Did you know pregnancy actually alters a woman’s brain, changing the size and structure of areas involved in emotional attachment to their young? A recent Nature Neuroscience study found that motherly nurturing skills – like perceiving the feelings and perspectives of others – are enhanced in pregnancy and continue for at least two years after giving birth.
Darn good thing too.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if this extra helping of grace and forbearance lasted throughout those turbulent teen years? But hey, we’ll be grateful for any crumbs we get and do the best we can.
Even if it sometimes feels as if it’s not enough.
Like when we make awful parenting mistakes. When we drop those do-it-all juggling balls. When we’re positive our kids will turn out to be serial killers.
I’ll never forget the day my teenage daughter informed me that she’d probably be in therapy for years due to my mothering. Ouch.
My response? “Well, it’s your job to be a better mother than you had. It was my job and my mother’s and her mother’s before her. Keep all the good stuff and improve on the bad. One day in the future, maybe one of our descendants will get it right.”
Listen sister-mom, we don’t have to wallow in shame over our mothering mistakes. Every single one of us makes ‘em. Some hide them better than others, but we all fail at times. And it’s okay. Really, it is. Papa God created us as imperfect, stumbling, what-was-I-thinking humans, knowing we’d be raising offspring just as flawed as we are.
The good news is that our heavenly Father loves us to pieces anyway. And wants us to look to Him as the only example of a perfect parent.
So guess what? Ten years after my daughter’s doomful pronouncement of my mothering deficiencies, she and her husband bought the house next door to us. Go figure. They now intentionally include me in every aspect of raising their three children. I rejoice that my maternal mistakes have somehow been smoothed over. Redemption is sweet!
And despite your misgivings, your redemption will be too. No matter how badly you think you’re screwing up today. It’s called God’s grace. His love for you is immeasurably bigger than your biggest blunders. He will bless your mess.
*Excerpted from Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms by Debora M. Coty with permission by Barbour Publishing (available at Amazon or your favorite retailer).
Bio: Debora Coty is a speaker, humorist, and award-winning author of more than 40 inspirational books, including the bestselling Too Blessed to be Stressed series. Her newest book, Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms, is now available everywhere. Join Deb’s fun-loving community of BFFs (Blessed Friends Forever) at www.DeboraCoty.com