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 and remember: you're a great mom!
As a mom, I’ve failed a thousand times, but I’ve also made a million magic moments. And I bet you have too. You’ve created those moments by
- reading an extra story at bedtime.
- throwing back the covers and inviting your little one into bed after a bad dream.
- encouraging your child when they got a bad grade on a spelling test.
- celebrating their success of learning to ride their bike without training wheels.
- making popcorn and snuggling up on the couch and watching a movie.
- comforting your heartbroken teen after their first breakup.
When we zoom in on what we wish were different, or moments we aren’t proud of, then of course all we see is the bad. But instead of zooming in, we have to learn to zoom out and look at the big picture of the beautiful, messy, nevereverperfect life and family God has given us.
One study showed that as moms of infants, we only have to get it right 50 percent of the time to be great moms and create a secure attachment with our kids.1
Secure attachment happens when a child forms a secure bond with their mother. This bond enables the child to feel safe, comforted, and to trust their mother. As they grow older, children with secure attachment tend to have better social skills, form healthy relationships, and are more confident, empathetic, and able to regulate their emotions.
Secure attachment in childhood is the basis of a child being able to love others and receive love. This attachment lays the foundation for a person’s ability to establish healthy and fulfilling relationships throughout their life. Luckily, creating a secure bond with our child comes naturally for most moms: we create the bond through comforting, snuggling, feeding, and providing a nurturing, safe environment.
The relief that I don’t have to get it right 100 percent of the time takes the pressure off and allows me to give myself grace when I fall short. It’s not a license to just throw my hands up and say, “Oh well, they’ll survive!” But knowing I don’t have to get it right all the time is a built-in cushion of grace given to us by God.
[God] knew motherhood would be hard work and made a way for mothers to survive it.
But I bet you are like me and zoom in on the mistakes, for getting to zoom out for the big picture too. You don’t even realize what a great mom you are. And like my photo frame, I bet the big picture of your life is a beautiful story too.
Have you ever noticed that it’s way easier to focus on our mistakes than our successes? How crazy is it that you can live sleep deprived (which is literally torture by the way), be on duty for tiny tyrants 24/7, have kids who have raised button pushing to an art form, and yet be a loving, mature, well-adjusted woman at the same time? That’s amazing.
I know you’re a great mom. Do you know how I know? Because you are reading this book. The simple act of investing in yourself to create a happier, healthier home life is something a great mom would do.
I also know you worry you don’t do enough.
And you worry you do too much.
You feel like you don’t have any time for yourself, but you keep smiling through it and pushing forward.
You feel guilty for struggling with loneliness.
You wish you didn’t feel bored with the day-to-day of motherhood.
You struggle because you can’t solve every problem.
You feel guilty for needing to take a break and get away.
In other words, you are a normal, healthy, amazing mom who loves her kids. You aren’t alone in these feelings. All moms feel this way. I know because I’ve polled thousands of women about motherhood over the last three years while I researched this book for you. You’ll hear stories (with names changed for privacy, of course) from many women I’ve coached through the years. You will see that you aren’t alone.
You are spectacular and strong beyond what you give yourself credit for. Before you had kids, could you have imagined needing to clean the kitchen so many times each day? How does it get so messy?
Here’s what I bet is true about you: you love your kids with a depth you never knew was possible. Like Tony Stark, you would put on the glove in Avengers: Endgame and snap your fingers. You would jump down into the pit of snakes like Indiana Jones. And you would run across no-man’s-land like Wonder Woman to protect your kids.
Who knew laundry would be a never-ending battle you would have to fight daily just to stay on top of it? And why is every piece of clothing inside out? And Lord help you if you ever miss a day. Good luck ever catching up.
Would you have imagined that Cheerios would be your constant companion? In the bottom of your purse, between the couch cushions, stuck in your hair, or worse yet, stuck on the back of your pants?
Cheerios are the sad confetti of the motherhood party.
If no one has told you lately that you are doing a great job, I’m sorry. You deserve to hear it often. Most of what you do is under appreciated and underacknowledged. Cut yourself some slack, mama.
You have permission to give yourself grace. God’s grace is sufficient for you and me.
Did you know that God gave every mom a unique super power? Every person on this planet was uniquely created. You were created with gifts and talents and a unique personality, all designed to help you live out your purpose on this earth. But as moms, we have a little something extra because the Lord knew we’d need it.
- “‘Good Enough’ Parenting Is Good Enough, Study Finds,” ScienceDaily, May 8, 2019, www.sciencedaily.com/releases /2019/05/190508134511.htm.
Excerpted with permission from Remaining You While Raising Them by Alli Worthington, copyright Alli Worthington.
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Moms, you’re doing good. Raising kids isn’t for the faint-hearted, is it? And, we have the tendency to add a heap of guilt on top whenever we feel like we’re not enough. Remember, that God created you with unique and special gifts and talents and He ordained you to mother the kids you are mothering! ~ Devotionals Daily