Are You Mom Enough? (Mommy Wars)
Note: This article now appears in Desiring God’s free ebook Mom Enough, available in three electronic formats, as well as paperback.
I have spent 10 of my nearly 12 mommying years in Africa, so when an American friend mentioned the “Mommy Wars,” I had to ask her what that was.
Apparently, as she informed me, there is a perceived “mothering battleground” where moms pit themselves against each other over topics like feeding babies, choosing schools, eating healthy, disciplining children, and more.
Are You Mom Enough?
Time Magazine recently joined the fray with the provocative cover of a beautiful young mother visibly breastfeeding her four-year old son next to the title, “Are You Mom Enough?”
The message screamed at moms from this issue of Time, from television, Facebook, blogs, and Pinterest is: unless you are fit to run marathons, breastfeed into the preschool years, own a spotless and creatively decorated home, tend a flourishing garden, prepare three home-cooked meals per day, work a high-powered job, and give your husband expert, sensual massages before bed, you are not mom enough.
From my perspective, however, the Mommy War is over. Done. Finished. Kaput.
And I lost.
I am not mom enough. Never was, never will be.
But I am on the frontlines of another war. The battles are raging and the casualties could be my children, my husband, or myself. This war isn’t about me being mom enough. This war is about God being “God enough.”
Is God “God Enough”?
Is God “God enough” when my daughter falls from the roof and the nearest hospital is a two-hour drive and a four-hour flight away?
Is God “God enough” when a beloved friend and devoted mother is diagnosed with cancer?
Is God “God enough” when loneliness and culture shock creep in like a snake and squeeze my heart?
Is God “God enough” to take my best, stained efforts at childrearing and craft something that brings him pleasure?
Is God “God enough” to turn little hearts to him, and to hold them there?
Five loaves and two fish feed thousands. A shepherd boy takes out a giant. A king who commits adultery and murder is called “a man after God’s own heart.” A pagan prostitute bears the bloodlines of Jesus. A man dead and buried for days inhales fresh life. An outcast, stained with a continual flow of blood, is healed with the touch of a tunic. The wind and waves are stilled. The sting of death is vanquished, the curse removed forever.
God is, always has been, and always will be, God enough. The battle is over whether or not I will believe it, whether or not I will delight in God’s enough-ness.
And somehow, in God’s mathematics of grace: Mom (never enough) + God (infinitely enough) = Mom enough.
Mom enough to believe and to be called Chosen, Daughter, Righteous, Honored, Heir, Forgiven, Redeemed.
Trusting in God, because of Christ, I will rise from the graveyard of Mommy War victims, victorious and filled with resurrection power. Loving and living in his perfect enough-ness, I will live to parent for another day. Never mom enough, but filled with the One who is always enough.
Posts in the Mommy Wars series —
- Are You Mom Enough? (Rachel Pieh Jones)
- The End of Mommy Wars (Christine Hoover)
- Mommy Wars in the Local Church: A Parable (Gloria Furman)
- Mommy Wars Are Spirit Wars (Carolyn McCulley)
- A Pregnant Woman’s Defense Against the Schemes of the Devil (Gloria Furman)