By Penny Ross,
I’m the classic overachiever–always aiming toward bigger, better and higher goals–never satisfied with enough, but always pushing further and harder toward excellence. This temperament helped me succeed throughout college and begin a career in mortgage banking, a field dominated by men at that time.
Seeking the Best
And it heavily influenced my early days of motherhood. No stone was left unturned as I researched every aspect of modern babyhood. With the same determination I had once used to get good grades and climb the corporate ladder, I now set out to become the best mother possible.
Becoming a mother for the first time is certainly a time of reflection for many women. I paused even longer for introspection when my own mother passed away just seven months after the birth of her first grandchild. As I reflected upon her influence in my life, I realized that mothers have been given an incredible opportunity to impact, inspire, and influence the next generation. This realization, along with my own innate overachiever personality, drove me to strive to become Super Mama.
Super Mama, however, is not a role easily attained! Much was beyond my control. For example, babies do not always develop according to the book nor do they always respond as the experts say they should. They have their own in-borne temperaments which can be further complicated by their innate developmental timetables, life experiences, illnesses, and other factors. Add to that the parents’ marriage and family circumstances, financial issues, housing situations, and whatever else is weighing upon moms’ and dads’ hearts. These combinations are enough to derail any Super Mama, no matter how determined she may be to fulfill this exacting role!
My children are now grown. And I’ve spent the better part of my lifetime learning that Super Mamas are not simply Ordinary Mamas who manage to succeed in doing more and more and more. Ann Voskamp in her recent blog post “Why You Can Stop the Exhausting Work of Trying To be a SuperMom” says:
“My kids don’t need to see a Super Mama. They need to see a Mama who needs a Super God.”
You see, it’s not about doing more. We’re finite creatures who need rest. It’s not about being more. Because few of us are able to turn ourselves into something more than we already are. Ann sums it up here:
“That maybe being the mama I want to be isn’t so much about being more, but trusting more–trusting more in the God of Hagar and Ruth and Hannah, the God who sees the angst, who nourishes the empty places, who hears the unspoken cries–and answers.”
Homeschool moms have even more at stake in the race for super powers as they add in academic skills to the mix of what they want their children to achieve. But if we are racing to build a monument to ourselves and our wonderful parenting abilities, we will be no more successful than were the builders of the Tower of Babel.
It is only as we learn to trust God, walk in His path for our own lives and then model that for our children that we will truly become the mothers He created us to be. That’s what a Super Mama looks like!
Penny Ross is leading a Forum at CHEA’s Annual Leadership Conference July 13 at the Pasadena Convention Center: Forum–Forming the Vision and Other Issues with Families New to Homeschooling. This blog was originally published at her blog, A Penny and Her Thoughts.