Sacrificing the Rules for the Soul

The other day I found pentagon-shaped cloth tiles from over a year ago. These tiles reminded me of one of the most profound lessons I’ve learned during my time as a mama: be who you are.

Those pentagon-shaped tiles I found were for this wonderful ball I was going to make my baby.  Since newborns sleep all the time, I was told I would have lots of free time (hah) and, doesn’t a good mother makes toys for her baby?

You see, before I had E, I had all sorts of rules.

I knew how I would discipline, feed, structure our day, what kind of toys he would play with, what kind of clothes he would wear, and the list goes on.  Surrounded by women having babies at the same time, I felt even more pressure to perform correctly. And then I had my sweet boy.  I quickly discovered that I don’t have time, I make time. Everything is a sacrifice.  And, to make that pentagon ball, I would have to sacrifice other things I loved, like reading, cuddling, or baking.

It took a while but I eventually threw away my  mommy-rules and just tried to be me.  I’m not the mama that makes all of her baby’s toys.  I’m not the mama who dresses her son in cute clothes all the time, in fact you’ll probably see some sort of food on his face most of the time.  I’m not the mama who takes her toddler to all sorts of playgroups and other structured events.  I’m not the mama who closely abides to one parenting style.  Those things are not necessarily bad, they just are not me.

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.
All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.
1 Corinthians 6:12 NASV

I want to be the mama who has time.  We spend our days cooking, playing instruments, singing, spending time with just a couple people, exploring the outdoors, and reading books.  I’m not the sort of mama who is willing to sacrifice the things I love for the mommy-rules; those rules play into my pride and sacrifice my poor boy.

I cannot tell you that I have arrived–I will still look at other moms and sometimes wish I always looked beautiful or that I had used some other parenting technique that is apparently working for them.  And admittedly, I have received a lot of criticism for my approach to motherhood.  However, if I’m striving to remain submissive to the prompting of the Spirit and I’m primarily concerned about my boy’s soul, the “rules” are really just optional and certainly not worth the sacrifice.



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3 responses to “Sacrificing the Rules for the Soul

  1. Susan Slinkard

    Beautifully said, Tara.

  2. You’re on the right track :). Your son doesn’t need handmade toys to know you love him.

  3. This is so good. Wish I’d read it when I first started parenting. It would have been a long, deep breath of fresh air. I am the mom who bakes cookies, but I am not the mom who has structured school time every day. I am the mom who reads books with her kids, but not so much before bed because that time is CRAZY and I am crazy tired. By the grace of God, I am who I am. . . 🙂 You should really share these somewhere because others need to read it.

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