Sunday, October 27, 2013

You Are More Than Enough

I came across an article on Facebook today that struck a chord with me.  It wasn't incredibly long or profound, just simple and to the point.  The title is: My Choice to Parent Differently Does Not Imply Your Way Is Wrong.  The title pretty much sums it up.  In my three years of parenting I'll admit that I've been on both sides of the argument.  There have been many times that I have allowed myself to feel judged (key word here being "allowed" because I have no proof anyone was actually judging me) because someone doesn't feel comfortable doing something that I do with my kids, therefore I automatically assume that I must be a horrible mother if I'm doing it and they are not.  And I am certain I have also been silently accused of "judging" because I choose not to something that someone else chooses does.  The fact is that all mothers are just trying to do the best they know how based on their current circumstances, life experiences and million other factors that play into who we are and how and why we do things.  So how do we break this cycle and end what some like to call the "Mommy Wars"?  I believe that the only way to do it is to stop looking outside of yourself and start looking within.  It is this very thing that I have been working on this year.  I finally decided that I was tired of feeling "guilty" all the time for doing or not doing things.  I was wasting so much time and energy measuring my worth as a mother based upon how "other mothers" were with their kids and what they were doing or not doing instead of focusing on who I was and who I wanted to become and doing the things that felt right in my heart.  So the past six months I decided I needed to have a change of focus and instead of measuring my worth by looking at others I have been trying to focus inward and determine what truly makes me happy.  Here are a few things that I have been trying to do (trying being the key word since let's be honest NOBODY is perfect.  And thank goodness for that!).

Personal Prayer

  • There is still some room for improvement in this area but I have been making an effort to make sure I pray both in the morning and at night to check in with my Heavenly Father.  He is the father of my spirit and he knows me better than anyone.  He knows my strengths and my weaknesses and loves me in spite of them.  Not only that he is the spiritual father of my beautiful little girls and he knows them better than I do. Only he can truly help me to know what is best for them.  We are all unique individuals (isn't that wonderful?) with talents, gifts, weaknesses and personalities that belong only to us.  The combination of mother and child in one family can never be duplicated in another family because of those things.  No book, blog, social media site, article or advice can rival that of divine revelation from our Father in Heaven.  How blessed we are to know that he is there, that we are his daughters and that he loves us beyond anything we can possibly imagine and that we can communicate with him on a personal level.
Decreased Use of Social Media
  • I have known for some time that much of my "guilt" comes from comparing myself to the strengths of my close friends and family.  But I have struggled to let go because of the things that I love about staying connected.  I have lived all over the country and because of that I have friends and family that are spread throughout the nation.  I feel that it is an incredible blessing to be able to stay in contact and connect with them so easily.  I love to watch their families grow and be able to support them in their successes and trials.  I love that it is so easy to reach out for help when you need help with a question or problem and receive the help and support of others.  I have wrestled with it for a while and decided that what worked best for me to was to take the Facebook application off of my phone.  Not only was I not constantly connected to the lives of others instead of enjoying my own life I also found I wasted less time "looking down" and more time "looking up", looking up towards my Heavenly Father, looking around at the beautiful world around me, the blessings he has given me and more time looking in the eyes of my children.  Let me be clear, I do not think Facebook or other social media sites are bad.  I just found that by having that specific app on my phone I was more distracted, less happy, less engaged, less aware of my surroundings and more unsatisfied with myself and my life.  For some people this is not a problem.  For me it was.  You have to do what works for you!
Sensitive Use of Social Media
  • About a month ago I felt a strong prompting that I needed to be much more aware of what I post on social media sites and how I post them.  Sometimes I get so excited about an article I read, or something new I tried or learned that I want to share it with everyone I know and love, especially if someone else shared it with me.  However I have become aware of the fact that what I post and how I post it can be perceived very differently than the way that I intended it to be received.  Two things that I have become very passionate about in my life are healthy living/eating and parenting.  I have been on a personal mission the last year to learn more and improve those areas of my life, and in my exuberance I have posted lots of things that I have found to be interesting, that maybe I never knew about or that have worked for me.  But the prompting I received was that I needed to be very careful because these are topics that are very close to people's hearts and can be very sensitive subjects depending on situations and circumstances.  I was reminded of my own struggles and how certain topics are difficult for me to read or hear about at times without becoming defensive or upset.  I would normally try to avoid them in other aspects of my life but it seems at times that they are everywhere on social media and hard to ignore.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't post or share things but that it is wise to think about how it might be received.  Sometimes a slight adjustment in wording can make all the difference and sometimes after thinking about it we might feel prompted to not post it at all.  People can become offended or upset at a million different things and we can't avoid that completely but I think that the rule of "think before you speak" can be applied here and we can "think before we post".  The majority of us would never intend to injure a friend or family member but at the same time it has become a little too easy to "hide behind our computers" and speak our minds when we would never say the same things to people in person.   Again only you can know what is the right thing for you to do or if this is an area where you might proceed with more caution.  For some it may not be an issue and for others of us we could afford to make some changes.
Asking Myself More Questions
  • I cannot remember the specific experience that caused me to start doing this but something that has helped me immensely is to ask myself more questions.  I'm not talking about doubting yourself but having a conversation with yourself.  Each time I encounter something that is new to me or I see or hear about someone doing something differently than I am doing I stop and ask myself these questions:
    • Does what I'm seeing, hearing or reading make sense to me or speak to my heart?
    • Does it seem like something that might help me?
    • If I feel guilty about doing or not doing something I ask myself: Do I feel guilty because I know in my heart I should be doing something differently or do I feel guilty just because someone else is doing or not doing something and I'm afraid of what they might think if I don't agree with them or do it the same way? Change is hard and sometimes I resist doing something I know I should do because it will be uncomfortable at first and other times I'm just comparing myself.
    • If I decide to trying something new or make a change after a little while I ask myself: Is this change making me happy?  Am I doing it for the right reasons?  Do I feel peace and assurance that it is right despite that it might be different than what others might be doing?
  • If I do all of those things and I still feel peace then it is much easier for me to be confident in my decisions even when someone might question me or not agree.  
There are a few other things I have been doing but I feel that by far these three have been to most helpful to me.  In just six short moths I feel more confident as a mother than I have ever felt before.  I am not perfect and there are still times I feel the "guilt" creep in or I start to question myself but now that I am more aware of what makes me happy and what works for my family it is much easier for me to center myself again and be at peace with who I am and what I am doing.

