With my last child leaving the nest and a granddaughter on the way, I am often told that it is more fun to be a grandmother than a mom.
Mothers typically find their identity in their relationships–especially with their children.
I’ve gained three important insights on motherhood:
- Moms have tremendous influence on the life of a child. Our kids lives are swayed by our faith, opinions, perspectives and words. A child whose mom believes in her is more than a conqueror. A child whose mom condemns her will struggle with self-esteem.
- Moms have little power over the way they interpret that influence. Children will interpret your heart according to theirs. We say, “Clean your room, honey.” They may hear, “You’re such a slob!” or “I need to do better to be loved.” It is vital that we understand our strengths and weaknesses and study them as individuals so that we can train them in the way they should go.
- It is very important that we know who we are and take our role seriously. There will be times when parenting is the hardest “career” on earth, changing jobs is not an option. No matter how difficult the relationship may get, we must continue to be the best mom we can be. As they grow up, we are no longer responsible for their choices, but we will always be responsible for how we treat them.
Our challenges with motherhood seem to be because we allow our identity to center around our children. It’s easy to do: they came from within our body, their lives govern our time, diet, finances and habits throughout the years. But the truth is, they are not us. And as they grow up, we must gradually allow them to be more and more independent. If we don’t, we won’t have peace and our influence may not lead them in the way they should go.
Grandmothers typically enjoy their relationships without making the Grandchildren their identity
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone–especially to those in the family of faith.
Many people say that Grand mothering is so much better than mothering because the child goes back to the parents, but I wonder if it’s more about perspective?
When my granddaughter is born, she will have two sisters that have been through tragedy. My few interactions with them have been precious, but I am well aware that I must earn their trust. I can’t just jump into their lives and claim to be their new grandmother. I must get to know them and slowly build a relationship. It is not my job to discipline, correct or even advise them. Of course I want to teach them everything I know and protect them from any more hurt, but I must earn that right.
When our kids have challenges or make mistakes we jump in to “assist” them. When our grandchild has a hurt, hang up or habit that we know we could help with, we respect their boundaries and wait for their hearts open up like a beautiful rose. Instead of trying to run their lives, we enjoy being a part of their lives. Perhaps it’s maturity or maybe it’s just experience, but after raising one generation, it’s easier to see the bigger picture.
Kids are a beautiful part of our lives, but they are not our identity.
A mom may feel guilt about separating her life from her child’s. A grandmother does not. When things get messy, it’s a lot easier to be a good mother when we don’t consider the mess our personal failure. I couldn’t do that in my early years, but I can now and I think this might be the best–the GRANDest–Mother’s Day yet.
Having been raised by godly parents, Catrina believed she was more than a conqueror. Her faith was tested by fire, however, when her first husband abandoned her while pregnant. She started motherhood as a wounded woman and it has been a rollercoaster of circumstances ever since. With the death of one child, the joy of two that seek the Lord, and the addiction of another, she is no stranger to devastation and depression, but our God is bigger! Catrina is the author of a number of books, including Confident Beauty, Supreme MakeOver, and Know Who You Are–for Kids!, which will be available July 3, 2019
She lives on Cape Cod, is happily married to Ron, her husband of 22 years, and will officially have an empty nest this Summer–when she also becomes a grandmother. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, or Goodreads Visit http://catrinawelch.com for information about my Supreme MakeOver Image Assessment events.