Monday, 5 November 2012

Don't beat yourself up

I have had a LOT of people, through my time as a mother, thinking I a some sort of superwoman.

I *HATE* it.  I really do hate it when people say such things.

Why?  Because, I know my own heart.  I know my own failures and weaknesses.  And, what they world sees is not always the reality.  I have struggles as a parent, just like anyone else, and just because the children may behave well when we are out, doesn't mean life is a bed of roses.

I'm going to share with you about one of my biggest struggles, because I am pret-ty sure that I am not alone in this one.

Self criticism.

"Beating myself up" when I don't get things right.

Blaming myself for things that I perceive to be "not going right".

I had Robert's family over for dinner last week.  In my opinion, the dinner was not that great.  The vegetables were not hot by the time we ate everything, and I was so annoyed with myself.  I should have managed to serve a dinner that was better than that.

I was SO annoyed with myself, and felt I had given them all something that was not enjoyable.

That whole toilet training thing that I told you about 2 weeks ago?

EPIC FAIL. *sad face*

Virtually no progress, and back in nappies today.  It is pointless carrying on, as he has NO idea what he is doing.

All my other children were toilet trained far quicker, and other people's children do much better.

Another biggie?  Susie started schooling 6 months ago, and her reading is still slow.  I look around at my amazing nieces and nephews and wonder why I am not doing such a good job.

I find it incredibly hard not to compare - not to compare myself as the teacher, and not to compare Susie to her younger, more capable cousins.  I had someone else compare their abilities recently, and I found it very hard not to crumple into a crying heap.

And then, I need to remember something.  I need to remember what I would tell ANYONE else, if they came to me expressing the same disappointments.


Comparison is a killer.  If you forever look at what other people do - what other people achieve - how other people raise and train and educate their children - you will forever be crippled in the comparison trap. Well, maybe not forever...but, you get the idea.  It will PULL YOU DOWN.

Your circumstances and situation are the ones that God has placed you in.

Your children are the ones that God gave you - unique and individual, and just perfect for  your own family unit.  They don't need to do X, Y and Z at the same time as anyone else.

How you run your home has to be what is right for YOU.  Looking at what other people are doing in such a way that will make you feel negatively about what YOU do is not right.  Yes, be inspired!  DON'T be discouraged!!!  You don't know what circumstances, conditions and influences are at work in the homes of other people.  Look at what God has given you, speak to your husband, and work out what is right for YOU!


Whatever you do in life, you will rarely get it all right all the time.  We are HU-MAN.  Humanity = frailty, imperfection and mistakes.  Things aren't always perfect!!.  Get over it!

ESPECIALLY don't expect perfection from children!! They are all different, and have their own strengths and weaknesses.  Some things you can try, try and try to do, and it just won't work the way you expected it to, because it's not the way your child works.  It's nothing to do with wilful disobedience, it's just they plain don't get or can't do it. THAT IS OK!


Did you do your best, in whatever you attempted?  Did you prayerfully lay out the options and circumstances, and attempt something to the best of your abilities that you believed to be the right thing?  If so, and it doesn't work out, then at  least you know you tried.  I tell my children all the time "I want you to at least try", when they claim not to be able to do something!  Same applies to us adults.  At least TRY something, before you give up on it!


Pride is another killer.  Sometimes it's hard to admit defeat.  We take it as a personal insult that we haven't achieved what we set out to do.  We expect criticism and scorn, because we haven't managed to do what we hoped to, or it hasn't gone the way we planned.   And, so, we don't admit that things haven't gone well.  We try and cover it up, or make excuses - when, in reality, neither is necessary!


Some things don't happen straight away.  Just because it's taking Susie longer than other children to read, doesn't mean she won't get there.  And, it doesn't mean she won't end up having the same abilities eventually!   If it's something you know you need to keep on with, but it's just taking you longer than you hoped/planned/expected, don't give up!  Keep on, and you will get there.


Sometimes we try something, thinking it was the best plan, and we soon realise that it wasn't.  It's OK to stop!   Whether it's a chore system, a family routine, curriculum choices, toilet training (*whistles*), or whatever - you CAN stop.  If it's not a command laid out in scripture, then you have a choice whether you do it or not!! Not everything in life is laid down in stone, and must be followed to a "t".   Be gracious enough to yourself to realise that we can't always finish what we started, and it's acceptable to quit. ESPECIALLY if it is going to harm how you manage to operate as a family unit.  If I carried on toilet training Elijah now, it would start to drive me demented.  I will get impatient, and struggle to hold the fort with everything else in the home. That will help NO-ONE!   So, it's ok to stop and try again another time.  He's not going to be wearing nappies when he finishes school, that's for sure!!! *laughs*


Are you struggling with patience?  Is it hard to feel humble instead of humiliated?  Is it a trial to do what you need to do?  Are you feeling tired, worn out or struggling in what you need to do?

God WILL supply all your needs.  he has promised it in His Word, and so HE WILL.


Yes, it's true!  You can wipe the slate clean, start again and it very possibly will NOt be as bad as today!  You'll have one more day's experience, for a start - ready to be able to deal with the same issues again with more wisdom and knowledge.  You'll have had a night's sleep, and everything is better after sleep.  Even if you HAVEN'T had a night's sleep, it's still a new day, with a new start!

Ok, so I have just read that all back.

I consider myself rebuked!  If I would tell everyone else those things, then I need to tell them to myself!  In fact, my lovely sister-in-law Anna asked me just the other day "what would you tell someone else in this situation?"!!!  I need to take my own advice.

Above all else, whatever I do must be Christ-honouring.  Doing all to His glory.  Making sure that I can continue to be the example I should be to my children in thought, word and deed.  If anything I do stops that from happening, then I need to stop it anyway!

So, there we have it.

A rebuke/pep-talk to myself, which I hope will help someone else, too!

Happy Monday!

PS - further lesson learnt?  Listen to your husband.  He didn't think Elijah was ready to start toilet training, but I thought he was, and went on ahead anyway.  Humble pie eaten (minus any cream, as I am on a diet....)

1 comment :

  1. Yep - it's so easy to 'tell others' what to do in certain situations, but to forget our own advice when it applies to ourselves.

    ...not sure, to be honest, if I really compare myself with others .... I'd be *done* if I did!
    Blessings, A x