Why I Don't Want to be a Great Mom

By Brittany Rust

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Roman has been teething the big guns (molars), which is much more challenging than the other teeth, let me just say. It's teething on steroids, which is no fun for anyone, baby or parent! I'll be honest--it's been some of the hardest parenting days I've had so far. Produced moments when I wasn't sure if I could keep it together. Frazzled, frustrated, and fatigued, I've been reaching my "keep it together" limit.

Part of me feels guilty for expressing such hidden thoughts, yet I can't imagine being the only one. If this be true, then let this be a release to myself and other moms: we all have such moments and it doesn't mean we're cray cray. In fact, it's normal to experience nights when our husband walks in the door after a long day and we throw our arms in the air in defeat, "you're up!" whilst taking a bubble bath and sipping a glass of wine.

So, I was in the throws of teething last week. When Roman went down for his first nap, I did what I always do that first nap: I pulled out my Bible to get in some much needed sweet Jesus time. I was already exhausted from the morning and needing a little refill in the mama tank, and tapping into Him always gives me that much needed boost.

But then I realized something, as I began to pray. Here's how my prayer started:

"Jesus, please help me to be a good mom today, for Roman. Actually, Lord, help me to be a great mom!"

Then I stopped. There wasn't anything inherently wrong with praying to be a great mom, but I felt the Holy Spirit give me that gentle little nudge to realign with Him. Sure, I could strive to be a great mom that day; giving my all and trying to hold it all together. But that would mean operating out of the flesh and out of my own strength, which would be exhausting. I realized I didn't want to be a great mom. No, Roman needed more than that--than just me at my best.

That's when my prayer became: "Lord, I want to be a Spirit-filled mom."

Being a Spirit-filled mom meant access to a strength and power I never could muscle up on my own. If I would walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh, I wouldn't be on my own. I'd have access to God's unlimited strength, patience, and kindness. More importantly, my little guy would experience the power and presence of God to a greater degree.

Motherhood is beautiful, but it's also hard. It's even harder when we try to be a supermom, bouncing around to fix all the problems and do all the things. And being a woman trying to be a good or great mom is exhausting. In fact, it's down right defeating because you'll end up coming to the end of yourself and have nothing left to give. 

I’m learning how to stop pursuing the idea of a great mom and embracing my weakness to find His strength in being a Spirit-filled mom.

I'm learning how to stop pursuing the ideal of a great mom and embracing my weakness to find His strength in being a Spirit-filled mom. If you're with me, here are 3 prayer points you can weave into a Spirit-filled day.

  1. Pray for Him to increase as you decrease (John 3:30). A key to a flourishing life is learning to lean into your weakness so that His strength might be made perfect. It's giving up your control for His perfect will. It's seeking your own decrease so that Christ can increase in your life. Imagine how the atmosphere in your home will lighten; imagine the peace that will fill your house. Your kids will be forever impacted by that kind of presence of God in the home.
  2. Pray for humility, gentleness, patience, and love (Ephesians 4:2). I'm constantly praying this verse as a mom. I crave the Holy Spirit would fill me up with these attributes so that I can extend them to my son. Will you, too, acknowledge your deep need of all four in order to parent well? Ask Jesus to help you in these areas on a regular basis.
  3. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). How many times a day do you realize the need for Jesus?! For me, a ton! But let me undo any pressure you might feel to pray unceasingly because it can cause some anxiety for people. Praying without ceasing doesn't mean you can't stop praying, but rather, it means carrying a prayerful spirit. It's inviting Jesus in on a regular basis and asking for His wisdom, strength, and patience. Essentially, it means you'll make it a habit to ask for help in the trenches of motherhood at every difficulty and express gratitude for every win He empowers you to experience. Develop a posture of prayer as a mom and your child will be impacted both momentarily and eternally.

So, are you with me, mama? Are you ready to stop striving to be a great mom and ready to start embracing the life of a Spirit-filled mom?!