My name is Nicole O'Dell, and I'm a too-busy mom. There. I said it.
Since this is my first post at The Better Mom, (thanks so much for having me!) I figured it was a good time to explore my thoughts about the journey to actually becoming a better mom when it seems like I'd need six hands to make it happen.
We walk a fine line when we strive to better ourselves in any way, but especially when it's our motherhood being dissected under a microscope. Our identity as Mom is based on the well-being of our children. It's our passion. It's who we are. So when we look at how to do it better, we run the risk of listening to one of two very destructive voices.
One voice shouts things like:
- You're failing.
- You're messing up your kids.
- You'd better just hope and pray you make it through the teen years.
- If your kids come out okay, it won't be by any success of your own, but by the grace of God and the luck of the draw.
Equally damaging is the voice that says:
- Don't be negative.
- You mean well.
- You're doing your best.
- It's the enemy who wants you to see fault in yourself.
- You need a break.
- It's not your fault.
Somewhere between those polar opposite, but equally destructive voices is the Truth. God's Word offers grace as we walk in Him, but it also calls us to strive toward a higher place in all we do.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters..." (Colossians 3:23, NIV)
How much more so, then, in motherhood?
Finding that middle ground of betterment for the sake of God's higher calling offers a sweet spot of growth that forgives weakness and failure, but encourages improvement. It calls us to parent from a place beyond what we're capable of in our own strength, and it forces us to rely on Him. In that surrender is peace and balance.
In the search for the healthy voice of reason, I asked myself what three things I could do better as a mom right now. Not the unattainable things that seem perfect, but rarely exist. I'm talking about three things I have control over today. Success I can achieve if I place my hand in the Lord's and step forward as an ambassador mom. Today.
1. I can plan dinner now. It's within my ability not to busy myself until 5:15 when everyone is hungry and something frozen and processed becomes our meal. Again. With a little planning, I can make sure to feed my family a tasty, healthy, fresh meal. That I can do, tonight--maybe not every day for the rest of our lives. But tonight, I can do it.
2. I can unplug the family from distracting electronics for a few hours this evening. Sure, there might be resistance, but I'm the mom. I can make it happen. At least for today.
3. I can pick up the Bible study I've passed over for other things twice already today. I can prioritize my spiritual growth and focus on my relationship with Jesus before I tackle the list of phone calls I have to make. It will make me a better mom. Today.
I think we're all aware of how fast this time flies. My kids are 20, 15, 12, 4, 4, 4, and I often feel like it's a race toward that parenting finish line looming on the horizon. Today, let's choose to slow down and listen to the still, small voice that calls us to be a better mom in the simple things we can easily accomplish today.
How about you? What steps toward becoming a better mom are squarely within your reach...today?
Nicole O'Dell, nicoleodell.com