I’ll let you in on a little secret: I haven’t always been so open about my faith. Mainly because until I got older, I really never understood it. Growing up, I tried as hard as I could to believe in what I was taught, and to follow that “perfect little Christian checklist” I was always keeping in my head.
Oh yeah, I’ve failed. A LOT–and I’ve personally NEVER been in any position to judge others. So I often wonder why, as an open mama/woman of faith, that I often feel so judged myself?
I hate that feeling, and I am saddened that there is such a stigma attached to what it’s like to be a Christian mom. So, I’ve compiled a list of some common misconceptions, in hopes of shedding light on what it can really be like in our daily struggles.
1. We are perfect.
Bahahahahahaha. Hahahahaha. Hold up. Let me catch my breath from laughing so hard at this HUGE myth about Christians, in general. I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and so many other things. “Perfect”
is not will never be on that list of adjectives. Let me tell you something fellow mommy friends: we are all just trying to survive the day. I lose my temper. I forget to read my Bible on days I probably need it most. I have spats with my husband. I can’t always fake a happy heart, when it is heavy or hurting. I don’t know a single “perfect” mom, much less a Christian one. Do you??
2. Our children are extremely well behaved.
Another fit of laughter on my end. I’m sorry, have you met my toddler? Children will be children, no matter the age or religious affiliation (if established). Yes, as a Christian mommy it’s my job to help guide and mold my kiddos in their actions to the ways my husband I deem appropriate, but when it comes right down to it–if my 16 month old is angry and doesn’t know how to direct his emotion, he’s going to act out. He doesn’t understand or care about what Jesus would do in the situation. How I react to his (literal) slap in the face, is the most important part of what helps mold him, just like any other mommy in the world.
So if you see me pleading and bribing him to get in a shopping cart as he screams bloody murder because he wants one shoe off, please know that I’m not abusing him, and I am not failing at “being a Christian”. But I AM probably exhausted, and could use an “atta girl” in passing.
3. We are too uptight
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a Type A control freak. It has gotten a teeny bit better as I’ve tried to embrace the shenanigans of motherhood, but being a Christian doesn’t make me any more or less anxious about situations–it’s just my personality. Personally, I do turn to prayer as a form of calming and security, just as some mommies find their happy place at the gym or in another hobby. However you can keep your sanity: JUST DO IT!
4. We are judgy
Back to the whole “it isn’t my place to judge” statement above. Non-Christians are often confused by we “believers” because they might not truly understand that we honestly do not care how you parent, or what you do on your own time, as long as it isn’t illegal or putting your children at risk (FYI–that’s a mama bear thing, not a religious thing). If you aren’t raising your child in the church because you are Agnostic, Atheist or of any other affiliation, it isn’t my job to tell you what “some” in a religious setting might think you’re doing wrong–it’s my duty to love you and share anything with you about MY life that you might ask about.
If I invite you to church, and you decline, it is okay! I will not be offended or disown you, I WILL LOVE YOU! My best friend of 15 years is Agnostic, and I am openly Southern Baptist. We respect each other’s lives and decisions on parenting, and we turn to each other for advice, regardless. This is how I wish ALL tribes could interact–unafraid and unabashed to seek help from each other. You know why? BECAUSE BEING A MOM IS HARD!!!
5. We just aren’t any fun.
Well this is just silly, and a ridiculous stereotype. We listen to various genres of music, are fans of multiple authors, enjoy all kinds of movies and *gasp* even go out for evenings with our girlfriends or other couples doing “normal” things. Top Golf, dinners at notorious hot spots, charity events that might involve fancy dresses are all things we love to do, same as any other mommy longing for freedom from temper tantrums and mundane daily routines.
Think of your closest circle of friends, your social media peeps, whatever–are we really all THAT different? Don’t we all tend to laugh at the same Taylor Swift/Kanye West MEMEs, share dancing goat videos or vent about how we feel under appreciated by family or bosses at times? We are all connected by one common thread: motherhood. How we choose to raise our offspring are all personal choices, and my hope (and yes, prayer!) is that we can all continue to be open minded and understanding of our various parenting styles. #xoxo