My Biggest Mom Fail

Being a mom is tough stuff. God has entrusted me (and Mark) with this precious little soul. A soul He wants back one day. This year has been one of the biggest growth years in my adult life. It’s incredible how God is using motherhood to open my eyes to so many things: Who He is, more about His sacrificial love, His grace, about me, my sin and who I am and where I fit in this world. I’ve only been a mom for just over a year, so I have plenty of time to make more huge mom fails and I’m sure I will. So far I’m pretty sure my daughter has literally gone hungry (not knowing my milk supply wasn’t enough), I still can’t get her to lay down in her crib without putting her to sleep nursing first, and there have been far too many nights that end in both of us crying. These are just a few and the list continues to grow. (…why did I start a mom blog again?)

Christian Mom Fail

Photo credit: Cassandra Kirby Photography

The Biggest Mom Fail of All

I’ve discovered (so far) my biggest mom fail has been seeking after the worlds answers and standards of motherhood and not Gods. I’ve been praying for Layla and praying for my transition into my role as a mom and trying to be a Godly woman, but I was still missing God in a lot of ways. I was overvaluing and putting my hope in the resources of this world.

Not to blame-shift, but we are bombarded with the “best” ways to do x, and “ultimate” guides for parenting; If you want the “smartest” kids, do this, or the “healthiest” kids, do that. Its “good” for babies to have x amount of undivided attention and “these” products are lifesavers. Society tell us what we “need” to succeed as moms. I see those things and think, I want to be a “good” mom, I want Layla to be smart and healthy and to do what is “best” for her, so I chased after these things.

A Realization

Things that are supposed to make me a better mom and make things easier left me feeling like a total failure. This is because I can never keep up and I put too much value in perishable (Matthew 6:20) things. I can never be the “best” mom. I’m not saying all of these things are bad, but those people who are experts in sleep training, health, education or you name it, aren’t thinking about how God wants this little soul back one day or what my goal is as a mom. Or how what’s best in light of eternity is having a mom grounded in God, who models His love, grace, patience and sacrificial service in her home. A mom who points to God in all she does whether with words or actions.

Mom fail, Role model, raising godly children
what kind of role model will I be?

He Knows What We Need

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and realizing that my priority in my life as a woman and as a mom is to always be seeking Him. I need to be intentional as a mom. Instead of letting others tell me what I should value I (united with my husband first) need to decide whats important for our family. I won’t be perfect and I’ll stray towards whatever catches my attention from time to time, but I don’t have to be perfect if I’m seeking after God first. Its so easy to get lost in all of that “helpful” parenting advice and I did, forgetting that God provides us with exactly what we need.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:3-33

God Fills In The Gaps

This has been a theme in our home. I’ve been saying it over and over to myself of Gods grace. Remember, God fills in the gaps, Laura. God fills in the gaps for me when I do make mistakes or even when I don’t make mistakes but I’m just not enough. I don’t have to be perfect! You don’t have to be perfect either. He is refining us through this process of motherhood. He expects there to be gaps to fill and He will fill them. His grace far surpasses any “miracle” product or routine.

I think back to when I couldn’t produce enough milk for Layla, I hated giving her formula because somewhere along the way I heard that “breast is best.” I was determined to build my supply up to meet her needs. I prayed so hard about it, and I ate what I was supposed to, tried supplements, did on demand feedings 24/7 whenever she wanted. Oftentimes there was only 20 minutes in between feedings. I was miserable trying to do what was “best” for my baby.

I listened to what someone else told should be a priority (I’m not saying its not important at all) and I turned my nose at the people who knew me and my situation and who God put in my life. I thought because I prayed, it was going to happen and God was a focus, but I think God was trying to answer my prayer by speaking through my friends and family and I didn’t listen.

Living in Grace

I was finally able to catch up with her demands, but honestly I look back and think about how, being grounded in God’s grace, I would have handled that all so differently. For example, I would have been confident that no matter how much formula Layla had, it wouldn’t make an eternal difference and He would have filled in the gaps there. I was so set on doing what I heard was best that I refused to take advice about choosing to be unified with my husband, and considering how the whole household would be affected, including me, by my choices. I didn’t put my husband first, I didn’t really consider him. We fought so much and it really put a strain on our relationship. Mark felt like I was putting Layla first. I felt like I was being totally rational and doing what any “good” mom would do. I realize now, I was leaning on myself (Proverbs 3:5-6) and knowledge I gained from the world and that so far is my biggest mom fail of all.

Lessons Learned

  1. I shouldn’t be running after the same things the world runs after, I should be running after God. People get paid to convince us that we need X, Y, and Z. Those things can be helpful. I just don’t want to overvalue anything this world has to offer and undervalue my relationship with God.
  2. God uses people in my life to speak to me and answer my prayers. If multiple people are trying to tell me something, its probably God.
  3. I should always seek to be unified with my husband. We are on the same team. God gave me Mark as a partner in this life. God also gave Mark to Layla as her daddy and he is the perfect man for the job.
  4. We’re bound to have some Mom Fails but God fills in the gaps.

