When Mom Doesn’t Measure Up

Written by: Margaret Connolly

Moms face tremendous pressure. There is, of course, no one who knows this better than Moms themselves. There are countless external pressures – the usual day to day stuff. Then there are the internal pressures … ‘am I doing this right?’ ‘was that the best course of discipline?’ ‘why doesn’t my child confide in me anymore?’ and the list goes on and on and on!
If you are a Mom, you know that the pressure is ongoing, never-ending and will likely change over time and as children get older, but is always there in one way or another.

In the face of all this pressure, there are imperfect Moms trying their hardest every single day. There are other Moms who crumble under the pressure, perhaps leading them to choose unwise paths, or forget that their number one priority should be their child. I’ve often heard or read stories of how parenting ‘used to be’, kids were to be seen and not heard. Kids were sent outside to play and weren’t to come home until the streetlights came on and dusk settled in. As we all know, 21st century parents have no choice but to do things differently. Changing times and more knowledge about the mental and emotional health of our children has created an emphasis on the family dynamic and the secure support system of a home. Sadly, there are those of previous generations (and probably this generation too) who have grown up without the kind of Mom that most of us today strive to be. The word ‘mom’ doesn’t conjure up cozy, loving thoughts of hugging a soft warm breast; or of having a happy greeting from Mom at the end of the day. There are no memories of baking together, or playing games, snuggles, laughs or gentleness. Instead, there might be memories of harsh words, neglect in some form or another, emotional abuse or overly physical punishments .

A friend of mine (who is of an older generation than me) told me that she never believed that her mother loved her. She didn’t have a single happy memory that involved her mother. She remembered instead being ignored, shoved aside, treated violently at times and often left alone to fend for herself as her mother stayed away for days at a time. She said that at 7 years old she would get herself up, washed, fed and off to school, alone. There was no one there to lovingly guide her through her morning, to reassure her of a comfortable, safe place to come home to at the end of the day. No goodnight kisses or cuddles. No laughing, singing or dancing.
The thought of my girls growing up in this type of environment breaks my heart. For generations of children this was very much a reality, and though it is less common today, it still happens.

So, I dedicate this post to those who come to Mother’s Day with a bitter taste in their mouth. Those that feel they don’t have a reason to celebrate their mothers. A reminder to them that our gracious Heavenly Father can fill that void; we can all lean on Him and allow Him to be our soft place to fall. If this resounds with you, ask God to remind you of all the wonderful things about you that your mother never told you. The beauty He sees in you. The wonderful giftings you have. The way He treasures and adores you. The way He cherishes you as His unique and abundantly loved princess. Remind yourself this Mother’s Day that you are a daughter of the most high God, that you are precious in His sight and, that He loves you unfailingly with an everlasting love.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” Psalm 139:14

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb” Psalm 139:13