Your Job is Not to be Amazing. So Just Stop Trying.

I saw it again, a mom’s post of her daughter’s birthday party, complete with (real, live) Disney Princesses, a speechlessly beautiful 3-tier cake, all the bouncy things and a Pinterest-perfect atmosphere. And it WAS beautiful and amazing. And I’m sure her daughter loved it. And no, there is nothing wrong with an amazing birthday party.

But social media has made the contest to outdo each other more brutal than ever, where we can get caught up in making picture-perfect memories and creating a childhood WOW effect as opposed to remembering the value of good, simple parenting.

Can I just tell you that you can let yourself off the hook if you’re not that mom. You don’t have to create flawless memories for you children to remember they had a good childhood. In fact, they will probably love the stack of doughnuts with a candle on top just as much as the amazing cake your neighbor gave her little girl. If you can’t live up to the pressure, you don’t have to.

Now if sparkly parties are your thing, then by all means knock yourself out. But it’s not the standard for good parenting. (For us budget-minded folks, a basic monthly budget template comes in handy when trying to determine how much we can actually spend on a party.)

We have to reel ourselves in, in the midst of a social media frenzy, and remember what’s really important about being a mom.

Smiling at your children. Letting them know that you really like being with them. Laughing, reading, playing games together. Praying, reading Scripture, talking about big things. Talking about little things. Gazing at the sunset, just letting conversations drift to where they land. Letting them see you help other people and pour themselves out for someone else (maybe them).

Those are the really important things that shape who your children become. They might remember the party. But don’t stress over it. It will be a small memory compared to the person they see you being, steadily, over the course of their lives.

And they’ll see you mess up too. Lose your temper. Raise your voice at them, even. And then they’ll see you slump your shoulders, pull them close and apologize. And that will be etched in their memory as a far greater accomplishment than perfect party games.

Mama, love with a simpleness that transcends icing and balloons. Show them the reality of a flesh-covered soul that faces each day only because “His mercies are new every morning.” Stop wearing yourself out to create a facade of who you want to be.

Instead, be her. The woman who isn’t perfect, but lives life to its fullest because she is covered by the blood of the Lamb, and she walks in newness of life, steadfast, a child of the Father. That is a strength and becoming your child can sink her teeth into.  And she will remember.

10 Responses to “Your Job is Not to be Amazing. So Just Stop Trying.”

  1. D. says:

    Kelly your posts are always a breath of fresh air and so to the heart of the matter. I am usually vigorously nodding my head and inwardly shouting an “amen” 🙂 because your message is truth and resounds with what we mothers face daily.

    I think some moms are naturally more easily intimidated by social media and its fake picture of perfection. While I’m not saying that attempts to share our good and fun moments are wrong, much of what is posted shows a deeper inner issue of how much we crave attention and seek for accolades. Unfortunately, the praise of man wreaks havoc in our homes and hearts if we are prone to make FB or Instagram our main means for community. I’m a stronger personality and am not easily intimidated and find all the “look at our wonderful family” posts unsettling. We all bake and wipe down our table a bajillion times a day – we just don’t have time to post every triumphant moment! 🙂

    We need to get back to remembering that it’s more important who and what we are around our kids, family and neighbours than to a shallow online community. Keep preaching truth!!

  2. Marie says:

    YYes….mostly yes….95% yes…BUT…choose a few moments to really stretch yourself…. for the child, not FB or Pinterest.
    I gave my daughter a Harry Potter party for her 17th birthday. Mind you, she was a mature, senior in high school, but this was to be her last family party and I wanted it to be special (in our family, we stop inviting the granparents, aunt, uncles, and cousins after the senior year birthday). After receiving her calligraphied invitation through the catflap in her door, she cried for 20 minutes before she could even bring herself to come downstairs. I did not spend a fortune, but I went all out and made it as authentic and special as I could. It is probably her very favorite “childhood” memories. Prior to this she had a few small cute-but-simple young-childhood friend parties, but mostly just our extended family with lots of food and fun.

  3. Diana says:

    You have no idea how much I needed this post this morning. Thank you.

    And… you should blog more often!!!!! Miss your posts!

    • Diana,

      Aw, I’m so glad it met you when you needed it! And thank you. I wish I could write more too. There is something about blogging for 12 years, maybe, where you reach a point that you feel like you don’t have much else to say? That may sound silly, but I have felt like that for a while now. I miss my inspiration.

  4. Carla says:

    All I can say is Hallelujah! Wonderful, lovely post as always. Thank you so much!

  5. Katie Breneman says:

    Wow…this could not have been more timely. I confess this is my first time reading your blog. I happened across this in my email and it perfectly addressed what I have been struggling with lately, which is basically guilt over doing many things but doing none of them well. I love the reminder though that perfection is not required to parent our children. Social media definitely drives that thinking. So thankful you shared the gospel reminder today. Christ was perfect for us so we can walk in obedience to him and allow our weaknesses to be made beautiful in His strength. Thank you for sharing!!

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