Before I became a mom, I saw motherhood as a role filled with joy, love, and hope with a sprinkle of frustration and frazzle. These emotions have certainly proven true. Yet there’s one emotion I didn’t imagine feeling, or at least feeling as often as I do these days. I never envisioned experiencing fear.
You experience it too. Fear is interwoven into our daily life as we parent.
While our fears vary, there are 3 fears every mom has.
1. We fear for our kids’ futures.
You name it, we worry about the future of our kids. From bullying to body image, from social media to human trafficking, from who our kids will marry to how the world is changing, we worry about All. The. Things.
Our response to this fear is to nag, correct every minor mistake, say “no” to any device, app, show, experience, or person we don’t know, and passively-aggressively micromanage.
We’re scared that their future depends solely on how we parent today.
But God is sovereign over our kids’ futures.
God says that while how we parent is important, the reality is that He’s ultimately and sovereignly in charge of our children’s future. He has plans for them that are good, regardless of how we parent. He’ll even take the painful parts of their story and redeem them in ways beyond anything we could ask or imagine. God is the author and perfector of their faith and is trustworthy to write their story.
God isn’t surprised by who they befriend and marry, what career they pursue, how they’re treated, and what memories they make. He will use their choices to grow their character and faith. Even when we don’t understand His plan or methods, God has it all figured out, and what He’s figured out is good.
Our role as moms is simply to obey Him as we parent. Are we loving our children, teaching them His truth, being gentle with their hearts, and serving them with love and by faith? Then we’ve done our part, and God’s plan for them will come to pass.
2. We fear we’re not “parenting right.”
We fear that we’re not doing enough as parents, but this fear is a bit sneaky.
This worry isn’t so much about our children as it is about us finding our identity in our parenting and being found “good enough.” We strive to be “Good Mom” so our kids will have a great childhood and so we feel like we’re doing enough.
Our response to this fear is to create a checklist of what “parenting right” looks like: reading 20 minutes every day, having thought-provoking questions at dinner, sharing family devotionals, serving homemade meals, limiting screen time. Now these are all good things, but when we make them as a way to define our worth as a parent, that’s not healthy. This checklist mentality leaves us feeling overwhelmed and a bit ragged around the edges. It certainly leaves us with a loud inner critic when we don’t measure up to our own definition of good parenting.
The bottom line is that we’re fearful that we’ll come up short as parents.