Perfect Mothers vs. Balanced Mothers

By May 26, 2012Get Inspired

Dew Drop Wishes
I am a perfect mother.

Oh? What? You didn’t know that? I’m surprised since I try so hard to broadcast that fact to everyone. That’s why I rush my kids out the door so we won’t be late. That’s why I spit on my hand and wipe their faces so that they won’t look messy. That’s why I whisper-yell at my children, telling them to behave in public.

And all that trying to “be perfect” only increases my imperfection.

How many of us fall into the trap of believing that we need to be “perfect moms” who raise “perfect children?” That we need to mother a certain way, dress a certain way, keep our homes a certain way and discipline a certain way. That our kids need to behave a certain way, look a certain way and speak a certain way.

Those are called puppets, not children. And we behaving like actors, not mothers.

Perfection vs. Balance

The world calls us to be “perfect” mothers, but I believe God calls us to be “balanced” mothers.

A “perfect” mother puts appearance above relationship. A “balanced” mother sacrifices appearance for relationship.

A “perfect” mother seeks approval from others. A “balanced” mother seeks approval from God.

A “perfect” mother finds reward in perceived success. A “balanced” mother’s reward is a peaceful heart, family and home.

A “perfect” mother perpetuates the lie and spreads disillusionment. A “balanced” mother breaks the lie and spreads hope, truth and inspiration.

The Challenge

The challenge for us today is to focus on being balanced rather than perfect. That every moment we’d love our children more than our clean house or the approving look of a stranger. That our confidence, strength, hope and identity would be found in God and the trust He’s put in us by giving us His perfect little gifts that look to us and call us “Mommy.”

How To Be A Balanced Mother

Here’s the problem. I can’t be a balanced mom. Neither can you. We can’t do it alone. As humans we crave the approval of others. Until we migrate our identity from this world to the arms of God, we will strive to be perfect mothers. That’s why I’m so passionate about spending time praying and reading every morning. Before the voices of others crowd out His, we need to hear from Him that He has given us everything we need to love well. We need to be reminded that we are precious, beautiful, powerful and worthy of the love of the Almighty, Everlasting God. Because once we hear that…who cares what anyone else thinks.

And that, right there, my friends is a truth that demands a good fist pump.

Simple Start

In reality, though, words are cheap. Action speaks loudly. So, here are 2 simple things you can do to take action towards being a balanced mom:

1. Take 1 minute right now to pray that God would begin to change every facet of your heart so that it can reflect His. No one tries to balance with their eyes closed. No, they have a focal point. Pray that God would be your focal point today. And, yes, you only have to pray for 1 minute. I’m all about low goals here at InspiredToAction.

Because doing something little is bigger than doing nothing at all.

2. Resolve to get up 5 minutes earlier tomorrow morning so that you can start your day focusing on Him.

God has called you to this journey of motherhood. Give it all you have.

Anyone else ever struggle with wanting to be “perfect mom?”

(Previously shared January 2010.)

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Comments

34 Comments

  • Avatar payton says:

    Thank you for this awesome reminder of how important it is it to be a balanced mother. When I start to put my children’s perceived success or perceived failures above loving them right where they are, I have to stop and pray. I thank God for them and the journey he has already planned for their lives. I pray that I will get out of the way with petty things and point them to Jesus. Thank you for pointing me in that direction this morning.

  • Avatar jamie says:

    so beautiful. thanks for the reminder… i’m sending this to all my friends. the “approval of others” is definitely one of my biggest struggles!

  • Avatar Kimberly says:

    Thank you for those inspiring words! And… of course it goes right along with our Philippians study… (but you knew that!) 😉

  • Avatar Christy says:

    Have you seen this link before? http://harvestministry.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/AbidingMom.pdf

    I came across it a few months ago and immediately posted it on my fridge. Good words, today, Kat. So important to remain grounded in the TRUTH. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Avatar Kris M. says:

    Kat, you have no idea how applicable this is to my life right now! I have been trying so hard to be perfect in everything that I feel as if I’m failing at everything. Thanks for the reminder to just BE! I’ll try my best to remember it.

  • Avatar patty says:

    Kat,
    what a beautiful and much needed reminder. this is SO what i needed to hear! God has been working in my heart for a while now regarding my parenting. bit by bit, he is using this person or that post or a certain Scripture to reveal his heart to me where my kids and parenting are concerned. i am so thankful for the work he is doing. In case you or any of your readers are interested, I am currently reading an awesome book by Elyse Fitzpatrick, called Give Them Grace: Dazzling your Kids with the Love of Jesus. this book does an amazing job of helping moms become balanced in their parenting rather than “perfect”.
    thanks for sharing this today and for your blog; you are such a blessing to so many, myself included!
    I’d love your prayers, as i have been slacking since summer started. my quiet times have been short, i haven’t been exercising, and our routine has been spuratic to say the least. I know my kids and i do much better on a flexible routine and i know that i feel and do better when i’m exercising and spending more time with the Lord.

