I said that we would start today with a discussion of what intentional mothering is, but after further thought, I think it’s important to first take a step back and look at what intentional mothering is not. Because before we can dive into a headlong, heart-deep discussion of the topic, we need to put our pre-conceived notions to rest. We need to lay aside any prejudices and come to the table ready to look at our role without bias.
If you had asked me to define an intentional mother a few years ago, I probably would have told you that she’s a mom who plans with intentionality the activities and attitudes of her day. Maybe you have similar thoughts on the topic.
While that is indeed part of intentional mothering, it’s not the heart of the issue. The heart of the issue is much deeper, and we need to understand that before we start to put tools in place to help us pursue intentionality.
Thus, to understand intentional mothering, let’s begin with what it’s not. Once we understand that, we can build a solid foundation atop what it actually is.
Intentional mothering is not a habit, a process or a philosophical approach. It’s not a commitment to maintain a schedule or the resolve to teach specific lessons. It’s not a one-size-fits-all fixed formula.
And above all else, intentional mothering is certainly not perfect parenting. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that perfection is a cancer to the intentional mother, because intentional mothering can get messy. Raising kids with intentionality, responding to them with grace, seeing the big picture in light of eternity … that doesn’t happen in a picture-perfect home. It happens in homes where mistakes are made, where fear is real, where heart issues come bubbling to the surface even when they’re ugly.
If we want to walk this journey, we have to banish the idea of perfect parenting. We have to be willing to embrace the hard, soul-searing challenges. We have to go where grace gets gritty and mercy floods the messy. If we’re going to raise our kids with intentionality, we have to be ok with this idea of gritty, messy, imperfection, and we have to realize that we’re going to have to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work … every day.
Only when we realize that this isn’t going to be easy and it’s certainly not going to perfect are we ready to dive into the heart of intentional mothering. So are you ready? Are you ready to relinquish the idea of perfect parenting? Are you ready to embrace real, messy, grace-based mothering? I hope so, because I am too! Join us tomorrow as we begin to answer: What is intentional mothering?
I am thrilled that you’re following along for this series! As a result, I’m offering the above art piece/quote as a FREE PRINTABLE. Just click here to get your own! Print on cardstock, or better yet, take it to a print store and have them print it on fine art paper with a linen finish.
This is Day 3 in 31 Days of Intentional Mothering, to read days 1 and 2, start here.
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