“I’m supposed to be better than this” used to be the repeating narrative in my head.
Long before I became a wife and mom, I struggled with control issues and perfectionism. I couldn’t escape this longing to do more, to be more. And then I had my first child and it was like all of my hopes and dreams of being the best mom ever quickly flew out of the window. Not only was I not the perfect mom I imagined myself being… I was actually an angry mom. An anxious mom. A stretched-too-thin mom.
Instead of enjoying life as a new mom, I found myself constantly overwhelmed and stressed by skipped naps, sleepless nights, and everything else that was out of my control.
Instead of walking in confidence and peace, my perfectionism combined with postpartum rage caused a never-ending cycle of striving for perfection, lashing out in anger, and wrestling with guilt.
Motherhood wrecked me, but in the best way possible — because it forced me to reexamine the so-called “truths” I had been believing in and all of the things I had been working towards. That picture-perfect, Pinterest-worthy life that I thought would fill me or at least make God proud.
For the first time, my eyes were opened to just how enslaved I was. Enslaved to perfectionism and its lies. Enslaved to stress, shame, and anger. I was sick of it. It was time to break out of this cycle — and not just for myself, but for my family.
So I took my desperate longing for perfection and set my sights on a new goal: finding freedom in the Lord.
And I started by replacing that narrative in my head. “I’m supposed to be better than this” became “I am loved exactly as I am.” Once I stopped trying to earn the love of the Father and just began to believe and receive it, everything changed.
Instead of losing my temper over all that was out of my control, I was finally able to discipline my toddler with patience and speak to my husband with love.
Instead of falling apart after a sleepless night, I was actually able to face my day with endurance and strength.
Instead of giving in to the temptation to check out while watching Netflix, I was excited about being present with my kids.
And instead of feeling overwhelmed by my unending to-do list, I was able to prioritize better, replace “busy work” with true productivity, and approach all things through the lens of grace.
Perfectionism no longer ruled me. Even when the house was a mess and I was being met every day with the constant demands of two under two, I marched to a different drumbeat: the rhythms of grace. And it’s these rhythms of grace that have defined my motherhood journey ever since. They are what have enabled me to be the happiest, healthiest mom I have ever been — not because I’m perfect, but because I’ve learned how to walk in freedom and rest in Gospel truths.
Finally, I am free to love myself — and to love motherhood in all of its messy, imperfect glory!
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