Back to School Lessons for Moms from a Mom

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Blog Posts | 14 comments

PreviewDuring the days of having our boys in school, I used to begin the year with great gusto and motivation for myself as an active mom in my boys’ school careers. I would pray to find the right balance of healthy helping between care-less complacency and  unhealthy hovering.

I was an organized mom with folders for each of our children and folders for my own commitments within their school as I went through the ranks as room mom several times, then parent association president, and concluding with a long term sub position for a year.

For a season, I read great books on how to help my boys succeed in school, how to be helpful to their teachers, and how to pray for all the above. While these were helpful, I could get overwhelmed by all the helpful advice and feel that I wasn’t doing enough for my children and their teachers. Looking back, I should have scaled back on all that helpful reading. But, there were times when I was desperate! Being the mother of children in school is so stressful.  Good grief! You feel the burden of success, failure, and college applications all the way in 4K!

I took my title of stay-at-home mom seriously in the department of school life. I worked for an A+. Yet there were plenty of “tests” that left me holding mental and emotional grades far from that hoped-for A+. Instead of passing the tests, I fell into a few traps:

  • Comparison – myself to other moms, my home to others’ homes, my prayers to others’ prayers at Moms in Touch, my children to others’ children, my own sons to each other and their academic successes and struggles
  • Thoughts of, “When the kids are back in school, then I will have time to….”
  • Pride when my children succeeded (“They made that good grade because I am an awesome mom.”)
  • Guilt when they struggled (“They didn’t make that good grade because I am a terrible mom.”)

So, mom with children still in school, listen to me when I tell you this straight from my heart to yours:

  • Mind your own business. Someone else will always be prettier, smarter, and more together in your eyes. The one you envy has insecurities and struggles as individual as she is. You are wasting your time to try to measure up to her style of dress, physical fitness level, diet, dollars, marriage, career, and home decor. She and her children have issues she doesn’t share. So, keep your children’s issues between you and the Lord out of respect for your children and out of trust for God’s ability to work it all out for good. Confide more in the Lord than anybody else on that campus. I’m not kidding. Tell Him your struggles in this department. Tell Him your children’s needs. Trust Him. Watch Him work.
  • One day, your children will be out from under your roof. You will have more time. But, make time in a healthy balance for caring for the home and your family, and also take care of your own spiritual health first and foremost. Then, fit in time to take care of yourself physically. This may mean you get up earlier than everybody in your house and on your street in order to have time to pray and read your Bible so you can go for that walk after the bus picks up and you’ve sent the babies out the door with a good breakfast. Remember, too, that your children need to know you have your husband as a priority above them, married mom. When the kids are gone, he’ll still be there. Tend the flame. Yeah, that’s a full load. Do the best you can. Keep your expectations real. Don’t be a monster.
  • Remember that God created your child in ways that he or she will be better than someone else at something at some point in life. Celebrate the gifts that are humbly shown. Thank God for His creation in your child. Watch out for that pride that could create a monster in your sweet precious and his mom. A pattern of excelling at something is sure to develop. Help guide your child to continue to pursue excellence, but don’t let him think you love him only when he excels. What will happen when he fails? Love him through the successes and accolades with a love that says I love you for you, not your ability. When he succeeds, thank God.  Don’t pat yourself on the back.  More than likely, you had nothing to do with it.
  • Remember that God created your child with certain strengths and weaknesses (in the educational world). Whatever. God made your child. Period. Your child is made just right with that brain of his/hers and those skills to stack cups or score a touchdown or fly off the top of the pyramid or play a musical instrument or sit quietly to read or need to touch things in order to learn. He may not need those pills to force him to sit still that would make teaching a whole lot easier for the teacher struggling to hold the attention of 20+ students at one time. YOU know your child. YOU know the bent of him or her. Pray lots when he or she is not measuring up to the standards of a particular teacher. Ask questions. Observe privately. Seek medical professionals who are willing to offer other alternatives. Be your child’s advocate, but also be willing to listen to teachers who have genuine and legitimate concerns. Remember to love your child in way that communicates your support, care, and genuine love that comes from how he or she is made. Don’t withhold love on those days the report card isn’t pretty. Don’t panic. More than likely, you had nothing to do with that grade. Your job is to help your child move forward without getting bogged down by a bad day.

So, mom. It’s that time of year. Are you  ready to learn your own lessons as a mom of your child? Well, gather your supplies and show up on time each day to parent your child through school this year. Brace yourself. There will be good days and bad ones. Your job each day is to make that home of yours a sheltering place from the travails of life for your family and for celebrating the joys of one another.

Have a good day, Dear. Now, go out there and love that child of yours! You’re the perfect one to mother that sweet one. I’m praying for you!

 

14 Comments

  1. Oh, Amy! I needed this today. Wonderful encouragement.

    • Hey Mitchi! I am glad you are encouraged today. Hang in there. One day, all this stress and pressure is gone and you are left shaking your head wondering how could it have evaporated? This season of mothering school children has its blessings. Find them. Focus on them and your wee ones as you create a nurturing nest from which they soon fly.

  2. Wished I could have read these words when my boys were in school, but Now as a Grandmother, it’s my time to pray for all my grands!! What a privilege to take each one to prayer each day!! Thanks Amy for these timely words!! Blessings!!

    • Patsy,
      What a vital ministry you have in praying for all the grands! Keep up the good work!

  3. Amy, this is awesome, even for a homeschooling Mom. Everything you mentioned applied and some are amplified. Thanks for pointing me back to Christ.

    • Hey Gay! How’s Alaska? I am glad to know that this applies to my homeschooling friends. Thanks for the encouragemen.! Have a great homeschooling year.

  4. Hello Amy. It’s Lisa. I don’t have it all together either!

    I love your pure confession with perfect amount of discretion. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up with Transformed Tuesday. I hope to see you around every week!

    • Hi Elisa,
      Thanks for stopping by to read my link post and this one, too! I appreciate your encouragement to hang out with your link ups on Tuesdays. Lord willing, and I remember, I will be back next week!

  5. Hi Amy — it’s Auntie MJ. I love this post. It brought to mind two very important lessons in my life. One, I learned when my kiddos were growing up — “Let go. God loves my children far more than I am capable of. They are safe in His care.” The second I learned just recently in a very, very good Sunday morning sermon: “Go on a comparison fast. And remember that “Jealousy is when you resent God’s goodness in someone else’s life while ignoring it in your own.” Blessing to you, dearie!

    • Hey Aunt MJ! Your two points are great and I am delighted you shared them here. Give the Seattle fam a big hug from Georgia.

  6. So so wise my friend!

    • Thanks Stephanie! Hang in there with your three. : )

  7. Just reading this… but still so needed and powerful! I especially love the thought of “mind your own business.”

    • Hey! I need to heed my own advice…even though I have none in school (except college and I don’t parent that), in so many areas of life when the comparison trap sets in I need to remember “her” life ain’t all that my imagination may say it is. : ) Hope your kiddos are back in the groove of school and that you’re mothering is blessed. Love you!

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