Grace for Single Parents Podcast welcomes Becky Keife to talk about her book No Better Mom for Job. We talk about parenting when you don’t feel up to the task, how to avoid falling into friendship traps and praying for your friends.
Jen: Hi, this is Jen from Grace for Single Parents where your parenting and God’s grace collide.
Today, I have Becky Keife on the show. Becky is the community manager for DaySpring’s (in)courage, which is a huge online community where women connect deeply with God and others. (in)courage is also where I was first introduced to Becky. She’s also a popular speaker for MOPS groups and other women’s events and is also the author of the new book, “No Better Mom for the Job: Parenting with Confidence (Even When You Don’t Feel Cut Out for It.)”
Stay tuned till the end so you can find out how to win a copy of Becky’s new book.
Hi Becky, I’m so glad to have you on today. I wanted to have you on because I was on your launch team for the “No Better Mom for the Job: Parenting with Confidence” book and I loved your book so much because I really felt like it spoke to moms of all different stages and of all different situations.
Being a single mom, myself and also an adoptive mom, I don’t very often find books that speak to moms who are in different stages. Usually, it’s just married moms or, single moms but you did a great job of bridging that gap and speaking to all moms that feel like maybe we’re not the best mom for the job and at different times. And I know I definitely have felt like that with what I call my wild child. So if you could just speak a little bit about what your book’s about and then we’ll go from there.
Becky: Yeah. Well, thanks for having me, Jen. So “No Better Mom for the Job”. The subtitle is “Parenting with confidence even when you don’t feel cut out for it”. And that really is what the book is about. I feel like as moms, no matter what, how we came to motherhood by birth or adoption or fostering or even marriage that God has a plan and a purpose for us in our lives and in our motherhood. But we don’t always feel that way. And that certainly was the case for me.
I had three boys in three and a half years, which was not exactly the plan and it, and it really rocked my world. And not just in the sense of feeling sleep deprived and overwhelmed by diapers like lots of us do.
But I really questioned God, did you make a mistake in making me these kid’s mom?
And especially my oldest, I just felt so not a match or that there was something wrong with him or something wrong with me. But I was pretty convinced that another mom would do a better job in my shoes.
And so the book is really about that journey about all the different things that can cause us to feel inadequate as moms, no matter we are in those, you know, baby and toddler years or dealing with, you know, junior highers or even, you know, moms have told me, Hey, I’m an empty nester. And yet still there are things in this book that speak to our deep, really our deep need for the Lord and to rely on God’s, what I call his fierce witness.
But he never leaves us even when we feel like I don’t know how to do this motherhood thing. And I talk a lot about just different things and the ways that God really wants to meet us in the thick of it, in the thick of motherhood and assure us that he didn’t make a mistake and he does have that plan of purpose for our life and our motherhood.
Jen: When I went through the book, and I don’t know if you can see, I highlighted a lot.
And one of my favorite quotes you have in there is “If God knot a child in your womb or gave you the gift of adopting a son or daughter then He is committed to seeing this motherhood plan through with you.” And I just love that because it just really reminds you that God is with you every step of the way and he didn’t do this by accident and He is in this parenting thing with you and your child for a reason.
Becky: Right. And I think I often think about the image of whether it’s motherhood or anything in our lives, but you know, we feel like, okay, God opens a door. So you open the door for you to become a mom and whatever way that happened and God’s having to open a door and then push us through and slam it behind us and be like, good luck. No, like that’s not his character.
He goes with us. And so even, you know, I would say if, but really when things are more than we can handle, we know that we don’t handle it alone and he is committed to loving us and even more loving our kids and equipping us to be the exact mom that they need.
Jen: And speaking of not going through it alone, you also have a couple of chapters in there about needing your village and finding friends, which is super important and also something that is a struggle for when you’re going through the thick of mothering, whether you’re a single mom or not, for at-home moms too, feel like you’re really all alone.
And one of my favorite chapters in the book is “I just want one real friend”. And in that, when you break down some friendship pitfalls, like false thinking, where I know I fall into that a lot where we almost automatically put ourselves out of the running person friendships. Can you talk about that a little bit or some of those pitfalls that we kind of run into?
Becky: I think false thinking is for sure one of them. And so I really felt, I was surprised by how alone and isolated I felt in motherhood because I mean, I’m surrounded by my kids all day. I’m never alone.
And yet this deep loneliness sank in and I had quality women in my life who I used to work with or you know, old friends. But we have moved away and there just wasn’t those women to like walk the day in and day out of motherhood with.
And so for years, I thought I was trying to cultivate meaningful friendships, but what I realized, whether I would start a new moms group or attend a new church or just be at the park or playground or whatever, just, you know, try it to ask someone to be my friend and that there were certain false thinking that crept in.
Things like everyone else already has their friendship plate full. And even if you have older kids, you can walk into, a PTA meeting or you know, or if you, as a working mom, you can have other colleagues or coworkers and we have this false perception that we think that everyone else already has their friendship plate full. There’s not room for us.
And that’s just not the truth. I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t long for deeper friendships in her life.
Other false thinking can be if you are new, like I moved to a new city when my first was six months old and I would step into these new situations. But I had this thinking of “well I’m new”, so other people should come to me, they should initiate with me.
