Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Monday, April 8, 2013

Stories of a "Bat-Crap Crazy" Mom

Have you ever fallen into the trap of comparing your child to others?  It's such a common occurrence, I don't even know if half the time we realize we're doing it.  Often it is written off as "healthy competition" rather than a damaging habit.  We're even encouraged to do it at our pediatrician's office, seeing where our child's size ranks on the curve of normal growth and development.  Are those standards a bad thing?  Absolutely not, they often help physicians diagnose developmental issues and disabilities that otherwise would go untreated. 

However, I have found it all too easy to let wriggles of doubt into my head as I compare my daughter to others.  Is she crawling early enough? Is it weird that she won't really crawl forward, mostly backward? Was I too slow in introducing finger-foods, is she behind in her eating habits now?  Why doesn't she show any interest in stacking toys or pulling herself up?

I could drive myself bat-crap crazy (to quote my favorite TV show) with all the what-iffing and comparisions!

This morning's devotional time was exactly what I needed to remind me that we have a bright, beautiful little girl who will develop and grow at her own pace...and to stop constantly comparing her to other growing babies.  The book I am reading is called "Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God" and there are times when I read it that I feel like the author is sitting right there with me sharing her own parenting failures, triumphs and stories.

The truth is, in our own strength, our homes will tumble when the storms of life crash in.  We cannot build a family strong enough in our own feeble strength.  Perhaps that's why my favorite verse encourages me so much.  I am a weak mother.  I yell when I shouldn't.  I cry in exasperation when I should run to Jesus for strength.  I fail to spend deep abiding time with my children.  I agonize over my shortcomings.  

But Jesus whispers to me in my failures: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)  So maybe it isn't that I do everything perfectly, but it's that I recognize my dire need for Jesus.  There is comfort in understanding I don't have to know everything these is to know about parenting.  All I can do is acknowledge and delight in my weakness so the Lord can build my home upon His rock.

Was this particular chapter about the dangers of comparing your child to others?  No.  But it happened to be the catalyst to the truth that smacked me between the eyes this morning.  An email from a dear friend also helped that realization along.  So instead of obsession about what milestone Baby Knives will reach next, we have spent her hours awake playing, laughing, singing, clapping and taking a much-needed walk in the fresh air. 

Enjoying my daughter is so much more fun and relaxing than constantly worrying about her!

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