Here's the back story.
I fell victim to Pinterest much to my dismay a few months ago. I held out as long as possible. Because really, who has time for that?!! But I saw all these other mamas posting cute little treats and crafts and thought I better get in the game.
Which brings me to this morning.
Running late for work with a school bag on one arm, two baskets full of Easter treats for her tot-sized friends, three Easter containers with treats for her teachers, and her Easter bucket for the egg hunt that would commence almost as quickly as she was ushered in the door. A mama of a child in her class was walking out the door. And these words fell flat on my heart.
'Aren't you the cool mom with the cool treats?!! Wish I could be more like that. I mean, thanks for doing stuff like that.'
It haunted me all day. Worry and doubt overflowed from my heart. I began digging for the real reason behind the cellophane wrapped treats with holiday themed tags and curled ribbon. I mean, what toddler can appreciate the time that goes into such absurdity?! All they see are the sugar coated marshmallow treats they can't wait to get their hands on.
Was I doing this for Harper? Or was I doing it because I felt I would be a less-than mama for not doing such things?
It's hard to tell. I'm still not sure the answer is clear.
But here is what I do know. Without a doubt or worry. With absolute certainty.
I know that my daughter would not be loved any less if she did not show up with cute treats to commiserate every holiday. She is loved completely and wholly because of who she is. Not what she does.
I know that I could care less about being considered the 'cool' mama. Actually I'd prefer NOT to be considered the cool mom because that means I'm doing something right if I'm not cool.
I know that I want to be her mother more and her friend less. Mothers have to make the tough decisions. And friends typically only tell you what you want to hear.
I know that the only way I will consider myself a good mama is if I point my girl to the Cross. If I show here what authentic love for Jesus looks like, then she will know that loving Jesus is the only way to live happy.
I know that I never want another mama to compare herself to me. There is no room for the comparison game in motherhood. The community of mothers is a sacred place of hallowed ground marked by the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to nurture and love these tiny beings who rely on us for life and everything else. No two mamas are the same. Praise be to God for that! Your calling as a mother is much different than my calling as a mother. That's what makes it beautiful! Yes, motherhood is a place for building up and encouraging. A place for offering shoulders to cry on and ears to listen. A place to pray together and laugh together and cry together and learn together.
I know that cute clothes and hair bows do not make my daughter more beautiful or precious in my sight. She is wonderfully and fearfully made regardless. Regardless.
I know that I do not want to be the woman who strives to impress other mamas with elaborate parties and cute, Pinteresty crafts and treats. I want to find ways to celebrate all the unique things that make my daughter so special. I want to focus on what makes her feel loved and valued and adored.
Will I stop taking treats to her class and teachers? Probably not.
But I will pay more attention to my motivation in searching for the 'perfect' way to present the treat. I will continue to pay closer attention to my girl and less attention to what other mamas are doing. I will continue to walk in this calling of motherhood that God has gifted me with. I will seek Him and honor Him, as I do my best to point her to the Cross.
The best compliment I could ever receive as a mama would sound more like this, 'You girl loves Jesus so much. She must have seen how much you love Him, too.'
Then I would know that I had succeeded in raising her.
'Make a careful exploration of who you are and
the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.
Don’t be impressed with yourself.
Don’t compare yourself with others.
Each of you must take responsibility for doing the
creative best you can with your own life.'
Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)