What I want you to know: All moms struggle with parenting

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest posts is by Laura.



At first glance you might think my title is a little odd. You may say to yourself, “Of course all moms struggle with parenting their children. What kind of topic is this?” But here’s the truth about the current culture in which we parent. Our concept of parenting is not formulated solely by observing those around us or influenced by how we were parented.

Our parenting self-worth is heavily influenced by the world of social media. The major problem is that in the social media world parenting is AMAZING! Through all forms of internet socialization we find that our friends' children are wonderful. They score 10,000 on their SAT’s and have a full ride to the college of their choice. They win all their swim meets and they are on the honor roll for the 20th year running. They climb Mount Everest and learn to speak four languages while mastering calculus all by age 4. Okay, maybe the last part was over the top, but you know what I mean. By contrast, here is what you never see on the internet. My daughter barely squeaked onto to honor roll because her dyslexia is so challenging that she attends tutoring 6 times a week just to keep up. My son is usually combative at home, but this week he only talked back three times and we are celebrating his progress. Ever read a tweet that says, “My youngest looked in the mirror this morning and was broken- hearted because her acne is out of control and kids are unkind?” You will never see a post that reads, “I yelled at my kids today for no reason. I am worried about finances, my husband and I are not on the same page, and quite frankly sometimes I don’t enjoy the duties of being a mom.” I feel pretty sure that has never been on a Facebook page.


Please do not misunderstand me. In theory I do not think it is wrong to share special things about your children or to celebrate their achievements with others. You will find some neat comments and cool pictures of my children on Facebook. I enjoy seeing stuff about my friends and watching their families grow up. I am also not suggesting social media be turned into some type of public therapy sessions in which to vent the ills of life (for the sake of your kids, please don’t). I think our mothering journey should be one worked through within the realm of our private world. The core of the trouble is not the information that is posted, but is our perception of the information. Too often we perceive that our friends and their children are always successful.

So, here is what I really want you to know. I am a struggling mom. My three amazing daughters are not always so amazing. They make mistakes and do not always achieve their goals. To make matters worse, sometimes I stink at being a mom. I forget to put peanut butter between the bread and only send bread to school (true story). I threaten and don’t follow through. I yell at them sometimes and am often not the mom I want to be for them. Even more revealing is that I am a clinical therapist and women’s ministry leader who has been working with other moms for years to help them with their parenting. Yet, my journey is wrought with mishaps, fumbles and out and out mistakes that I wish I could take back. Here is another important TRUTH I want you to know. I know a whole bunch of other fabulous mothers who are in the same boat as me. They too are sometimes “messed up moms” who are parenting occasional “messed up kids”. Even worse, sometimes we can hit a homerun as a mom and our kids do not follow suit. Our kids go their own way, and sometimes it is not the right way! THAT IS THE TRUTH AND DON’T LET A FACEBOOK PAGE CONVINCE YOU OTHERWISE.

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