Am I Messing Up My Kids by Lysa Terkeurst is a book I wish I had had when I was raising my sons.
I was blessed with two sons. My oldest is Randy and he is 40 years old. He is married to Rayann and they have three children Seth, Ethan and Emerson. My youngest is Dale and he is 37 years old. He is married to JoAnna and they have her son Christian and two children together Hunter and Sabrina.
In chapters one through five of the book, Lysa asks the questions: Am I messing up my kids? Could I be the worst mom ever? Is it possible to escape the good mom/bad mom trap? Did I really just say that? Why do I always feel so stretched?
I loved the quote, “The world is full of women blindsided by the unceasing demands of motherhood, still there were many days, I questioned the demands of motherhood.” Lysa tells of a time shopping, I can so relate. My son Dale was full of adventure. He walked away from the house one Saturday I had just came home from work my husband was talking with the babysitter when we realized he was gone. I had to call the sheriff to report a child missing and I did not even know what he was wearing. I agree with Lysa, my family will be my greatest legacy.
Often, I felt like I was the worst mom ever. As I look back, there were many things I did right. But there were many things I did not do right like becoming angry and yelling and punishing them in that anger, I wish I had given my self the time out instead. I am so thankful that God has forgiven me of my outburst of anger. I love Psalm 103.
Often I wondered whether I could escape the good mom/bad mom trap. As a mom, one mistake I made was not being on the same page as my husband. Looking back, there were times we handled the situation right but the boys often played the end against the middle. I did do the good mom things like inviting my oldest son second grade class for his birthday and having every single child show up. I am known for teaching anatomy to Randy’s fifth grade class because I was taking anatomy in college and I brought the dead cat used in that class to his Did I really just say that?
I have so many regrets in what I might have said or done but in reality it is Satan who condemns me. You see God wants to forgive us when foolishness comes out of our mouths. So I agree with Lysa’s friend apologize to your children and remember it is biblical that a soft word turns away wrath.
So why as mom’s do we feel so stretched? I went to nursing school while my children were in middle school. My one regret is that I let attending church slip and priority. If I could wind back the clock, I would not do that again. I felt stretched. One tip I would give a young mom is count the time you are teaching your child about God as your devotional time.
Are there things I should have done differently, yes. Like pray more, hug more, and love more. Am I the worst mom ever? I hope not. There were days I felt this way but now I look back and I think of things I did right. I did love my sons with every breath I breathed. There is no escaping the good mom/bad mom trap, but there is giving your day to the Lord and asking for His Grace and Mercy every single moment of every single day.
My sons are grown, cherish the time you have with your children, because the time will fly by.