11 December 2013

How Do Other Moms See Me--Super or Slacker?

Am I Messing Up My Kids? Lysa TerKeurst

Chapter 14

"A halo has to fall only a few inches to become a noose."--Farmer's Almanac

This chapter stopped me dead in my tracks.  Because...I like to people please.  I will put on a different hat for every friend I have so that they will think highly of me.  I will wear my "fashionable hat" for the friends that have a passion for fashion.  I will wear my "baseball hat" for my friends who like sports (seriously, who are we kidding?).  I will put my "teacher hat" on for my friends who are teachers.  Basically, I will just be what other people WANT me to be instead of just being myself and being the me that God designed me to be.  Now, at age 35 I am definitely getting better and more comfortable in my own skin, but I think it is something I will always struggle with.  Thank goodness God knows this and is always working on me.

As a mom, we have many different hats we wear all day long..."chauffeur, handyman, project helper, editor, teacher, cook, maid, vacation planner, activities coordinator, and the family historian."  

Lysa says, "A hat should fully express who I am not just what role I am playing at the time.  And to be honest, I don't like hats that much.  I think I will put my hair up in a clip and just be me today."

Do you as a mom ever feel it is hard to just be yourself?  

Lysa says, "We are often caught up in this strange era of defining ourselves by what kind of mom other people see us as."

Who do people say that you are?  Do you find yourself ever struggling to live up to that expectation?

On the one hand you have the Slacker Mom and at the other end of the spectrum you have Super Mom.  Lysa said she googled those two topics (super mom-overparenting) The over parenting mom got 663 results the Slacker mom got 22, 000 results.

How about we ditch the labels?  Sure, it's nice when people call you Super Mom...and they may say...how do you do it all?  But really, once you have a label, no matter good or bad, it can become a trap to live up to!

This next quote that Lysa says is my favorite quote of all:  I don't want to be a slacker mom or a supermom.  I just want to be the kind of mom God intends for me to be.  I want to be a unique mom with gifts, talents, attitudes, beliefs and convictions all my own.  

Are you ok, with just being yourself?  Some days you may be a slacker mom, some days you may have your cape on and fully be super mom, some days you may be a hot mess in need of some major help, we've all been there!  How about we all just do the best we can each day with the circumstances we are handed.  We know we don't face anything alone.  

But let's look at overparenting for a minute.  I never realized how detrimental this can be on kids.  Lysa brought up some great points.  The mom who overparents THINKS she is doing her kids a favor by doing things for them, and basically is really setting her kids up for failure.  This is a mom who cares more about the appearance of things than the heart of the matter.  You've heard of this mom before.  A helicopter mom who hovers over her child's every move.

This kind of mom may have good intentions but she really just wants to make herself look good as well.  I think we can all be guilty of this.  How many times have you cared more about hearing praises about your kids than really listening to criticism about your kids?  As a classroom teacher for 7 years I can remember sitting down with parents and sharing good news first and then issues (if there was any) that their child was having whether it be following directions, making good choices, being a good listener, etc.  So many parents would get so defensive and angry at me for sharing the truth about what I saw day to day for 8 hours.  It almost seemed like they didn't want to hear the truth, or they took it so personally.  Now, having kids myself I realize why.  Our kids do reflect us as parents.  Of course we want our kids to shine and always do the right thing.  And when they don't we feel like we have failed.

But Lysa brought up a great point..."A dangerous message is sent to kids when a parent is overly involved.  It tells the child that the parent does not trust them to be able to succeed on their own."

Have you ever completed a project for your child because you cared so much about what others would say.  The message you send to your child is that well Sally, you can't do it right, you don't measure up.  How can our children be proud of their work when they know you deserve the A and not them?

"Children cannot believe in themselves if the most important people in their lives don't believe in them."

Lysa went on to say that the articles she read on overparenting warned that kids who grow up with these helicopter parents are at a higher risk for anxiety disorders and depression.  Slacker moms, care more about relationships than they do about more activities.  Super Moms take their kids to a million different activities and forget that sometimes their kids just need time to play.  Less is sometimes more.  I had to learn that the hard way.  When Micah was born I physically couldn't keep up with bringing Julia and Mark to two sports.  It had to take another baby in my home to teach me to SLOW down, and put less stress on our schedule so that we actually have time to be a family and not be a Nascar Pit Stop all the time!

Every family has to find that balance.  We are all on our mom journey.  So instead of labeling each other as slacker mom or super mom...how about we all just be REALISTIC Mom.   Let that be your title, not a label.

You all rock!  In MOPS this year our theme is A Beautiful Mess...and it's true...the motherhood journey is exactly that.  It's all beautiful because God made it, but we are all human and sometimes it's messy!


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