Welcome to the Getting Past Perfect Book Club! We're reading Getting Past Perfect: How to Find Joy and Grace in the Messiness of Motherhood, by Kate Wicker.

We don’t empty ourselves so that we will be filled with praise and admiration for being such selfless, amazing mothers. We empty ourselves to fill the void with God. #GettingPastPerfect #bookclub

This chapter made me think of that video on Facebook; I’m sure you guys have all seen some version of it, where a representative of each “mom type” is represented for a good laugh.

You have your PTA Mom, Granola Mom, Hot Mess Mom, and Parenting Expert Mom.

Now let’s throw in your Martyr Mom, Keeping up with the Joneses Mom, Helicopter Mom, and Perfect Catholic Mom.

I have a suspicion that you might have already placed friends and family into each one of these reps.

PTA Mom . . . duh, that’s easy.

Hot Mess . . . oh yea, that mom with the ten kids . . . or actually, does she fit into Perfect Catholic Mom . . . dangit, yes she does.

Keeping up with the Joneses mom . . . yes . . . maybe several names pop up for this one.

Now, stop and think . . . which one best describes you?

If you’re anything like me, I think some part of my mommy-ness fits into each one of these categories. For good or bad.

It’s easy to label other moms, (sometimes even fun, oops!) but what about how we are going about our own parenting?

When was the last time you stopped and truly evaluated yourself as a mom?

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About a year ago I was having a hard time dealing with a Keeping up with the Joneses Mom. I was running into her much more than normal and the more annoyed by her I’d get, the more she was placed in my path.

I am so not like her, I’d think with a pat on my back. I am grounded in Jesus and not all my stuff.

Didn’t take long for Jesus to knock me down to the reality of who I was and show me that in many more ways than I had thought . . . I was just like her.

I took a big step back after an even bigger gulp of my pride and truly examined where my heart was.

Turns out, Jesus was right.

Maybe I didn’t care about the level of grandious-ness of my kids’ birthday parties, but the materialism caught me elsewhere.

While reading this chapter I was quick to place other moms into the Martyr Mom and Helicopter Mom categories, too.

The martyr is always finding a way to let you know how they brought dinner to another mom in need (even though it was at an extremely inconvenient time for her to do it, she still did it!)

And I’d think how that helicopter mom I know needs to just let go of her kids a little more, for their sake and her own.

Then, I was reminded to stop and place myself.

. . . I do remind my kids of everything I do for them . . . oh no . . . I even do that with my husband.

. . . I do feel guilty for things they miss out on and try to shower them with material love at times.

. . . I do yell at them when I’m trying to bake a made from scratch “special treat” for them . . . defeating the purpose of it all.

Then, the smack in the face:

 “I don’t want my children to grow up with a mom who did everything for them and cared so much about the “outside of the cup” the she wasn’t filling the inside with real, authentic love.” 

I for sure need to be more of the humble type and less of the fussy so I can have real, good quality time with my kids.

I also need to stop giving myself such a hard time about “how good of a mom I am being/not being.” That doesn’t do anyone any good.

At the root of most of what we do, we know that we are doing it because we believe we are making the best decisions for our kids. Don’t let that bad guy in your head make you believe anything else.

Most importantly, I need to start every day with a Come Holy Spirit prayer and hand my family over to God.

And, I guess, eeevery now and then . . . I will settle for the little white dough boy in my kitchen.

To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:

    1. What mom stereotype do you fit into most of the time? How do you feel about that? More importantly, does it line up with the type of mom God wants you to be?
    2. If there a mom in your life you have been judging a bit too harshly? How can you pray for her for the next month?
    3. Have you truly given your family (husband and kids) over to God?What could help you do that? Maybe an official consecration could help you with this.

Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week's reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions.

The moment we think we’ve figured out this whole mothering thing is the moment we need to cut ourselves a whopping slice of humble pie, eat it, and try not to exercise it off, either. #GettingPastPerfect #bookclub

Next week, we'll cover Chapters 6 and 7. For the complete reading schedule and information about our Book Club, visit the Getting Past Perfect Book Club page.

Copyright 2017 Stephanie Stovall