How to Measure a Mom
By Amy Kopecky
Last week our plumber asked me if I was a successful mom. I was a little taken aback because I don’t usually find myself in conversations with my plumber about the mom life. And secondly, how in the world is a mom supposed to measure success?
But as I thought about it, I realized that most moms are very familiar with the emotions this question raises. It’s shown in the pressure we feel to run our households a certain way. It’s shown in our harsh judgment of ourselves and comparison to other moms. It’s shown in our sleepless nights, wondering if we’re doing it right and if our kids will end up in therapy due to our mistakes.
Sometimes I think it would be easier if “mom-ming” was like a math test—if there was always a right and a wrong answer and you were guaranteed a good grade if you did enough studying. That the children you raise succeeded in all the ways that you hope and pray.
But if we’re honest, a test would be the worst kind of measurement. We would all fail! We aren’t perfect by any means. Our kids certainly aren’t the proof of any quantifiable form of success. In the end, they are their own people who make their own choices and will need to settle up with God on their own someday—outside of our advocating or vouching for them. So how can moms sleep in peace at night?
When I first started driving the busy streets of Denver, my mom would keep herself awake with worry at night. And then God spoke to her and reminded her that I was in His hands, and that he could take better care of me out in the world than she could. Little did we know that was her first test, because three years later she would be diagnosed with breast cancer, and then her fears grew bigger—that she would be overcome by the cancer and leave her four kids without a mom. But God spoke louder this time, and she knew.
Our children don’t belong to us; they belong to God.
My mom’s favorite verse is Proverbs 4:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” She learned that trusting God with your loved ones is a thing that grows. Maybe you start out with trust the size of a mustard seed, letting go of your children’s hands as they learn to walk and go to school or as you walk them through struggles and their own relationships. But God promises that a mustard seed is enough, because he multiplies it.
As you place your relationships with your children, spouses, friends, and co-workers into God’s big, capable hands, peace will grow in your soul one ounce at a time. He will give you everything you need to love with His impossible love. It’s his love that makes it possible to entrust your people to him, because he sent his own Son, Jesus, as a resurrected sacrifice to make you his beloved child.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1