As a mom, we experience all kinds of PRESSURE.
Some of it is invalid pressure. Such as, pressure to have your child in many extra curricular activities or else your child isn’t "super kid." That’s an invalid pressure.
Or, when you feel mom pressure to have a very busy schedule, it’s as if society is saying, "If you aren’t over-committed then you’re not 'super mom' enough." That’s an invalid pressure.
There are so many invalid mom pressures on us!
However, some mom pressures are valid concerns – such as, “Am I getting enough sleep?" or "Am I getting my kids to eat nutritiously?" or "Am I wasting too much time on social media or too much time on a good thing, like ministry? Is my ministry getting out of balance?" Those are valid concerns, important issues that we do need to be wrestling with and self-evaluating to make sure we are handling our life responsibilities appropriately.
So, we’ve got valid and invalid mom pressures. How are we to handle all these pressures? The key about mom pressure is, we have to learn how to separate the FEELINGS we are feeling about the pressure from the pressure itself. Feelings aren't reliable.
Let’s break this down into Four Steps for Dealing with Mom Pressure…
STEPS TO DEALING WITH MOM PRESSURE
1. SEPARATE the Pressure Feelings from our Decisions about the Pressure
Feelings are just feelings. Feelings are not a measure of reality and should not be controlling our actions. If we don’t want our kids to let feelings determine their actions, then we must not let our feelings, including pressure feelings, dictate our actions. Acknowledge the powerful feelings of your pressure and then remind yourself that feelings are not in charge here.
2. Determine whether the Pressure Feelings are Based on a VALID CONCERN
Determine the VALIDITY of the pressure. Is it an important issue that I’m feeling pressure about? Is it a legitimate CONCERN? You know, sometimes God is the one who is giving a little nudge about something in our life that needs some examining. We should not just throw out feelings of pressure without examining them, but we must do it from a place of determining whether there is something in that pressure that deserves our attention.
For example, this week in the Intentional Mom Strong Family Facebook Group, I asked the moms to share some of the PRESSURES they feel.
One of the pressures mentioned was “getting everything done, not letting anything fall through the cracks.”
Let’s examine that pressure more closely...
Yes, we should not FEEL pressure about never letting things fall through the cracks. That’s partly an invalid pressure because, of course, we moms are going to miss some things once in a while (or, for most of us, daily) and we shouldn’t knock ourselves for that. However, let’s examine the pressure and see if there might be something legitimate in it as well. Maybe we need to get some better systems in place for juggling life more effectively. So, we have to separate the feelings and evaluate the concern as objectively as possible.
3. PRAY about the Legitimate Concerns
Let’s just take a messy house, for example. We shouldn’t feel pressure to have our home be magazine ready at all times. We have higher priorities of making memories and actually LIVING in our home, and yet, how is our standard of keeping things picked up or clean? Do we need to adjust our habits in this area of life? What habits am I instilling in my kids regarding cleaning up after themselves and keeping things orderly so we don’t waste all our time hunting for things that we can’t find because we don’t keep things relatively picked up. PRAY about the PRESSURE. Ask God to reveal to you what HIS perspective on the issue.
4. Take Action when God Shows Action Steps to Take
There have been times when I thought the concern I was feeling was about something completely out of my hands, that there was nothing I could do about the situation but pray. However, after praying about it, God would show me something or some things I COULD do to make a difference. In episode #112, "MOM PRESSURE & A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT" I share about some mom pressures I was feeling and God's big solution that brings me to a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT on the podcast. CLICK HERE to listen.
My intentional mom friend, no doubt, you have many mom pressures in your life.
You do not want your FEELINGS about those pressures to dictate your actions.
God has a perfect solution for you and those pressures and it all revolves around prayer and obedience. Seeking HIS heart for your situation.
God is the great patchwork quilter. He takes all of these disjointed remnants of situations in your life, and he quilts them together into this quilt of beauty, but He does it in His time and in His way. Don’t get it a hurry for His answers. Don’t take matters into your own hands and try to do it your own way on your timeline. God is a much better quilter than we are.
Consider Sarah, in the Old Testament of the Bible. God had told her He was going to make her a mother at a very old age. She laughed when He revealed that plan because it seemed so ridiculous that she could be a mother at an old age. Then she got IMPATIENT waiting for God’s solution to this seeming impossibility and He talked her husband into fathering a child through her maid. That’s totally outrageous, I know, but in that culture it wasn’t out of the ordinary. Now, we should note right here that just because a society accepts some behavior as normal does NOT mean it is okay or good or what God wants for our lives. God put so many accounts in scripture of people who took matters into their own hands and did what He did NOT want them to do and it resulted in great tragedy or disaster. And, that’s exactly what happened with Sarah and Abraham when they made this terrible decision. Abraham fathered Ishmael through their maidservant. Then God’s timing came – God’s original plan came in God’s time – Sarah got pregnant and that baby was named Isaac. Do you know who the decedents of Ishmael and Isaac are today? Ishmael's descendants are the Muslims and Isaac's decedents are the Jews. That’s right, thousands of years later, two nations war on because Sara and Abraham got in a hurry. Sarah and Abraham let FEELINGS dictate their actions.
We, as intentional moms, can manage our pressure much more effectively.
1. Separate feelings from decision-making.
2. Determine the validity of the pressure.
3. Pray for wisdom and direction.
4. Take action when God gives you the action to take.