Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

How Moms Make A Difference

Moms come in all shapes, sizes, personalities and backgrounds. Some work outside the home, some do not. Some have lots of kids, others just one or two. Moms don't get an owner's manual the day that first child is born but some women have great moms who mentored and modeled for them well.

Most moms learn a lot by trial and error while making tons of mistakes they wish they could have avoided. Many moms have a loving and loyal husband to parent alongside them but too many moms have to raise kids alone. Many of them sacrifice so much and yet their kids often turn out amazingly well.

So with the myriad types of moms, families, and histories that are brought to motherhood, are there any constants that all great moms seem to have? Of course, I'm not a mom, so maybe I'm not the most qualified to answer that. However, I happen to live with a great mom to our kids, have a mom who did a lot of things right and have counseled scores of mothers over the years.

So let me take a shot at it and see if I can't encourage all moms just a little bit.

First of all, great moms try to just be themselves. There's nothing worse than a phony parent who's trying to be someone they're not. You've seen the 40 - year-old trying to act twenty-five or the non-athletic mom hoping to become a jock.

The best moms are the ones who know their strengths and maximize those qualities in their parenting. If you're a wonderfully domestic mom, then pass on those skills to your kids. If you have a heart for others show your kids how to care for those around them. If you like to laugh, have fun with your family but if you're the more serious type you can help your kids dive deeper into life.

Second, great moms are honest. They don't pretend to have it all together, they don't try to be supermom and they admit when they're struggling. Of course, they share their weaknesses with their families at appropriate times and at reasonable ages but by modeling authenticity they are one of the best examples to teach their kids to do the same.

Third, great moms are lovingly firm and consistent when it comes to discipline. Great moms aren't trying to be their child's friend more than their parent. Great moms make the hard calls and say "no" when they mean no and when a yes would not be in their little cherub's best interests.

Fourth, great moms who are still married work as a team with their spouse. She doesn't undermine discipline in the home by not confiding in or trusting her husband. She doesn't take an end run around discipline issues but rather forms a common code of conduct with her husband that they both carry out. Her kids know that mom and dad are playing out of the same playbook.

Finally, great moms are growing in their Christian faith. They are feeding themselves with the Scriptures, spending time praying for their kids and helping to see that the children also have spiritual training and other opportunities for growth. She makes sure that the family schedule does not crowd out time and activities that will help them all to know God better.

So, mom, way to go. You have an awesome job and an admirable challenge before you everyday. But thanks for being there, for your sacrifices and your wisdom. And when the trail seems especially steep . . . never quit climbing.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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