And if you want friendships start by being the friend you long to have. That’s really what the Lord impressed on my heart.
Or even other things. Like we can feel like I’m too fill in the blank. I’m too much, I’m too loud, I’m too noisy, I’m too quiet, I’m too shy, I’m too awkward. You know, we all have these false things that we believe about ourselves.
And for me, you know, especially when my kids were little, I just, it was like I am too much like these three little boys, three and under. We are a lot and we’re going to be okay too much for anyone else to handle. And with the Lord showed me was maybe we were too much for some people, but that that wasn’t a blanket truth. And I had one, my first mom friends, her name was Amy and she had four kids and two are older in elementary school and two were the same age as my little ones.
And she was a friend who was not overwhelmed by the chaos that we brought. And she just let me come and sit at her kitchen table and let my boys run wild in her house. And when there was a meltdown, when it was time to leave, she was like, “no, guilt here, you grab the crying child, I’ll get the shoes, and go to the car together.”
And so you know, to identify those things that maybe are keeping us from really initiating or being open to friendship and root out that false thinking.
Jen: So I actually came across you over a year ago. I was going through a really difficult time and I found, (in)courage, I don’t know how I found the whole (in)courage community but you were doing some Facebook lives for a devotion series that was going on and you were interviewing different people on Facebook. And that’s how I came across you and started following you. And one of the things, you just exuded such happiness.
And it just really helped me get through the hard time I was going through. One of the things I love that you would do is you often prayed for everybody, whether it was the person you were talking to or just at the end you would pray. And then I saw in your book you talked about being able to pray for your friends on the spot. And I love that idea, but honestly, it’s intimidating. So pray for people. Do you have any tips on how to do that? Because I am the one who will say, I will pray for you and I will. But praying for people out loud or in front of them that would be really touching to have someone do that for me. But to do that, it just feels really intimidating.
Becky: Yeah. So number one way to prepare yourself to pray for someone on spot. Embrace the awkward, just embrace it. Like it’s going to feel awkward. I don’t wait till you think, Oh, I’m spiritual enough or I’m don’t have the right words. And really the way that this came about that I started doing this was by having friends do it for me.
And it even started back in college and I grew up in the church, but it wasn’t really until college that I even learned how to read my Bible. You know, God really had an intimate desire for a relationship with me. And I was part of a great college group and one of my friends I remember, you know, just kind of venting to her about who even knows what at the time, a boyfriend struggle or you know, finals and part-time job and whatever. And she was like, well, let’s pray about that. And right there, like people all around us, Cathy just started to pray and it did feel kind of awkward even for me receiving it.
But also it was such a gift that she wasn’t going to wait till later and maybe would slip her mind. But like she cared enough in that moment to just put her arm around me and it didn’t last more than, I don’t know, 20 seconds.
And so I took that experience and I’m like, I could be that for someone else. I could help someone else.
And you know, sometimes you’re not even in person, but I’ll have a friend text me something that they’re going through and I will, instead of just texting back like I’m really sorry, that’s really hard. I can text back a prayer. You know, or just whatever it is just to embrace in the moment. And I’ll tell you, even now, I mean, it’s been kind of a practice in my life for years. I don’t know that it really gets easier. I still kind of had that heart-thumping experience of like when someone is sharing something and I just, I’ve learned to feel the Spirit’s prompting that I know that I’m supposed to just say like, Hey, let’s pray about that right now.
But I never, I never regret it. And even if I, it’s just simple like God, like I don’t know what to pray, but you know Jen’s circumstances would you come and intervene right now and let her know that you are. Amen. Like, you know, it’s been really, really meaningful in my life.
Jen: That’s great advice. I’ll, I’ll try it,
Becky: Do it and embrace the awkward. We can’t be afraid. And, you know, I, I just, I don’t think that we can ever regret stepping into someone’s pain or sorrow or heartache and just to know that not only does someone else see you, but that they care enough to want to help you take it to the throne room of God and trust your cares and burdens to the one who really can make a difference.
Jen: Yeah. That’s great. Well, do you want to give any last words to anyone who might feel like alone in their parenting or like maybe they’re not the right one to be a mother to their child?
Becky: Yeah. I say in the book something to the effect of like, you don’t have to wait to feel adequate. You can just look to God’s word. It’s really his lifeline, that his word is the greatest lifeline that we have. And so if you’re feeling like, I’m just not cut out for this, I think someone else would do a better job in my shoes. Look at God’s word. See what he has to say about you. See what he has to say about his plan for you, his character, his goodness. I love in his word where he says, you know, be strong and courageous. I will never leave you or forsake you.
And more than anything in my life, motherhood has required strength and courage. And so especially if you are a single mom, I can only imagine all the more I was raised by a single mom.
One of my sisters is a single mom and I have just such high esteem for the heavy load that you carry and the amazing work that you do. And I just want to say that God sees you today. He is with you fiercely and that he did not make a mistake in making you the mom of your kids.
Jen: Thank you and thank you so much for coming on. It was such an honor to have you.
Becky: Oh, thank you, Jen. It was a gift and people can feel free to connect with me. I love being over on Instagram @BeckyKeife. And my website is Beckykeife.com or you can also find it at nobettermombook.com and find out all the info there.