After a long weekend in the throes of parenting, I’m convinced of one thing: My kids need a new mom. It’s not because I’m running away (although the thought has crossed my mind more than once this week), it’s because I see what a mess I am.
Even as I write this article I’m eating a piece of bleached, processed, white bread smeared with Nutella and pretending it is a solid high-protein breakfast. The lure of that creamy hazelnut chocolate is too enticing for my decaffeinated willpower today, so I poison my body with empty calories and resolve to do better at lunch.
I chastise my kids for crude talk or hateful words used with a sibling, yet I leave out no detail when sharing gossip under the guise of a prayer request. I ground my boys for fighting with each other—after I was unkind to my husband before he left for work. Lies don’t go unpunished in our home—unless it’s the little lie I told about a commitment I neglected.
I am a sinner parenting little sinners. That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. How can I ever hope to raise kids in the likeness of Jesus if they are being guided by a flawed, sinful parent? I’ve asked the Lord that question too many times.
I used to think I had to be perfect in order to train up my children to love Jesus. Now I know I just need to love Jesus and let Him fill in the gaps in me. How is that possible?
Being aware of my weakness enables me to model my need for a Savior. When I’m humbled by my shortcomings, my children get an up close look at what it means to be desperate for God’s grace. They see me wrestle with letting Christ’s power in me be strong when I’m weak. Perfection doesn’t glorify Jesus, but a contrite heart does. I’ve stopped pretending to have it all together in front of my children or anyone else, and just embraced my need for something greater than myself. I am nothing without Jesus, and I want my children to know it.
I’m reminded of the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I want to be the kind of woman who reaches for the change Christ offers—even in the middle of a messy life. He makes all people new. That is the kind of mother my children deserve.
Yes, my kids need a new mom. I pray daily, asking the Father to let it be me.
About Kim Heinecke
Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. As a former single mom she’s been encouraging women using her life experiences in parenting, growing in the Word of God and everything in between. When she’s not negotiating with a teenager or wrestling a pre-schooler, you can find her camping in the family RV or pretending to understand sports with her husband and four sons. Read more from Kim at www.TheMomExperiment.com.