m such a fraud. If only you knew that even though we did this fun thing, the first half of the day they sat in front of the TV. If only you knew that thirty seconds after the picture was taken, the fun came to a screeching halt and crankiness ensued. If only you knew how I raise my voice and take the easy way out when I should do the hard things. If only, if only, if only…”
I’m not as worried about measuring up to what others do, I’m worried I won’t measure up to what others think of me, or what I’m making myself out to be.
So many times when I want to share these things that we do, I feel this intense desire to add a disclaimer, begging people to understand that it’s not always like this. That there are hard moments in every day, that we don’t have it all together, that we are so far from perfect. That I’m not always the mom that my Instagram filters can make me out to be (every mom looks a little sweeter in black and white, after all).
But this is usually where God steps in and redirects my heart. This is where I can imagine as He gently holds my face and looks at me and whispers, “Daughter, you are Mine. You belong to me. And this feeling of failure is not from me. You take that thought captive and submit it to Me. Tomorrow is a new day, so you get up and you love and serve those boys I’ve stewarded to you. And you take those kind words that were shared with you and let them be balm to your soul because you are a good mom. You are not a perfect mom, but you are a mom with a perfect Savior, and that is exactly what those little boys need.”
Oh, how I need those words.
I might be the only one who feels this way, but I have a strong inkling that there are other moms who feel this, too. And if that’s you, I want you to imagine God saying those words to you as well. That you are His. That you are loved. That you aren’t perfect, but you aren’t supposed to be. He is perfect, and in His perfection, He entrusted you to care for the beautiful babies that you love so much. And He will carry you and guide you as you love them and raise them.
So post those things that you and yours are doing, and if those words of praise come, accept them and believe them. They are not a lie and you are not a fraud. You and your littles are a glorious becoming in the hands of a most perfect Father. Take it one day at a time and know that you are so deeply loved.
Measure yourself in light of Him, not in light of you. His opinion is the one that counts.
Love to all of you, mommas.