In conclusion doing what works for you and for your family does not mean that another family is doing it all wrong.  On the flip side just because someone else is doing something that works for them and their family doesn't mean that you have it all wrong either.  Change is good.  There is not one person on this earth that has areas of his or her life that could not be improved.  But this life is a journey, a journey of learning, self-discovery and self-mastery and we are all just doing the best we can.  We are each progressing on an individual path and at an individual pace.  Our personal progression is between us and the Lord.  Only he can speak peace to your mind and heart about who you are and how you are progressing.  Only he can assure you that you are enough just the way you are and that he can help you to become all that you want to be and all that he needs you to be.

May God bless you and help you in your endeavor to be the Mother and person that you want to be and that He needs you to be. Your children are blessed to have you.  Have a wonderful week!

1 Share your thoughts:

  1. Kim, I have been horrible with blogging as social media snuk up on me and took so much from me. I decided tonight as I was waiting for my dropbox files to update from my phone to use this rare computer time to stop by blogs that I used to read often. I went to your other one and saw the link to come here. Now here I do remember seeing you share this link on fb but had not read it. This article is wonderful and one of the many things I needed. yesterday I had I logged off my Instagram account for a break and am limiting my Facebooking as I realized I have been getting very discouraged for the first time from too much "junk" in my face. I have usually been able to keep blogging etc and not let it get me down. As a blogger myself I felt I understood not everyones life is picture perfect but somehow lately my subconscious and spirit was truly being affected by it all and bringing me to a dark place. my heart has felt sad and frustrated with how much I want to do and how little of it I can seem to get done. short term daily stuff to long term who I want to be stuff.I will be reading more of your uplifting posts in the future. thank you for it! Thank you for being a light in this world!


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