When You’re Not the Mom You Wanted To Be {LTR #8}

{Day #8 in the Let’s Talk Relationships series}

Lori is a sweet friend & a big encourager. I’ve been invited into her story and have loved getting to know her heart for ministry – and for her family. It’s an honor to have her share the honest trust about feeling like you’re not the mom you wanted to be. She gets it, so I invite you to pull up a chair & lean in close. Welcome, Lori!

At some point in our lives, we formed a mental image. The image of a Mother’s love. I don’t know … were we scouring the crowds or simply watching television when we saw the one that made us say,

“That one! That’s the Mom I want to be!”

She made it look so natural. So easy. So perfect.

But the reality of being a Mom is different. It’s not always natural or easy. And most definitely not perfect.

Ever had the thought that you're not the mom you wanted to be? Here is some encouragement from someone who get's it. Pull up a chair & learn to love your child well! || This post is part of a one-month series called "Let's Talk Relationships!" Join us!

That truth has left me questioning myself. Wondering if I’m capable of loving my children well.

How about you? Do you love your children, but walk through your days pushing back the sting of insecurity? Wondering why your reality just doesn’t match up to who you want to be?

Friend, can I whisper encouragement into your heart?

You don’t have to be the Mom of your dreams to love your children well.

You see, loving our children well is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. God didn’t give you that Mom’s kids. He gave you yours.

Loving our children is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal! #relationships #lovingourchildrenwell @lori_schumaker Click To Tweet

And yours are unique. Uniquely wired to give and receive love. So how we love them looks differently than how another Mom must love hers. The love we give must resemble the needs of our particular child.

It’s not that we can’t glean lots of helpful strategies and support from the Moms who have gone before us, but we cannot allow them to be our mirrored reflection. We cannot lock ourselves into a one-size-fits-all box. Our children simply won’t fit. And neither will we.

Love has all kinds of moments. Some that are wonderful and some that are not.

Moments where love must dig in and not give up. Where it’s fierce and it does the difficult.

Ever had the thought that you're not the mom you wanted to be? Here is some encouragement from someone who get's it. Pull up a chair & learn to love your child well! || This post is part of a one-month series called "Let's Talk Relationships!" Join us!

A few days ago, I witnessed devastation on the face of a Mom who I call a hero. The tears poured from her grieving heart. She is a Mom who loves fiercely and who rescued her child from the chains of foster care. She dreamed of that joyful lavish love. Only no matter how much she loved, she couldn’t free her child from the chains of previous trauma. His capacity to love and be loved had been altered beyond what one Mom could do.

In the deepest act of love possible, she had to surrender and allow him the support of professional help that would serve him best. All that she had to give with every fiber of her being wasn’t helping him and that is a sting beyond what a Mom can endure without the hope of Christ.

Sweet friend, I am thankful your situation is not to this extreme, but I know your situation still has pieces of the difficult laced throughout it. There’s difficult whether your child struggles with the really tough things like Autism, ADHD, or depression. Or your child has learning, speech, or physical delays. Or even if your sweet treasure simply has a bent toward the spirited, shy, or dramatic type of personality.

Your child is unique. And this uniqueness determines what loving well looks like for you.

Loving well means knowing your child, and even when it looks different than ideal, following through with what they need to help them become the best possible version of themselves.

Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. –Proverbs 22:6 AMPC

My three treasures are all uniquely bent and I understand now that loving well looks different for each one. But I didn’t understand that before even with a Master’s Degree in Education and years of teaching under my belt!

I understand now that loving well looks different for each of my uniquely wired children #relationships #lovingourchildrenwell @lori_schumaker Click To Tweet

For one child, his independence kept me from hovering. In his mind, my attempt at “helping” on the school project spoke of a lack of belief in him. I had to step back and sometimes receive looks from other Mothers labeling me as that Mom. Not engaged enough. But the truth is that they weren’t the ones parenting my child.

Our other “little guy” has always been extremely tall. He is also smart and capable. But emotionally, age appropriate and extremely sensitive. Although he was only 2 years old, he looked like a 5-year-old having a tantrum on the department store floor. I heaved up every bit of strength I had to calm all 60 pounds of that sweet boy. The stares clearly stated I was doing the mothering thing all wrong. But they weren’t Moms of an oversized and sensitive 2-year-old.

But where I learned the greatest lessons about loving well is in the parenting of our beautiful daughter given to us through adoption. Her needs are extremely unique and anyone looking from the outside in, wouldn’t understand what it involves. I didn’t understand even after we brought her home. It took lots of counseling, therapy sessions, and learning.

