We need to take some time to really think about what our objective is as a mother. Why are we doing what we’re doing and what do we hope to accomplish?
Last week I began a new series entitled, “The MomTrek: Navigating the Journey of Raising God-Centered Kids.” In it, I introduced the idea of mothering being compared to a trek: “an arduous journey, a long and difficult expedition.” Ya think? Mothering is a day after, year after year, continual exerting of ourselves and our energy – not just to making sure our kids survive, but that they actually thrive and develop along the way. It is the hardest, most challenging experience we can have. Like a trek, there are absolute necessities we need along the way. We need to have an overall objective, the proper equipment, the essential skills, and the right traveling companions. This week, we’ll talk about the overall objective.
MomTrek Overall Objective: All treks have an objective: a point at which they will end. A destination. We need to take some time to really think about what our objective is as a mother. Why are we doing what we’re doing and what do we hope to accomplish? Let’s take a minute or two and think about this and ask some important questions. First of all, let’s take personal inventory.
1. At this point in your mothering journey, what is the most frustrating aspect for you as a mom? What challenges are you facing that seem overwhelming, with regard to each of your children? What makes you feel the most stressed and anxious about your children? What do you feel good about in your mothering? What are your strengths?
2. Now let’s consider the bigger picture – the objective. The destination. What are we trying to accomplish with our kids – where and how to envision our children as they reach age 22? This would be like looking at a map, or a trail route, in order to go from where we are, to where we want to be. “If every mother could wrap her mind around her true value as a woman and mother, her life would never be the same … every mother is born to fulfill a higher calling. The question for every mother is: Do you feel you were born for a great purpose?” ( Meg Meeker M.D., “10 Habits of a Happy Mother”.) Another author puts it this way: “Why are you doing what you’re doing and what do you want out of it? Knowing what mattered and focusing on the big picture changed my mothering perspective.” (“One Tough Mother”, by Julie Barnhill) It’s time for us to get a new perspective, or maybe just recapture the one we had.
What’s reassuring is that God has not left us on our own. He has already set a very clear objective for us in Deuteronomy 6: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children … and the Lord our God commanded us to obey and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as He has done to this day.” Our objective should be not to raise children who have everything they want, and are successful in this earthly life, but to pursue a higher calling of raising a generation of God-centered young adults. A generation who fears God and lives a life to please Him – a message that is radically opposed to what our kids are surrounded by today. What can we do to practically apply this scripture?
Determine Our Core Values Maybe it’s time to reassess (or assess for the first time if you’ve never done so) our plan for raising our children. What do you base your decisions on? When your children encounter teaching that contradicts what you know is right, what basis do you use to help them navigate these questions? How do we model in real life, the Christlike qualities we desire to see in our children? I’ve attached a link to the Family Life Ministries website, which contains many valuable resources for parents. One resource is called “Determining Our Core Values”. This will help walk you through the specific steps as we take a good hard look at charting the course on a life map for our children. What do our children observe in our lives? What matters to me and what do I value?
I hope you’ll take the time to evaluate where you are on your mothering journey and these guidelines will be a help along the way!