The following piece is a devotion I wrote for parent information evenings we recently had in our college:
It is impossible to be the perfect parent. To give our kids the perfect life and a perfect education, a perfect experience of school. We know in our minds that perfection doesn’t exist. But it still doesn’t stop us, as humans and particularly as parents, of putting ourselves under immense pressure to be the perfect parent, the supermum and überdad, successful at everything, trying to give our children only the very best.
Way back in 2017, a post from a Facebook page about how to be Mum went viral. In one hundred words the author, a mother called Bunmi Laditan, wrote this;
How To Be A Mom in 2017:
Make sure your children's academic, emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual, physical, nutritional, and social needs are met while being careful not to overstimulate, understimulate, improperly medicate, helicopter, or neglect them in a screen-free, processed foods-free, GMO-free, negative energy-free, plastic-free, body positive, socially conscious, egalitarian but also authoritative, nurturing but fostering of independence, gentle but not overly permissive, pesticide-free, two-story, multilingual home preferably in a cul-de-sac with a backyard and 1.5 siblings spaced at least two year apart for proper development…also don't forget the coconut oil.
She then finished her post by saying; How to be a Mum in literally every generation before ours: Feed them sometimes.(1)
This post revealed vividly how impossible and laughable so much of modern parenting has become. Being a perfect parent is unrealistic. It’s bound to fail, to end in a miserable mess of sad tears. But that’s OK, because it is only by acknowledging and embracing our failures that we can begin to see how incredibly perfect the healing love of our perfect parent in heaven is. God’s grace silences all our false expectations, and pressure and guilt we put ourselves under. It's at these times that we are directed to the only true help we have as parents, God's grace for us.
My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Prayer; Loving God, teach us to fail. To fail as parents so that we are directed outside of ourselves, to you for strength, hope, and wisdom. Give us your grace, love and freedom when we put ourselves under the pressure of being the perfect parent. Teach us the blessings that flow from our imperfections and weakness. Help us to learn from our failures as parents and for our children to learn from this wisdom too. Give us a strong relationship with our children, their teachers and our school community. We commit into your hands our children, their education, their wellbeing, their lives. May we trust in you in all things, especially in our parenting. Amen.
(1) This quote and the inspiration for this devotion came from the book Upside-Down Spirituality; The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life by Chad Bird.
About this site
"Meditations & Musings" is my humble attempt to share what I have found useful in ministry in an Australian Lutheran School setting. It contains chapels, devotions and other resources I have written, used and adapted in my K-12 school context. If you would like to also share your ideas, resources or start a conversation about mission and ministry in your church- school location, feel free to contact me.
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