With her, my great big style of lavish love doesn’t work. It invades her space. It makes her anxious. Trust wasn’t a part of her first 5 years, and because her brain development is effected by those years, trust may never fully be a part of her story. Loving well with her looks different than any kind of love I’d ever experienced. It didn’t feel comfortable and it didn’t come easy for this Mom.

I tell you these stories, to help you see that loving well looks different for each unique child God has gifted you.

Feel my gentle nudge as I say,

Embrace the way your child needs to be loved. Even when it raises eyebrows. Even when it doesn’t come easy.

You know your child better than anyone apart from God. Dig in. Don’t give up on them. Recognize their bent and parent from there.

That Mom of your dreams? Maybe you don’t look like her now. But that’s more than okay.

Because the real Mom you are today is a better version of the Mom your children truly need.

Lord, I thank You for your intricate and unique design of each and every child of Yours. They are all miracles. Lord, I praise You for the specific matches You made for child and parent. Let us all live in the truth of that Heavenly design. When things are tough, may we never lose sight of the fact that we are the parent You chose for this child and with You as our cornerstone, we are the parents we need to be. Empower us to live in the freedom of that knowledge. Let us not compare any other children and their mothers. Let us not compare ourselves to the Mom we wanted to be, but rather relish in the Mom You are creating us to. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen


1511_Schumaker_090_editedABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Encouraging others is Lori’s passion. So whether she is in wife, mom, friend, teacher, or writer mode, encouragement is the desire of her heart. And because there is no better encouragement than the love of Jesus, pointing to Him brings her great joy! Her blog, Searching for Moments can be found at www.lorischumaker.com.

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17 thoughts on “When You’re Not the Mom You Wanted To Be {LTR #8}

  1. Thank you for this post! As a mom to a teenager, pre-teen, and young over-sized child I understand. I needed to read this because this season has been extremely difficult because of the many changes happening at the same time. Thank you for your encouragement because there have been many moments lately where I feel like a failure as a mom but to know and understand that God purposed me for my children gives me a whole new perspective and outlook. Thank you, God bless you and your ministry!

    1. I’m so very thankful I stumbled across this today!! My heart needed to hear the words of truth that you have spoken. Thank you for speaking from your heart and following where He leads!! May you be blessed in your journey!!

  2. Hi Ty,
    We are on a similar timeline with our kiddos! Only our over-sized treasures line up a little differently 🙂 I am so thankful you were encouraged here today. And yes! Sweet friend, God did give you your three very specific children because He designed you and them as the perfect match.

    Here’s a little trick I use – When that enemy is whispering lies telling you that you are a failure, put your hand up and say STOP and replace the lie with this truth.
    “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loves me. (Taken from Romans 8:37).

    Thank you so much for sharing here and giving me the opportunity to meet you and pray for you!

    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  3. Lori, This is such beautiful encouragement. You know it hit this mom’s heart. Your advice is spot on and covered with grace. Thank you!!

    Alison, Thank you for sharing this here in your space. It’s an important message – we need to give ourselves grace and also extend it to others.

    Many blessings to you both!!

  4. Oh my goodness, Lori! This is such hopeful and heartfelt encouragement for every mom – including me – at every stage. Thank you for expressing truth and love so beautifully.

  5. You’re so right, Lori. I need to remember to love each of my kids in their own special way. Thank you for the encouragement to love them deeply even when that doesn’t look like what another mom would do. It also reminded me to be more sensitive to other moms as well.

    Thanks for sharing Lori with us, Alison. This has been such an amazing series!

    1. Hi sweet Marva! I am so thankful these words encouraged your heart! I do pray more Moms can step outside of their visions of parenting and see the situation through the filer of Jesus!
      Blessings and smiles,
      Lori

      1. Hi, Lori, my name is lisa. I’ve been having an extremely difficult time raising up two daughters, tweens, and feel as if I’ve nowhere to look for help… An ex addict, felon, etc. Although I’ve been done for over eight years with all my probation, and everything, my fear of repercussions from that time in my life leaves me fearful of reaching the full extent or potential I could have. My oldest, walks out of class when she feels like it, back talks, is lazy, and I can’t hardly keep up! I’ve never been one with a lot of punishments, consequences, follow through and I believe its due to past experiences… What do you suggest? She probably needs counseling, but what else can I try?

  6. Such beautiful encouragement, Lori! It’s brave to love your kids well and not be concerned with what that looks like to the rest of the world. These words are freedom. Thanks for sharing them!

    1. Thank you, Katie! Your words are so kind ♥There is freedom in living right before Christ instead of right before the eyes of all the different opinions of the world, isn’t there!
      Blessings and smiles,
      Lori

  7. I love this so much, Lori! It makes me wish even more that I could’ve had more time to really talk with you when we met. Hopefully we can meet again someday!

    Thanks for hosting, Alison!

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