Mothering...In Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

What does being a "good mom" mean to you? Can you rattle off a list? Does it look like YOUR mom, or perhaps like a television mom from the 50's? Does she look put together always, have the kitchen well stocked with snacks & menu's planned, laundry fresh smelling and put away, beds all made, meals all home made and healthy? Does she have an endless supply of energy and patience, and is she frugal with the family budget, leaving enough after the necessities to go to the movies or to take the kids somewhere fun?  Or does a "good mom" work all day then come home and help with homework, while she cooks dinner, keeps the house in order, gets her workout in, with the laundry done & garden tended?  Is she organized? Does she buy organic? Does she sit in the evening and hear of the kids' day, then tuck them in and then spend quality time with her husband? Or is she a hard working single mom who would LOVE to fall in love again but barely has the energy to play both roles of Mom and Dad to her kids? Does she ever have guilt? Does she ever feel like a failure? Does she second guess herself and pray God can see her heart, despite her feelings of insignificance or perhaps failure? Do you think of yourself when you think "good mom"?I think there is such an inner struggle for modern moms. In 2012, we have to help bring home the bacon, AND fry it up in a pan. (for those who are too young to know, that was a commercial from the 70's) There is a heavy load on the shoulders of a woman who desires to be a good mom, while maintaining her womanhood. We have come a long way in busting through the glass ceiling in the working world for women, but honestly - though we've found our place in the business world, we are also wired for nurturing our kids and taking care of our home. Instead of giving us "freedom" to be viewed as equals in a "mans world"; its tripled our responsibilities and we're left feeling overworked and truthfully, often spread so thin we feel like our efforts are ineffective. The equality movement actually caused us to play both roles as provider and nurturer and while we may love being a mom and working, most of us are burned out. Was there ever supposed to be a line dividing the two roles, I don't know, but I choose to look to God's word to find who I am and even more importantly; who I am meant to be. Because in my head I've taken all the worlds ideals and tried to do it all and be it all. Somewhere along the line I thought being my best meant doing everything the best and I stand before you today to wave the flag and say "I cannot do it all and be it all". Whew! That felt good to admit, though I suspect you already knew. ;o)I WANT to be fit, and healthy, and have open loving, life changing conversations with my kids.I want to have a romantic and close relationship with my kids' dad; my man.I want to serve organic, well balanced meals and snacks to myself and my kids.I want to be active in my church and community.I love my calling as a Beachbody Coach!I want to have a clean house, clean laundry, and the gas tank full.I want our family pets to be groomed and up to date on their shots.I want to be right on time to schedule all dental and medical appts and teach the kids how important it is to be on time for them.I want to attend all of their sporting events and banquets, volunteering to make a casserole for them all, and having it be the best tasting casserole. (do people still make casseroles?)I want to be a good daughter to my parents, a good sister to my siblings, a super fun aunt who always has a funny joke or fun present when I see my nieces or nephews.I want my kids to have shoes that fit, clothes without grass stains on the knees, and a wardrobe that's in fashion.I want to have a garden and use the fresh herbs in my organic meals.I want to remember to water said garden.I want to have hours to listen to my teenagers figure life out and add invaluable guidance that they will take, after hanging on my ever wise word.I want to have a thriving business.I want to be team mom, room mom, PTA President, mom of the year.I want to make daily lists and mark off every thing on it.I want to tweet, facebook, blog, yelp and youtube till my hearts content.I want to sit patiently with my younger kids as they do their homework.I want to play soccer or hopscotch with my kids.I want to plan fun family vacations & romantic getaways.I want my kids to learn to serve and love those less fortunate than they are.I want to build humility, strength of character, and instill core values into my kids so at every step of life they implement what they've learned and it serves them and those around them well in this life.I want my kids to love, honor, and respect the God who created them, and live passionate lives for Him! Those are some of the biggies, but I have lots of little ones, as I suspect you do too - like driving for all field trips, volunteering, family game nights, and reading lots of self improvement books and then actually implementing what I read.  What I'm coming to realize is that I have to continue to strive to take good care of all that's been entrusted to me, but also cut myself some slack and BE STILL and KNOW that He is God. I will NEVER be able to do all these things - and what I've found is that I can do all that God calls me to do, in HIS strength! On my own, I crash and burn and wear myself out, then beat myself up for what I didn't do.So I'm learning - and invite you to learn as well - that love covers a multitude of error. That if we love the people who are entrusted to us, then we've done the best part! :) And in the end, it wont matter as much what we did, as much as who, and how we loved. :) And Who we trust in to give us all we need, as we need it. :)So if you have a messy house, ratty lookin' dogs, a mound of laundry, cereal for dinner, a quarter tank of gas in your car that needs a tune up, you missed your workout today, and you snapped at your teenager this morning - join the club. Its full of other "good moms" doing their best. :)In Relentless Pursuit of Excellence~TRACI :)