How to Become a Confident Mom
- Thursday, March 15, 2012
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Jean Blackmer's book, MomSense: A Common-Sense Guide to Confident Mothering, (Revell, 2011).
If you feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities involved in raising your children or afraid that you'll fail to fulfill them well, take heart. No mother is perfect in this fallen world, but you don't have to be perfect to be a successful mother.
God - who created you and your children - knows that you have what it takes to be just the kind of mom your children need. And God has given you "MomSense" (a combination of intuition and common sense) to help you figure out exactly how to do so. When you use your MomSense, you can become a confident mom. Here's how:
Realize that you know what's best for each of your children. As your children's mother, you and their father know better than anyone else what's best for them. You're an expert on each of your children.
Don't look for "one-size-fits-all" parenting methods. Such methods don't exist, because all families are different and need to seek God's guidance for their unique relationships rather than trying to follow a uniform parenting plan. There's no shortage of parenting advice for you to consider from other people, but much of it conflicts, and what works for them may not work for you. Pray for the wisdom you need to choose the parenting methods that God intends for you and your children distinctively.
Consider what you can learn from your own mom. Reflect on what your mother did well when she was raising you, and decide to follow her good example in appropriate areas of your own parenting. Then think about the ways that your mother struggled as a parent and how you can learn from the mistakes she made.
Develop a wise decision-making style. Determine your values - what's most important to you and your family, and why. Then build your priorities in life around your values, and make your decisions according to your priorities while staying in touch with God in prayer. Don't compare your choices to other people's choices; simply do what's best for you and your family. Set time limits for making decisions rather than agonizing endlessly over them. When a single right answer isn't clear and different good options exist, have the courage to go with your gut feelings about what you should do. Expect the unexpected to happen sometimes; be flexible so you can adjust your decisions as necessary. When you make mistakes, learn from them instead of worrying about them.
Develop a sense of patience. Ask God to help you learn how to wait and deal with stressful situations without becoming irritated or upset.
Develop a sense of respect. Ask God to help you model the Golden Rule: treating other people the way you'd like them to treat you.
Develop a sense of consistency. Ask God to help you become a reliable and faithful person who your children can count on to be there for them when needed.
Develop a sense of perspective. Ask God to give you the right perspective on challenging situations so you can focus on what matters most.
Develop a sense of self-control. Ask God to help you live with self-discipline in a world that's often self-indulgent, so you can avoid some sinful and destructive choices.
Develop a sense of calm. Ask God to give you the strength you need to be calm even in the midst of chaotic situations, and to help you create a peaceful atmosphere in your home.
Develop a sense of joy. Ask God to help you enjoy fun times together with your family at home and maintain a sense of humor.
Develop a sense of love. Ask God to remind you regularly of His unconditional love for you, and let your gratitude for God's love for you motivate you to love your children unconditionally.
Strengthen your marriage or find a parenting partner. If you're married, invest time and energy into your marriage regularly. Your children will benefit in many ways from seeing God's love in action in your marriage relationship, and sharing the parenting responsibilities equally with your husband will help prevent either of you from getting burned out. If you're not married, find another person who loves your kids and is willing to partner with you in raising them (such as one of your parents or siblings, or a close friend), since you need regular encouragement and practical help as a mom.
Invest in relationships with other women. Don't neglect your relationships with other women, even when parenting demands are keeping you extremely busy. Make time to keep up friendships, and ask an older mom with more parenting experience than you to mentor you, as well.
Keep growing closer to God. Make your relationship with God your top priority. A close connection to God will transform you into the kind of person who can love and serve your children well. Pray and read the Bible regularly. Worship and serve in a church every week. Keep choosing to trust God with every part of your life, and looking forward to the future He has planned for you and your family.
Adapted from MomSense: A Common-Sense Guide to Confident Mothering, copyright 2011 by Jean Blackmer. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.revellbooks.com.
Jean Blackmer is the publishing manager for MOPS International where she gets to develop books designed specifically for moms of preschoolers. She is also the author of a book for moms of boys, Boy-sterous Living! Celebrating Your Loud and Rowdy Life with Sons, is a regular contributor to MomSensemagazine, and has written for other magazines including Guideposts, Thriving Family, Today's Christian Woman, and Christian Parenting Today. She has her masters degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder and lives in Colorado with her husband, Zane, and their three sons.
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com's site on angels and miracles (http://angels.about.com/). Contact Whitney at: firstname.lastname@example.org send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience.
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