  • Avatar Rebecca says:

    This speaks volumes of encouragement & hope to me right now. This is the very concept I’m working through in my heart! Thank you! Your realness and ability to call things as they are (not sugarcoatig) is sooo Refreshing!!

  • Avatar Anna says:

    My favorite line of this post is, “A ‘balanced’ mother sacrifices appearance for relationship.” I think that’s a genuine mother as well. I hope to care about what’s really going on relationally and in my children’s hearts, rather than getting them or myself to perform for others.

  • Avatar Jen says:

    Thank you so much for posting this….I reallllllly needed to hear that message today!

  • Avatar Mariposa says:

    I’m a new mom and needed this reminder. Thanks! 🙂

  • Avatar Laura says:

    Kat, thank you so much for your encouraging words. I have struggled often with striving to be the perfect mother and then feeling such guilt that I am not. This post goes well with the other things God has sent my way to encourage me. Your blog has been such a blessing to me! Practical and encouraging ~ my favorite kind!

  • Avatar Malisa says:

    I’m not even a mom yet and I’m already trying to be perfect. I loved what you said about trying to be balanced. Yet, that is something we can’t do on our own!

  • Avatar Stacey says:

    Great post!

  • Avatar julie Harding says:

    In my struggle to be a balanced mother I often use the breath prayer, “More of you, less of me.” It helps me pause, stop my gut reaction & allows me to act in a way more in line with Jesus’ teaching on love.

    • Avatar kelly says:

      I love your breath prayer. It’s so much more of a heart transformation than, “Help me Lord, now”. I’d like to use this too, I hope you don’t mind? Thank you for that.

      • Avatar julie Harding says:

        I can only hope it helps transform your heart as much as it has mine! That’s SO difficult because it’s moment by moment & decision by decision. It’s SO easy to slip back into old easy habits!

  • I loved this post…especially today…it could not have been more “perfect” timing! Just last night, I was talking to my husband about how I was feeling a bit inadequate as a sahm just not feeling as “good” as I see others (I have been hard-wired as a successful career woman, but God has changed my plans for now). I’m very blessed to have a godly husband who helped lift my spirits by pointing out all the unique gifts I have that makes me…me.

    Thank you for these encouraging words that seemed as if God, through you, was reminding me just how special I am and that I have a great purpose simply being a mom.

  • Avatar ann says:

    Fist bump.

  • Avatar kelly says:

    Very well put. I am certain that being “perfect” or I should say trying to be is the reason for so much of my frustration. It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to me or my husband. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

  • Love this. Thank you!

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  • My name is Jennifer and I am a perfectionist…Thank you for this blessing!! I needed to see this. Too often I forget what it really means to be a mom and get wrapped up in expectations that are far too high for my poor kids! Definitely needed this reminder. The Lord has changed my life and plans in so many wyas, in a very short time already….Praise Him for the blessings I have in my life no matter how dirty they may be at times…haha

  • Avatar Carlie K. says:

    LOVE this! This is something I try to remind myself of on a daily basis, WHO are you doing this for? If the answer is not JESUS, then it is not good. Thank you today for this awesome reminder of the priority of allowing Jesus to teach me the delicate balance between being myself (influenced by what others think) vs. who he created me to be!

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  • Avatar Catherine says:

    You get me every time Kat!

  • Avatar Darcey says:

    Thank you so much for this reminder. In trying to be perfect, I usually just give up and be less of the mother than I can be. Bible time and prayer go to the end of the list because I cannot do it right. Thank you for the encouragement.

  • Avatar Becky says:

    Loved this!

  • Avatar Wendy kwek says:

    This post is beautiful… Thanks for reminding us instead of being a perfect mother…. We should be a balance mother…^^

  • It’s certainly not easy being a balanced mom. It is something which I struggle on a daily basis. I do agree that starting the day with prayer certainly makes it easier for me.

  • Avatar Andrea says:

    Kat-I felt like you were talking directly to me this morning. I struggle so much with approval from others. I am such a people pleaser, I want to change to be a God pleaser. I want my life to reflect Him and not worry about others approval. Thank you for this reminder.

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