I realized a couple years ago that the phrase “You’re a good mom” did not naturally apply to me. In fact, it doesn’t naturally apply to anyone. Being good at motherhood is a lot like being good at any other endeavor: you have to work at it.
You’re not just going to pop out a kid or sign the last adoption paper and magically become amazing. And while some people are seem closer to “amazingness” than others, no one is a perfect mom. No one is even a sufficient mom. We are all imperfect, struggling, often exhausted mothers.
Telling each other that “you’re a good mom” doesn’t always cut it. And we know it doesn’t cut it, and yet we keep running back to that same insipid panacea to fill the void we sense in our performance. Maybe if MORE people tell us that we’re amazing, we’ll actually be amazing. Maybe if I just had more “self-care.” Or if my husband was more supportive. Or if I had a maid, a housekeeper, a gardener, a chaplain, and a chauffeur… THEN I would be a “good mom.” THEN I would measure up.
You see, I’m not good. Not naturally. I need dramatic, constant, unfailing, unflagging, divine intervention in my motherhood.
Fortunately, such help is available.
My name is Courtney Allison. I’m a woman in love with biblical womanhood and all the pitfalls that holds in normal society. I’m married to a pastor. I live in a semi-urban setting. I love the northeast as our “mission field.” I have four children ages 7, 6, 5, and 2. I lost a baby through an ectopic pregnancy. I am a special needs mom. I have walked through adoption, foster care, and difficult pregnancies. I have a chronic illness (ulcerative colitis) and have been regularly incapacitated by my disease. Our family’s genetic composition means we talk about race, abortion, the gospel, and identity. A lot. Because it’s right there.
Why do I tell you these things? Not because I’m amazing. Because I’m not. But because my God is amazing. He has designed my life so that I know (in part) a wide variety of suffering and triumph. In Him I boast. Not myself. I couldn’t have designed this marvelous mayhem even if I had tried.
My goals in this space are as follows: plant within the heart of mothers (and anyone else who cares to listen!) a deep, richly rooted, theology. The kind of strength that digs deep and draws sustenance into its soul. It’s not easy. But it’s beautiful.
Secondly, I want to provide a myriad of practical application for this marvelous theology. This is where the rubber meets the road. And this is where most people stumble. If you manage to become enamored with your God, you often walk away from your time with Him and quickly forget what you learned. (Right? It’s not just me?) Or you return heartbroken after struggling again and again and again. God gives more grace. And His grace has muscles and feet and actions. It takes you someplace.
Thirdly… as a mama you have to know what to do to make your theology meet your kids. You must know how to teach and disciple your children. This is not a negotiable. Your children will be discipled. If not by you then by your television or teachers or peers. This is a war zone, people. If you can’t disseminate truth into practical, kiddie-sized bites, then your child will be eating lies in kiddie-sized bites. Those are the only options. With each “for the mom” subject I tackle, I will also be providing resources and discipleship ideas/tools for you to initiate with your children. So, for example, when I give you a theology of “self-control,” I’ll also give you ideas for ways for you and your kids to work on this character quality.
You may not be a “naturally” good mom.
You are the mom God chose for your child. He chose you. Before the foundation of the world. So even if this doesn’t come naturally, you know that God will not forsake you. He chose this. For you. For your children. For His glory.
So, let’s get good at this.