My Love/Hate Relationship with Mothering | Fierce Friday

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Today I bring you Kristi. Kristi is a fellow blogger who just happens to live in Oklahoma, where I’m originally from. We had the privilege of riding together to a retreat several months ago and we hit it off immediately. I love Kristi’s down to earth personality and I know that you will too!

My Love/Hate Relationship with Mothering

 My Love/Hate Relationship with Mothering

Mothering and I have a love/hate relationship.

I love the idea of being a good mom. I want to be one. But there’s a struggle and underlying uncertainty with each attempt. I simply don’t feel good enough.

And I hate it.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Try.

Fail.

Self scorn.

Mothering pity party for 1.

Attempt again.

And girl, don’t even place a June Cleaver-type in my tracks.

 

It’ll be cause for a self-worth train wreck of the awful kind.

She’s so good, and I’m so…not. {sigh}

Cue the shortfall.

And the cycle begins again.

Let me offer a few examples…

There was the day I poked my head in the side door of our little Ellie, our silver flash of a van, only to find crumbs sprinkled on her floorboard and seats. And never-mind the trash shoved into the cracks and seat pockets. Goodness!

I sighed in defeat. After all, don’t good mothers keep clean vans? Mine was a mess. I stamped myself “Not Good Enough!”

Then there was the day milk spilled all over the dinner table – for the 455th time.

 

It rushed directly to the crevice – of course! It couldn’t gather in a nice, little puddle on the tabletop and wait patiently for a clean-up, could it?

With white liquid streaming to the floor below, I bellowed a slow motion “Noooooo” in my brain. I’m not certain what came out of my mouth. Six eyes stared at me as I cried, giving credence that women do cry over spilt milk. And kids stare at their cryin’ mamas.

And then there were those days when winning a tennis match with Serena Williams seemed easier than bearing the internal banter called “mothering indecision”.

Is he really hurt or does he just want attention?

Should I make her tow the mark on this one, or offer a “get out of jail free”?

Should I let them go or should they stay home?

Oh, the indecision…

Its chatter might as well have been plastered on a sandwich board hooked over my shoulders, hanging for all to see: “Bad Mother – Will Never Get It Right.”

But something has changed. I’m not that same mama crying over spilt milk anymore.

After all, milk doesn’t call us by name – God does.

 

But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine IS 43:1 NIV

Oh, I still like a clean van. And when those tires shine ~oooo!

But food crumbles left by clean and grimy little hands alike don’t create our identity – our Creator does.

 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph. 2:10 NIV

My Love/Hate Relationship with Mothering

And the incessant indecision? It proved to be works of perfection determining my worth. I was afraid of being wrong for fear of being “not good enough”. It left little room for Jesus and His beautiful grace.

A right or wrong decision doesn’t determine our worth – our Daddy above does.

 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph. 2:8-9 NIV

A right/wrong decision doesn't determine our worth, our Daddy above does. @Kristi_Woods… Click To Tweet

The force behind these changes is what I call Godfidence. You know – God confidence.

Godfidence.

Are you mothering with Godfidence? @Kristi_Woods #FierceFriday #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet

It’s not a 10-step process or a read from Mothering for Dummies. (Is there even such a book?!)

No. It’s a little girl walking alongside her big, strong, capable Father, linking fingers in prayer, the word, and worship – fiercely clinging to Him through life’s decisions. And never letting go.

It’s a Daddy who knows just what His little girl needs – and being faithful to love her all the way through the changes. With each change, she gains God confidence – Godfidence. And her steps become more firm.

As my Father revealed lies buried deep in my own heart, He healed me. He healed my thoughts. He healed my mothering way of life. It was a process – and still is.

I changed. My mothering changed. But it wasn’t a mothering issue after all. It wasn’t crumbs, indecision, or spilt milk. No, those were only evidence. It was a heart condition.

As the Lord worked on my heart, I gained confidence.

 

It overflowed into mothering. It was Godfidence.

Mothering with Godfidence? Yes, please! @Kristi_Woods #fiercelyHis #fierceFriday Click To Tweet

So let’s stick with it – mothering emersed in trust of the Lord, okay? Let’s link our fingers with our Father, keeping eyes on His prize, trusting Him as we step. Let’s cling fiercely to Jesus.

Our God will show us the lies. He’ll also help us heal. And we’ll gain Godfidence for this race called life, mothering included.

After all, He can take any love/hate relationship with mothering and beautifully turn it into one of love/love. I’m living proof. To God be the glory.

picture1Kristi Woods is a writer and speaker passionate about seeing women walk deeper with God. She clicks her words of encouragement at http://www.KristiWoods.net regularly and is published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions as well as on Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today and on various blogs. Kristi, her retired-from-the-military husband, and their three children survived a nomadic, military lifestyle and have now set roots in Oklahoma.

Connect with Kristi here: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

 

Thanks for stopping by today!  Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below.  Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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  1. Julie says:

    Kristi- Yes yes yes! Thank you! I do this to myself all the time, I believe the lies.
    “Our God will show us the lies. He’ll also help us heal. And we’ll gain Godfidence for this race called life, mothering included.”
    So much encouragement here! We have such an awesome God, don’t we? Mothers unite!
    (the crumbs in my van are still bugging me though…I still might take the vacuum out there today. ) 🙂
    Julie

    • Kristi Woods says:

      Julie, I’m literally lol’ing about the crumb comment. Wouldn’t an automatic “crumb catcher” feature be the bomb?! Cling fiercely to Jesus, my friend. He’s all the mothering confidence we need.

