Editor’s Note: Alli Worthington has a new book out — Remaining You While Raising Them — that all moms need. New mothers, young mamas, mothers of teens, all y’all mamas need this one! I’ve been a mother for 29+ years, and this excerpt spoke straight to my heart. Very quickly after reading this book, I sent Alli a note thanking her and telling her that God has already answered prayers through it in my own life. I know it will encourage you as it has me. Enjoy this excerpt.
Motherhood changed me, not just physically and emotionally but also spiritually. The gospel of grace was an idea that sounded good in theory, but I could never fully grasp how God’s love for me was unconditional. Surely there must be something I could do, some way I could fail that would finally make God wash His hands of me.
We are God’s creation, His beloved. He sacrificed everything for us and gave us such perfect love that nothing could separate us from Him.
- It wasn’t until I became a mother that I fully grasped the gospel of grace, God’s perfect, unconditional love for me, His child.
My friend Carol told me about how sending her oldest son to school taught her about God’s love.
Alli, there was something about that milestone that was so terrifying. It sent doubts about my mothering skills into overdrive. Maybe it was because for the first time in his life, I would have the least control over how he spent his day. I was dusting his bedroom, crying and worrying that I hadn’t done enough to prepare him for life outside our home. Once again, I was telling myself that if I hadn’t done my job well, he wouldn’t become the man God had created him to be. As I ran my fingers across his pinewood derby trophy, I felt like God said, “Carol, I love him more than you could ever imagine loving him. You are his mother, but I am his creator. I sacrificed everything for him.”
As she finished her story, I realized this truth:
God has already written the future of every single one of my children.
Sure, I have to do my part as their mom, but nothing I do can ruin the future God has for them. The weight of their future is on Him, not on me. In today’s modern motherhood, we carry a weight that God never intended us to carry.
God extended His gospel of grace to my children as well. His love for them is also perfect. And according to His promise in Scripture, nothing — neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation (including any shortcomings I might have as a mom) — can separate my children from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38–39).
Even if nothing else takes the weight of motherhood off our shoulders, that promise alone should. Amen and hallelujah.
Changing my mindset about motherhood began with under standing how God viewed my role as a mom.
Changing the Way You Think
I’m offering you a new way to think — about your kids, about yourself, about motherhood. I want to reveal the myths that have broken modern motherhood. And then I want to show you a new paradigm, a mindset that strips away the myths we have believed: myths that tell us we are doing it wrong, our work will hurt our kids, other moms have it together, and good moms should be happy all the time — just to name a few.
Together we’ll debunk the myth that investing in yourself is selfish. And we will discover how becoming the healthiest mom you can be is the greatest asset to your family.
I waited until I was a parent for twenty-four years to write this book, partly because I wanted to make sure I knew what I was talking about and that my kids would turn out OK — seriously. But I also knew mothers needed more than another parenting book. There are a million books focused on trying to manage kids, but hardly anything for the mothers. In my survey of over one thousand mothers, I asked them to share the best book on motherhood they had ever read, and 95 percent of them named a parenting book.
You see the problem, right? We’ve accidentally abandoned ourselves in the process of mothering our children.
Today I’m still on the journey, just like you. I have kids from middle school to college and adulthood. I haven’t forgotten the sleepless nights, because I still have them. My house is still a mess, I still can’t manage to cook a big meal unless it comes out of a CrockPot, someone still always has some place to be or a project due, and sometimes I still long for one day of peace and quiet. But I’m also far enough along to be able to say to you that
- motherhood isn’t just about what you do, it’s about who you are.
The mom you are is what your kids will remember. They won’t remember everything you did, but they will for sure remember who you were.
Remaining You While Raising Them is not a parenting book; it’s a book for you, about you, centered and focused entirely on you. You’ve been mothering without a road map, weighed down by social pressure, mom guilt, and myths that have convinced you for far too long that you’re failing. And it’s not your fault.
Modern motherhood may be broken, but we can change it together. And when we change ourselves for the better, our families can change for the better too.
I’m here to help you overcome losing yourself in the demands of motherhood, discover the unique type of mom you are, develop simple habits that will make your life easier, build friendships that make you happier, and learn new ways to take care of your self in the midst of a full life.
In this book, you won’t find a step-by-step plan to raise perfect children because that, my friend, is an impossible dream. I’m not going to give you the solution to every parenting issue. Those types of books are already out there and haven’t helped us out of this predicament anyway, right? It’s time for some thing new.
Whether you are looking forward to becoming a mom through birth, adoption, or marriage; are in the throes of raising a little one or navigating the school years; or are an empty nester enjoying being a grandma, this book is for you. You will find encouragement, research-backed truths, and a guiltfree guide to embracing motherhood.
The weight of motherhood doesn’t have to crush us. We can thrive as healthier, happier moms, and the secret to getting there is easier than you might think. We can learn to enjoy motherhood again.
Sure, modern motherhood may be broken. But we can rediscover the beauty, the joy, and the sacred and secret art of confident motherhood together.
I Want You to Remember
- Emotional health is a combination of spiritual, mental, and relational health.
Being the best mother you can be starts with learning to mother yourself. We can be so focused on our kids’ well-being that we neglect our own. When we neglect ourselves long enough, we become emotionally unhealthy. And when we mother from an unhealthy place long enough, we raise emotionally unhealthy children. Mothering yourself means taking care of your needs as well as the needs of your children.
The greatest gift you can give your kids is to be an emotionally healthy mom and to model the way for them.
Journal and Discussion
- Have you ever thought about how important it is to invest in your emotional health?
- How does it feel to think about “mothering yourself”?
- How good are you at letting go of control and knowing God is in charge of your children’s lives and futures? Are there certain aspects that are easier than others?
Excerpted with permission from Remaining You While Raising Them by Alli Worthington, copyright Alli Worthington.
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Sounds like an oasis in a desert, right? Alli has great words to share with us about not just parenting, but about being mothers and being who we are in Jesus. My soul immediately relaxes when I remember that God is in charge and He is and will continue to guide me as a mama. My gift to them is to be healthy and stay solidly fixed on Jesus! Come share your thoughts. We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full