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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What Does a Satisfied Mama Look Like?

If you want to see a hungry mama, just turn on Toddlers and Tiaras and take your pick. That's not to say that a satisfied mama could never have a child in a pageant; but I haven't yet seen this show highlight a toddler and her tiara-toting mama where I would call the mama an extremely content, satisfied, and confident woman. Instead, these women consistently demonstrate a hunger that is incessantly driving them to live vicariously through their little girls, and creating in these innocent daughters a pattern of seeking significance, purpose, love and security from the applause of others and worthless prizes.

Of course, on the flip side, you can steer you and your daughter clear of glitz pageants, Abby Lee Miller's dance studio, and the extravagant parties of My Super Sweet 16, and still be a hungry mama. I've seen hungry mamas at elementary school track and field day, children's church musicals, high school plays, and middle school football games.

But hungry mamas don't just live to gobble down the accomplishments of their progeny; they sometimes feast on things that completely rob their attention from their children. Hungry mamas can be latched onto their children with an unhealthy obsession, or their hungers can drive them to neglect and even abandon their children.

At any rate, you don't want to be one.

The best moms are satisfied women. I know this because for years I wasn't one, and I have a few regrets. Blessedly, the grace of God can redeem what the locusts have eaten and I have plead for that grace and received it in abundance. But, girlfriend, if you're still "momming," you have time to learn now how to have your hungry soul completely satisfied with the goodness of God so you can finish the job as a satisfied mom.

Here's why you want to be a satisfied mom.

A satisfied mom:

  • measures her effectiveness as a mom by how well her children grow into the individuals God has created them to be, rather than measuring her success by their success in a particular field.
  • willingly does the hard work of being a mom, e.g. disciplining her children, being consistent, keeping the bar high on acceptable behavior, and diligently monitoring social media intake.
  • has plenty of love and energy to give to her children because she is not operating on empty emotionally. She gladly serves her family.
  • understands the difference between being a mom and being a pal to her kids. She is secure in the role of parent.
  • isn't threatened when her children "don't like her" for a season. She isn't trying to win their approval; she has bigger goals in mind.
  • isn't perpetually hurt or offended when her children begin to prefer their playmates, friends, or extracurricular activities over her, for periods of time. That transition of affection may sting a little, but it doesn't immobilize her.
  • looks toward her children's futures with healthy hope and anticipation. She's not afraid of their growing independence, but recognizes that to be the goal.
  • doesn't foster clingyness in her children, manipulating things so that they "need" her at all times.
  • occasionally spends time with friends sans kids, communicating to her children that she has needs for socialization and community that cannot always be met by them, which is normal.
  • puts her husband before her children, maybe not in the moment-by-moment of a day every day, but definitely in allegiance and respect.
  • teaches her children that God is a good and satisfying God who can also meet all of their souls' desires. She shows them that He is worth pursuing and spending time with because the return on the investment is life-changing.
  • creates a home filled with laughter and joy and peace, as opposed to anxiety, stress, criticism, and drama.
Keep in mind, I'm not suggesting that trying to do the things in the list above will somehow make you a satisfied mom. Just the converse. I'm saying that if you learn to go to God each and every day and ask Him to satisfy your soul with His Truth, stand back and take your hands off the job yourself, give Him time to come through, and then receive what He feeds you, you will be a satisfied woman. (I have found that the best way to foster this type of genuine satisfaction is through serious and committed meditation on God's Word within a thriving relationship with the Word become flesh, Jesus Christ.) Then as a satisfied woman, you will be the kind of mom your children need and you so desperately want to be.

Dear mama, it is so worth it to learn how to be a satisfied woman. Being satisfied deep in your soul with the goodness only God can give you will completely transform who you are and how you live. It will also make a drastic difference in how you parent.

Tomorrow, we'll look at the characteristics of a satisfied friend. 

Meanwhile, do you have any characteristics to add to my list of attributes of a Satisfied Mama? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

***To learn how to be a truly satisfied woman, check out my Bible study, Satisfied...at Last! and/or the messages from that study on the audio player on the By Kay page of this website.


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