Just the other day I heard a mom say, "I love my kids, but somewhere along the way I lost myself."
"But the other night my husband told me at work he's respected and looked up to, but at home he feels invisible.
"I couldn't tell him what I was feeling, which is that I have nothing left to give."
Can you relate?
Being a mom takes all we have and then some. It can blot out everything and everyone else and leave us feeling wrung-out.
Beware making it a way of life.
What's that supposed to mean?
When our four girls were growing up I often felt up to my eyeballs in responsibilities--and I was.
A wonderful friend from our church told me early on. "Always remember you started with the two of you and the love between you. Guard your marriage relationship well.
"Find a way to make time each day for the two of you. You both need that connecting to remember who you are.
"I always made sure Jim knew I loved him most and I can tell you, it works. We still had something going between us when our kids grew up and went off to their own lives."
We knew by their body language it worked, so we tried to live it.
Yes, it makes a difference.
It's possible to be too proud of being a "good mother"
Everyone knows someone always described as "such a good mom she puts the rest of us to shame."
She always picks up the slack for her kids. She helps them with homework and cleans up their messes. Runs to the school with forgotten lunches and gym clothes. Fights their battles against "too hard on them" teachers and anyone who ever picks on her child. And of course, she always goes along on school field trips.
She does it all out of love, so who would fault her?
Call me crazy, but I would.
Okay, smarty pants, what makes a good mom or a good dad?
For awhile I was impressed by a mom like that who lived up the road. I was convinced she must be a better mother.
Thank God I heard an older friend state her philosophy of being a mom:
"A mother's job is to work herself out of a job--long before her children leave home."
She explained what she meant. We parents need to let our children learn from their choices and mistakes. If they forget their homework, their grade will suffer--and they'll learn. If they forget their gym clothes they'll sit on the bench and be bored--and never forget again. If they don't take their lunch today, they may be hungry, but they'll remember to take it tomorrow.
A youngster who learns from (small) choices and (small) mistakes grows up knowing that everything is a choice--and every choice has a consequence, good or bad.
That's a handy thing to know all through life and makes for stronger individuals.
Which, come to think of it, helps Mom remember who she is and why she married Dad.
We lived it at our house and it works.
In fact, that's the basis for my book, Godly Moms: Strength from the Inside Out. (See book cover and link on the sidebar.)