Dear Mom, You Were Made to Thrive

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Sometimes as a mom it’s hard to feel like anything more than ordinary. Let’s face it; when your days are filled with the never-ending cycle of diapers, dishes and dirty laundry, you often find yourself longing for something…more. Something that allows you to use more of your brain than another round of Chutes and Ladders. Something that gives you a reason to put on clothes other than yoga pants. Something that gives you a reason to shower, to do your hair, to maybe even apply a bit of make-up. We just want something more than ordinary.

Dear Mom, You Were Meant to Thrive

As moms today, we are flooded with images of things we “should” do and standards we “should” be living up to. We are not only judged by the outside world, but internally we read status updates and wonder if we are measuring up. We re-pin images of what we think is inspiration, but really it’s because we long for something more. We watch celebrities walk the red carpet of awards shows as we lounge in our pjs on our couches, and we wonder if we could ever look like them. We admire Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for their humor and their success. These mothers are doing it. They’re making it and they look like they’re having a blast doing it. And here I am in my pajamas. Here I am with greasy hair and a messy house. Here I sit listening for my sick toddler to wake crying, needing comforting once again. Here I sit, wondering when the sickness will finally pass, when I will get a full night’s sleep, when my routine will return to normal. When will I feel like I’m doing more than just surviving the day-to-day?

I have too often bought into the lie that being a mom is ordinary. That it’s not enough. When I first became a parent, motherhood caught me off guard. It was a fully-consuming, 24/7 job that I was not prepared for. I thought I’d feed him a bit, rock him some and he’d magically sleep for hours. Of course I’d bathe him and change diapers as well, but what more could such a tiny person need? I had no idea. So, I spent those first few months of parenting a high-needs, colicky child just surviving. I counted down the milestones to get me through. I told myself that if we made it four weeks, things would improve. Then six weeks. Then it was two months and four months. Surely after six months things would get easier. I spent too much of those early months counting down and wishing away, wondering when life would return to “normal” instead of embracing my new reality, my new role, my new calling.

Dear Mom, You Were Meant to Thrive

Rarely today is motherhood referred to as a calling, but when we are blessed with these precious little ones, how could it be anything but that? How could we diminish our roles as mothers as anything less than a calling with a purpose far greater than ourselves? Because too often we sideline the talk of a “calling” and instead focus the conversation on how we moms must do it all and have it all. So, how can we not feel a bit inadequate when we can’t balance, attain or achieve it all?

But here’s the thing: all isn’t possible. Just as a child can’t eat all the cake he wants, all isn’t possible and even it if was, it isn’t good for us. It’s not what we were made for. We must remember this:

We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to do more than just survive
We were made to thrive. ~ Thrive, Casting Crowns

So, dear mom, the question is: are you thriving?

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I’m sure if you answer from your gut, your response is a quick “no.” But think again. Sure, I’m tempted to say the same, especially when the family room floor is covered by a layer of toys, the TV has a thick coating of dust and I can’t remember the last time I left the house for a reason other than school pick-up. But to answer this question with honesty, we need to look deeper than the surface. And, as much as we admire Tina and Amy, we can’t judge ourselves compared to their made-for-TV appearances. After all, we have no idea what their week leading up to that show looked like. Who knows? Maybe they were tripping over Legos, folding laundry and diffusing tantrums just like the rest of us.

To answer this question, we must understand what our calling as mothers is. It’s to love our children. It’s to teach them, feed them, care for them, meet their basic needs, provide a safe environment for them to grow, discipline them, encourage them and comfort them when they are sick, even if it messes up our own schedules and agendas. No where on that list does it say we must maintain an immaculately clean house; cook a five-course meal that is not only highly nutritious, but also easily palatable and enthusiastically enjoyed; maintain a full and fulfilling social calendar; or craft every season into oblivion. No where in the job description does it mention all. Instead it means forgetting your agenda and making time for a tea party, stepping on the occasional Lego and wiping noses. It also means getting paid in hugs, giggles and wet kisses with the pay-off sometimes coming far later than we’d like it to.

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To thrive as a mother is to do more than just survive. We owe it to ourselves, our spouses and our kids to realize this truth.

So, Dear Mom, don’t settle for ordinary. Don’t settle for just surviving. Instead, remember that with every diaper change, every meal prepared, every nose wiped and cry comforted, you are choosing to show up, to make a difference, to love through action. I’ll be honest; I don’t have it all. And I don’t want it all either. All isn’t reality. It isn’t possible. It isn’t what we are made for. But thriving is. Even on those days when I wish I could be as glamorous (and funny) as Tina Fey, I need to remember what really matters. What matters is that my sick little girl needs her momma to hold her tightly and cuddle her to sleep. That’s my job. That’s my calling. That’s how I am thriving.

A gift for my {awesome} readers… get your FREE copy of my eBook “Motherhood Doesn’t Come with Sick Days…and other lessons from parenting”

Motherhood Doesn't Come with Sick Days

Have you followed me on Pinterest yet? Also, be sure to find me on Instagram at meaganchurch.

{Please note: while I did receive a complimentary album, compensation was not provided. The opinions and thoughts are my own.}

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