Are You a Mary or Martha Kind of Mom?

I’m sure your daily to do list is a mile long and a big chunk of it consists of what you need to do for your kids, such as helping with homework, driving them to practices, getting lunches ready, scheduling doctor appointments, and well, you know the drill. We can get so wrapped up into the doing that we miss the opportunity to just be present. It goes back to that super single mom syndrome, of not only doing it all but doing it perfectly, because hey we got this under control, right? Well, it may appear that way, but this is an surefire way to get totally burned out. Always thinking about what you need to do robs you from the gift of being present. Sure, you made it to your kid’s recital, but if your mind is preoccupied with the new leotard, or cleats you need to buy for the kids, or the dentist appointment you forgot to schedule, or a million other things, then you are not there. Little Suzy is on stage dancing her toes off and although your eyes are watching, your mind is a million miles away.

In a blink of an eye it’s over and your onto the next thing. Listen, you show up and that’s half the battle, but if you’re going to be there, why not savor the time? You deserve better, and frankly so do your kids.


Mary and Martha were two sisters who no doubt loved Jesus and desired to honor him, they just went about it in two different ways. Martha was busy with the preparations. Can’t you can almost see her sweating over the meal she was preparing, worrying about whether it would fit for Jesus? Mary gets a bum rap, but I believe her intentions were good. She was getting it done, checking off those boxes, to ensure that things were on point for Jesus!

Mary on the other hand wasn’t so concerned about the happenings in the kitchen. The heart of her reaction to Jesus’ arrival was not in the physical preparations, but in the spiritual and emotional. She was present. She sat at his feet and gave him her undivided attention. I bet when Martha saw her sitting down, basking in the glow of Jesus, she was hot! Here she was working her fingers to the bone to prepare a meal for Jesus and there was Mary slacking off. Was Mary really just given Martha the shaft? Absolutely not! But, we can certainly understand how Martha could feel a bit annoyed. Both women were doing the right thing…they were serving Jesus. But one decided to just be while the other decided to do. Mary’s choice gave her the opportunity to be in communion with Jesus, the one thing that was needful.


I always felt bad for Martha, because I understand her heart. I know how it is getting so caught up in the preparation, trying to make everything look perfect, and then feeling as though it really isn’t appreciated. Of course Jesus appreciated Martha’s efforts, but I think he was gently saying…stop being troubled by the things that are temporary and be present for the things that are of real value.


I’m not comparing our kids with Jesus, but I think moms can easily fall into a Martha kind of parenting when we are too consumed with prioritizing our duties, and not our relationship with our kids. Both approaches have the best intentions, but there needs to be a balance.


When we our kids become another check mark on our   to do list, life as a mom starts to morph into series of routine chores. We become preoccupied with performance, not theirs but ours.  The judgment and pressure on moms to do everything, be everywhere and do it well is ridiculous! It is what society expects and it has somehow creeped into our own belief system. For example, at my daughter’s school there are room moms, but not room dads. Not only is this the norm, but the school wouldn’t dream of asking dads to do something they consider to be the mom’s role. We are expected to show up and men are not held to the same standard. When we do so no, we are made to feel guilty!

The no means we don’t care, or can’t be bothered, or aren’t involved! It is so stinking unfair! So, don’t be hard on yourself if you struggle with the performance thing, because to some degree it is what we are groomed to do. Has it helped us? No! It’s just made us burned out, stressed, and exhausted. Not to mention we hold ourselves captive to an impossible standard.


Children are not tasks, they are human beings who crave a genuine relationship with their mom and on the flipside we desire the same. When that desire isn’t being satisfied, we slip into a rabbit hole of  just going through the motions of being a mom. Look, there are seasons, when we are just happy to get through the day, with everyone fed and still breathing. That’s life, it happens and you may need to focus on the task at hand. However, if  this season is a lifestyle it’s probably time to try a different way.


I get frustrated and burned out when I feel like my only purpose is to pay bills and run errands. When I start to feel like just an Uber driver or get caught up into making sure everything is working perfectly, it makes me feel further away from my daughter. It’s like my role as mom has been diminished. If I look at her as a check box on a long list of things to do, then I’m not giving our relationship, the dignity or respect it deserves. That to do list may be filled with items that relate to her, but they are not her. I can take care of daily to do’s, but am I taking care of the person, or the relationship? This is a key question to ask ourselves. In my heart when I know that I’m putting more emphasis on the stuff than her, it makes feel awful, which in turn makes me incredibly hard on myself.