  2. What an honest and beautiful encouragement for our hearts today! I found myself nodding along so many times thinking: she gets it! I’m not the only one!
    Sometimes being reminding that we’re not the only one makes a world of difference.
    And the Godfidence…well, that’s the heart of it all!

    • Kristi Woods says:

      We’re not alone ~ oh, yes! It makes the world of difference for me as well, Becky. Praise God these words touched your heart, Godfidence and all. 😉

  3. REBECCALYNN says:

    “Mothering for Dummies”! Baahhhh!!!!! I so need that book if it exists! LOL Until then, thank you for the much BETTER reminder to live with Godfidence!

  4. It does seem a lot easier to offer grace to our friends in their mothering and judgement to ourselves. Your post is a great reminder that we can place our confidence in God’s sufficiency and not our own. Love it! Visiting from #graceandtruth today 🙂

  5. I love that only God defines us. Inspiring post, Kristi! : )

  6. Brittany says:

    Beautiful thoughts on motherhood. I can echo some of the feelings expressed. Thanks for bringing me back to the root of love, healing, and acceptance.

  7. Kristi, I’m pretty sure you’ve been over here inside my head, right? Oh friend thanks for this encouragement today. I thought I was the only mom who cried over spilt mik. (But I probably really am the only ones who lets her house run out of toothpaste and, ahem, toilet paper.)

    Love to you Shannon! Blessings on this beautiful space!

    • Kristi Woods says:

      Milk, toothpaste, and toilet paper – mothering moments in need of Jesus for certain. 😉 Love you, Betsy, and I’m so thankful the Lord spoke through these words. Praise God!

  8. Valerie says:

    Goodness, this spoke to me! I’m raising my hand over here since I’ve been lecturing my kids to “take your garbage out of the car!” I even told them to watch all the cars at pick up-line and see if any of them had water bottles and wrappers falling out of it like ours did and give me a report after school, ha! I want my kids to have respect and not throw their garbage everywhere. But I have to remember that a messy van doesn’t define me. Thanks for the encouragement! Oh and I love–Godfidence!

    • Kristi Woods says:

      Whoops! Accidentally put this on the comment thread above yours. Here you go….
      Love your story, Valerie. 🙂 It brought a smile. And yes, Godfidence goes a long ways. #goJesus

  9. Love this, Kristi! Godfidence! My new favorite word! Being Mama is tough stuff. But with Godfidence, it will all be okay and we won’t have to cry over spilled milk 🙂 Thanks for the smile and the encouragement today!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  10. Lisa Appelo says:

    Boy did I see myself there. That wishy-washy indecision is soooo undermining! I love the idea of Godfidence ….just trusting that God will nudge us in our decisions and that love will cover over a multitude (I say, multitude) of sins. Love this, Kristi.

  11. […] Join me over at Shannon Geurin’s for the remainder of today’s post? Simply click here.  […]

  12. Mary Geisen says:

    I love everything about this Kristi. I have also cried over spilt milk and labeled myself not good enough as a mom. We need to stop beating ourselves up and look through the lens God sees us. He knows we are enough and equips us to do the hard job of mothering. Blessings!

  13. Michelle says:

    Godfidence! Love it!

  14. Linda Stoll says:

    Kristi … although my mothering days are long gone, it never fails to amaze me how the enemy of our souls hisses lies at us that way too easily derail us from living with joy and confidence.

    And he seems to aim at mamas. No wonder. Raising the next generation for Christ is no easy task.

    Thankfully, the Spirit never leaves us … and whispers what is true about who we are in Christ.

  15. Tyra says:

    Kristi,
    Honey you’ve hit the nail on the head. There is this huge divide between the mommy I plan to be and imagine to be than the actually everyday mommy. And as I look across that wide crevasse, I condemn mommy on actual side for not looking and acting like idealized mommy. But thanks be to God that He bridges the divide, he is the restorer of the breach, he is the one who teaches our children and ensures their peace. And while he’s doing that for my children, he’s doing it for me too. Thanks for these gentle words of grace. Happy to be visiting from #raralinkup

  16. Laura Hicks says:

    Ah mothering for dummies would have sure been a handy book, huh! Just when I think I’ve got the mom thing all figured out (mine are young adults now) I’m reminded of how human I truly am. So grateful God is there holding my hand and walking alongside me. Great post!

  17. Lois Flowers says:

    I love the idea of “Godfidence,” Kristi. Confidence without Him can easily turn into pride and all kinds of other ugliness, but when we allow His strength to become our own … wow! I know what you mean about the incessant indecision … that seems to be cropping up some for me now that my daughter is in high school and we are trying to sift through all the places she wants to go and things she wants to do. Should we let her or not? This or that? Yes or no? These days, I’m praying for wisdom and discernment like never before, it seems! Wonderful post!

  18. Kristi,

    I use to lie awake at nights and lament on all I did wrong mothering wishing I could have those days back to do them better. But I’ve come to realize these voices are from the one who wants to paralyze me not set me free. My kids are grown and God has planned their path and mine. I did the best with the light He gave me and I still can. I’m awaiting my first grandson…can’t wait to live up to all my new light!
    Loved your post!

    • Kristi Woods says:

      Oh yes, Christy, those are voices from the one who wants to paralyze. So ugly! But yay for new grandbabies and new lights. Congratulations! #goJesus

  19. […] week I was over at Shannon Geurin’s. Honestly, that post ranks high on my all-time favorite’s […]

  20. Kristine says:

    Kristi and Shannon, I just had to hop over and read this one again. This is just one of those posts that needs to STAY in my arsenal, for when it’s one of ‘those’ days. Love you girls!

    • Shannon says:

      I agree Kristine! Krist hit it out the ballpark with this one, although that’s typical for her! Glad you’re loving it!

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