What I Want You to Know is a series of
reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their
personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the
unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to
this series,
click here. Today’s guest posts is by Laura.




At
first glance you might think my title is a little odd. You may say to
yourself, “Of course all moms struggle with parenting their children.
What kind of topic is this?” But here’s the truth about the current
culture in which we parent. Our concept of parenting is not formulated
solely by observing those around us or influenced by how we were
parented.

Our parenting self-worth is heavily influenced by the world of
social media. The major problem is that in the social media world
parenting is AMAZING! Through all forms of internet socialization we
find that our friends’ children are wonderful. They score 10,000 on
their SAT’s and have a full ride to the college of their choice. They
win all their swim meets and they are on the honor roll for the 20th
year running. They climb Mount Everest and learn to speak four
languages while mastering calculus all by age 4. Okay, maybe the last
part was over the top, but you know what I mean. By contrast, here is
what you never see on the internet. My daughter barely squeaked onto to
honor roll because her dyslexia is so challenging that she attends
tutoring 6 times a week just to keep up. My son is usually combative at
home, but this week he only talked back three times and we are
celebrating his progress. Ever read a tweet that says, “My youngest
looked in the mirror this morning and was broken- hearted because her
acne is out of control and kids are unkind?” You will never see a post
that reads, “I yelled at my kids today for no reason. I am worried
about finances, my husband and I are not on the same page, and quite
frankly sometimes I don’t enjoy the duties of being a mom.” I feel
pretty sure that has never been on a Facebook page.

Please do
not misunderstand me. In theory I do not think it is wrong to share
special things about your children or to celebrate their achievements
with others. You will find some neat comments and cool pictures of my
children on Facebook. I enjoy seeing stuff about my friends and
watching their families grow up. I am also not suggesting social media
be turned into some type of public therapy sessions in which to vent the
ills of life (for the sake of your kids, please don’t). I think our
mothering journey should be one worked through within the realm of our
private world. The core of the trouble is not the information that is
posted, but is our perception of the information. Too often we perceive
that our friends and their children are always successful.

So,
here is what I really want you to know. I am a struggling mom. My three
amazing daughters are not always so amazing. They make mistakes and do
not always achieve their goals. To make matters worse, sometimes I
stink at being a mom. I forget to put peanut butter between the bread
and only send bread to school (true story). I threaten and don’t follow
through. I yell at them sometimes and am often not the mom I want to be
for them. Even more revealing is that I am a clinical therapist and
women’s ministry leader who has been working with other moms for years
to help them with their parenting. Yet, my journey is wrought with
mishaps, fumbles and out and out mistakes that I wish I could take back.
Here is another important TRUTH I want you to know. I know a whole
bunch of other fabulous mothers who are in the same boat as me. They too
are sometimes “messed up moms” who are parenting occasional “messed up
kids”. Even worse, sometimes we can hit a homerun as a mom and our kids
do not follow suit. Our kids go their own way, and sometimes it is not
the right way! THAT IS THE TRUTH AND DON’T LET A FACEBOOK PAGE CONVINCE
YOU OTHERWISE.