On the Blog

I want to be used by God to cheer you on, towards Him, as moms. The last thing I want is to make you feel like you “need” something to be “good.” Since starting this blog, I haven’t really found my “direction” I’ve been praying for Gods guidance here and he’s helped me see that not only as a mom but as a blogger/friend I need (and want) to be pointing to God in all I do. I thought I’d be writing more about recipes, organization, and that sort of thing, but I’m not sure that’s the direction I’m headed anymore. You guys have tons of resources available for that. Sometimes I may still share stuff like that, but my plan now is focusing on the gospel truths in relation to motherhood (and possibly marriage in the future).

I hope you will stick with me as I work towards that. Disclaimer: I am just a work in progress myself and definitely do not have all of the answers. I’m sure I’ll make tons of “fails” here as well but I’m happy to share them if it’s going to help someone else out along their journey 🙂

Love and prayers to you,

Laura

Thanks for sticking with me. As you know, I’m a mom and so I don’t have tons of extra time to devote here. So, I want to make everything I do here count, bringing the most value to you. Was this post helpful? Are there topics you’d like to hear more about? Please email me and let me know, thanks in advance! 

 

Psst… If you like this post you may like this one as well 🙂

  1. Taylor Johnson

    October 20, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing your heart! I love how you are open about what God has taught you, and I think many moms will be encouraged by you!

    1. lpenaranda

      October 20, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Aw thanks Taylor! ❤️

  2. Kim

    October 23, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    We put so much pressure on ourselves and the comparing. You’re doing great!

    1. lpenaranda

      October 28, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Thank you Kim 🙂

  3. Jamie

    October 23, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    God is good. He knows best even when we feel like we’re failing. I feel like this so often and this post is a good reminder to turn over my “despair” or “discouraging thoughts” to Him because it is selfish to think we have such an impact that our actions can fail or ruin lives. God is in control and as long as I am trying that’s all He asks of us.

    1. lpenaranda

      October 28, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      Yes you’re right! It all boils down to our pride. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jamie!

  4. Emily

    October 24, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Thank you for so much honesty and love the lessons! We can all relate as moms and need the reminder. A lot. 🙂 Thank you!

    1. lpenaranda

      October 28, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post Emily! Thanks for being able to relate! 🙂

  5. Anna

    October 28, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    I really like how real you are in this post! It’s refreshing to see a mom blog that brings things back to God! Thank you for your encouragement😄

    1. lpenaranda

      October 29, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks so much Anna, I’m glad you liked it!

  6. Dasha

    November 13, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Aww your little one is so sweet! Thanks for sharing! I think a lot of moms can relate!

    1. lpenaranda

      November 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks Dasha!

  7. Heather

    November 13, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Yes! I love this. I have felt the same recently. There is just so much information out there about parenting and nutrition and I’m just sort of done with it all. I want to go back to using my God given instincts more than resting in what the world says is right.

    1. lpenaranda

      November 13, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Yes, I feel like my own instincts get lost with all the other voices going on in my head! I’m glad you enjoyed this Heather, thanks for stopping by!

  8. kristi

    November 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I loved this post!! As a mom of 3, I struggle everyday with this! My youngest is 2 and I still can’t just lay her in her crib for bed! She has to be rocked but that is still ok because I get the extra cuddles! Thanks for making this real! 🙂

    1. lpenaranda

      November 13, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Oh my goodness, sleeping is another thing that has been so hard to figure out! Some people suggest one thing and then other people say that it will scar your kids for life, haha. I just had to make a unified decision with my husband and give the plan to God and stick to it. Its taken a lot of patience but I think I’m growing in steadfastness… silver lining, hehe. No but we’ve been doing it for about 2 weeks now and things are so much better! She’s still fighter her naps but bedtime has been amazing! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment Kristi 😉

  9. Denise

    November 14, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Well, let me give you some advice on how to get them to sleep…. Hahaha juuuuust kidding. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing half the time! Preach girl! I love this post! I love how real and raw and…. seek ye first! Amen. It helps to be reminded. I am an old fart raising my grandson so I’m much more patient this go-round, but he’s 5-months and giving me the what-for and boy howdy do I pray! Oh good gravy do I pray! Lord light this path up, You just light it right up because I need HELP! I’m old and slow and he’s little and fast and hard to find. Preach girl. I love this! Keep going! Do this blog however God needs you… because mamas need you… we need the reminders!

    1. lpenaranda

      November 14, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      haha, oh my goodness you’re so funny 😉 I totally get that though, I definitely need the help as well! Thanks so much for popping by! Good luck to you and your grand-baby!
      p.s. I just popped over to check out your blog and I’m going to have to go get myself that “ear book” hehe

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