Life is too short and too uncertain to allow moments to slip away. When you are gone from this earth, your children will cherish the relationship and the memories you created. Sure, they’ll remember that mom juggled a million and things and totally rocked, but nothing will replace the memory of you being present and engaged. Give yourself permission to stray from the to do list, and spend quality time with your kids. Creating memories will last way longer than making sure dinner is on the table at precisely 6:00 pm. You may have to run a tight ship, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play hard, laugh a lot, and enjoy one another’s company. I know you’re trying to keep all the wheels turning, but don’t get run over by them! Enjoy the ride! You are a gift to each other, so make sure you take the time to unwrap all the delightful surprises that come with your family.

In my upcoming eBook, “15 Tips to Avoid Single Mom Burnout,” I’ll give you practical tips on how you can be a little less Martha and a little more Mary!

Book Giveaway! Win 1 of 2 Copies of, “Mom’s House, Dad’s House”

momhousebook

One of the most challenging aspects of being a single parent is the custody schedule. It never really feels quite right to not have your kids all the time, but it is part of the whole co-parenting journey. Smooth transitions make life easier for everyone, but especially for the kids. “Mom’s House, Dad’s House,” was one of the books I found extremely useful during my transition with my daughter’s dad. If you’re in need of a little guidance I would love to give you this book!

Enter a Comment to Win 1 of 2 Copies!

Simply enter a comment, if you leave a tip on co-parenting that would be great! I’d love to compile them and put them in a blog post.

Winners will be chosen on Monday, July 2nd! 

Connecting Kids Globally! Start a Pen Pal Project at Church!

I am so incredibly encouraged by our courageous youth! Our kids are so willing to learn, love and change the world and it makes my heart so happy! In my Sunday school class, we’ve been discussing ways to serve, share God’s word and encourage others. I’ve been thinking about doing a project that was meaningful and would help our kids share their faith. I threw a few ideas out last Sunday, and the one they seemed to be super excited about was writing our missionaries to encourage them in their work for God.  After further brainstorming, I thought why not connect my kids with the kids living where our missionaries are teaching and create a Pen Pal project! After speaking with contact for missionaries at church who put me in contact with our missionary in Albania it is going to happen!

I can’t wait to see their faces tomorrow when they find out they are going to be Pen Pals with children in Albania! I believe this is going to be a great way for our kids to connect globally with other children. My goal is for them to understand that there are no limits, boundaries, or walls when it comes to sharing their faith! Words have the power to connect, to encourage and to change people and the younger our kids know this and put it into practice the better! If you think a pen pal ministry is something the kids in your church or school would enjoy, free to download this Quick Pen Pal Tip Guide!

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Memory Verse for Kids! Psalm 28:7, Let’s Break it Down!

I loved deep diving into scripture and I’m teaching my Sunday school students how to deconstruct a verse so that they can get a deeper meaning and apply it to their life. So, I’ll be sharing these handouts I’ve created for my students with you! Feel free to share them with your kids or with anyone who may benefit from them!

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Free Bible Study Printables for Kids!

I have stepped outside my comfort zone and am teaching Sunday School! I have the pleasure of teaching the sweetest 4th and 5th graders. Can I tell you how much I love this age! I was completely nervous, but I am surprisingly loving this new endeavor! I told the kids I have three goals for this class.

  1. Learn about God
  2. Take what they learn and apply to their life outside of the church
  3. Have fun!

I’ve been praying about how I can teach these kids to start on their own independent faith walk. One of those ways is through journaling, so I bought each of them a journal, which I am so excited to hand out tomorrow. I also want to teach them how to dive deeply into the scriptures through what I call sticky words. These are those keywords in each verse that if we examine closer brings us deeper into the word of God and its meaning. I wanted to share a couple of PDFs that I’m giving the kids tomorrow. Feel free to share them with your kiddos!

Just a favor, please keep me in prayer as I try to step into this new role of Sunday school teacher!

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