If you search the blogosphere, you will find endless lists of things that you “have” to do to be the “perfect” mother: breastfeed, make your own baby food, use cloth diapers, have family dinner every night, eat paleo (or gluten-free or vegan or . . .), make elaborate crafts and display them on Pinterest, blog about your family, cut coupons, etc., etc., etc. It is maddening. And to make it even more impossible, there are counterarguments against each of these things and endless debates about what is the best choice. Add in the spiritual pressure to be the “Proverbs 31 woman,” and it is no wonder that moms feel overwhelmed.
There is nothing bad in any of these things. Seeking wisdom on making good choices and giving your best to your child is your job. Trying to model your life around good spiritual practices and to develop positive character traits is also a worthy goal. There is nothing bad in these things in and of themselves.
But none of us are ever going to be perfect. And the target keeps changing with every new discovery, debate, and blogger opinion. Spending time worrying about these things serves no purpose other than to make you feel bad about the things you are doing (or not doing) for your child.
The Bible says to stay away from worrying and obsessing about things like perfectionism or being enough. This is not productive or helpful—for you or your children.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27)
So stop worrying. Stop striving to be perfect. Just be your best self and give that to your child. And if you mess up or make a bad choice, shake it off and try again tomorrow. The best gift you can give your child is a messy, imperfect life full of love—and if it doesn’t make a pretty picture on Pinterest . . . the World Wide Web will survive. And so will you!
Amie Carlson is the Product & Marketing Manager of FOF Kids/Media and Faith That Sticks at Tyndale House Publishers.