Socially Expected Does Not Necessarily Mean Important

Our culture in America right now puts a lot of pressure on moms, in spite of all the pushback from real life. The list of unspoken rules that signify being a “good mom” are endless, yet viciously wounding. If you polled 100 moms today, I expect the majority would produce quite a few things that are keeping them from “good mom” status. I’m really bad at sending out thank you notes and annual cards, Christmas or otherwise. I get stressed out far too easily. And that’s just for starters. Every time I fall short of society’s (albeit unrealistic) expectations, the critical commentary starts up in my head and it is so hard not to lose sight of the truth. The truth that parenting, homemaking, and educating are imperfect processes, performed by imperfect people, none of whom are systematically lined out before us, awaiting a mere nod of approval in order to fulfill all roles appropriately. Success is messy, hard and, likely, not what we expected.

There isn’t one of us who can “do all the things” without something suffering. That has been the case, since the dawn of time. The curse of our generation is that we are made aware of all the other things “everyone else” is doing in real time, and scrolling through the newsfeed begins to combine everyone else’s lives into one big perfect pot that we foolishly compare our life to.
As parents, and especially in our choice to homeschool, we certainly want to give our children lasting gifts, independent skills and powerful memories, to pull from their entire life, even after we’re gone. That desire is what makes us so susceptible to social media’s false judgments. We start thinking that fulfilling that list of socially-expected things is going to mean we are doing all the important things right, too. If you take the right pictures, clean your house just so and carve the perfect body size, does that mean you are a good person? If your kid wears the most expensive clothes and always makes the team, will that ensure he is kind and merciful? If you always have the cutest pictures of you and your spouse, always celebrate anniversaries in style and go to all the right parties, does that prove that you are in a loving, fulfilling and respectful marriage? No, not in a million years!
There is so much to get distracted by, both good and bad, but we need to double-check who we are letting judge what matters. Someone else’s to-do list may never give us the harvest we seek. Decide what you need to do to please the Lord in your marriage, your children’s education and your home. After that, whatever anyone else is doing does not get to be your standard without your permission.
This post was originally published by Homeschooling with Heart Blog from The Old Schoolhouse.

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