Your ‘Parenting Style’ Is Not Your Identity, and It’s Ok If MY Kids Eat Lunchables

It seems, for a season, that prescribing to an ideal in motherhood somehow makes it easier, that you live by these certain unannounced rules and OH MY WORD do not give my baby that cracker since it is not organic, but by the time baby #3 comes around, you are eating pizza 3 nights a week so save your sanity and carefully neglect to share THAT in your fill in the blanks. Because that does not “line up”, now, does it? (We still eat pizza and hot dogs quite often. Go team!)

I once posted a photo of my kids eating Lunchables at a Target Cafe right before we went to the park. A mother tried to “help” me by commenting that those are “full of junk and the crackers are not EVEN whole wheat”. Well, MERCY. Guess that did not line up with the mama agenda I had tricked the world into thinking of which I was a part. Guess what? THEY WERE ON SALE. And my kids loved them. And right now I am justifying a choice that is SO MINOR compared to the troubles of this world. Really, people. We’ve got it made and don’t even see it.

This generation of mothers has turned these false identities of motherhood into idolatry. We worship this idol of who we want to be instead of embracing who the Creator made us to be. We send out the trumpets of judgement every time someone posts a photo online of messy homes, or kids in the buggy without a germ free cart cover or babies deemed “too old” to use a pacifier. Since when did the world become our conscience? Since when did we allow virtual reality to define what REALLY happens in the waking hours of our lives?

If I could do it over again, and go back to the Hannah Montana days of the mid 2000s, I would have skipped breastfeeding three times over, dusted my mantel with those cloth diaper prefolds, listened to my gut and my grandmother instead of a parenting book, stuck to the jarred baby food that PEOPLE GAVE ME instead of making my own, and STAYED OFF OF THE INTERNET AND PLAYED WITH MY BABY IN THE FRONT YARD THAT WAS OVERGROWN.

Yesterday at church, the pastor put weight to this idea of a “motherhood identity crisis” that has been brewing in my heart for some time. He noted that when we wake up, to ask ourselves these two very simple yet profound questions:

Who am I in Christ?
What will I BE for Jesus today?

Jesus does not care that I no longer make my own laundry detergent. Homeschooling is not a religion, clean floors are not next to godliness, and guess what? Sometimes I still raise my voice.

But who I am in Christ, and what I will be for Him that day is really the only identity I need to worry about.


This post originally appeared at Letters From the Nest, published with permission.

Christie Elkins
Christie Elkins is a mother of 3, cop's wife and Junior Mint lover. She writes at and is a columnist for her hometown newspaper, The LaFollette Press. Christie and her family live on a farm in the Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee, where sweet tea is served at every meal and hospitality is second nature.

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