A Mama’s Measure of Success

Photo by Kim Harms

I recently read the following quote about successful parenting.

A mother’s job is to teach her children not to need her anymore. The hardest part of that job is accepting success.

Maybe it’s my fear of success in this arena that has kept me from teaching my children to wash their own clothes. If they don’t know how to do it, they’ll have to come home from college for a laundry run now and then, right? 🙂

But seriously, [bctt tweet=”one of my primary challenges for the past 17 years has been to raise my children to be successful at being human.” username=”inspireafire”] To be kind others. To shower regularly (with soap.) To not inflict pain on their brothers. To get enough sleep. To do school work to the best of their ability. To learn the art of patience in an instant gratitude world. To respect their elders.

I believe Corey and I are doing a pretty good job. And though these three crazy boys of ours will no doubt screw some things up in life, I think that when Carter walks across that stage with his cap and gown in two years (Wait. Stop. Two years??) I will find that Corey and I have been successful parents on a worldly scale.

But as much as I desire my kids to be contributing members of society and to find tangible success in this life, I’m exponentially more concerned with the treasures they are storing up for the next one.

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

As they grow to need me less and less, I pray they find they need Jesus more and more. As they loosen their grip on my hand, I pray they tighten their grip on their Savior. As they learn the intricacies of how this world works, I pray they will seek to see God’s story weaving its way through the details. As they search for the one to whom they will vow “til death do us part” I pray they will yearn for the day when death no longer exists.

One aspect of my success as a mom may be in teaching my kids to not need me anymore. But the more important component lies in guiding them to need Jesus more every single day.

(Disclaimer: I don’t want to come across as believing that to be a successful parent, our children must choose to follow Jesus. I know plenty of great parents whose children have chosen otherwise. The success I speak of is in our efforts as parents in word and deed to guide our kids toward Christ.)

Kim Harms

Kim Harms is a writer and speaker who is represented by Literary Agent Karen Neumair of Credo Communications. She is under contract with Familius Publishing for her first book, tentatively titled Life Reconstructed. Harms has a degree in English: Literary Studies from Iowa State University and was a regular contributor at the former Today's Christian Woman. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries in 2016 after being diagnosed with breast cancer and writes about her Life Reconstructed at kimharms.net. Central Iowa is home, and she lives there with her husband Corey and their 3 ever-growing man-children.

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