Mother Of The Year
As Mother's Day approaches I absolutely cringe when I think about myself as a mother. I hate myself as a mom. Not that I hate me because I'm a mom. Don't get me wrong! I love being a mother. I absolutely adore my children and they truly mean the world to me. Its just that I'm not always the best at BEING a mom and shutter to think of what my kids think of me. And not just the kids. What does my husband think of my mothering? How do my kids' teachers perceive me as a parent? Some of my friends parent so differently, they probably think I am completely off my rocker. Actually, I think I AM completely off my rocker. I mean, I did have 3 children in 3 years. Isn't that the first step to totally losing your mind?
The problem is, I fail too often. I fail at getting a healthy meal on the table (3 times a day, EVERY day... seriously, why do we need to eat SO often?!) I fail at keeping the house clean. My son's room literally smells like a dinosaur took a leak under his bed. Sometimes I want to take a torch to it. And don't even get me started on the laundry. I fail at engaging the kids in meaningful "quality time" each night. Seriously though, how many times can I look through your Pokemon collection or reread Harry Potter? (I secretly celebrated when the dog got a hold of that book!) I forget to give the kids their vitamins, comb heads (and spray on lice deterrent), double check their homework, and of course, keep their finger nails trimmed so they don't carry around several pounds of dirt on their hands that will eventually go into their mouths. I try to do all these things; I feel like I make a valiant effort every day. So, why am I constantly coming up short? Why is there always something I should have done differently? Why do I find myself fighting with everyone to maintain order and control?!
Seriously, I am looking for a response...
Any ideas here, people?
If I can't come up with something I may have to go back to hiding in the pantry closet with my wine glass sneaking chocolates. No, really.
Ok. Deep breath.
A recent conversion with a friend helps me to put things into prospective. Parenting is hard. Being married is hard. Doing the right thing is hard. Maintaining a relationship with Jesus is hard. And no matter what season of life you are in it never gets easier... it just changes. It becomes a different hard.
So, how can you cut yourself a break and just enjoy the season you're in? What can you do to support and encourage the growth and development in your children without taking it personal when there comes a set back? When can you stop beating yourself up for losing your temper and yelling at everyone including the dog who just happened to be in the wrong place (2 inches in front of you) at the wrong time (as you were dumping vegetable skins into the trash which instead land on her head)?
The first step. Know that you are not alone. All mothers struggle in one way or another if not 17 at the same time. Go out and have coffee with a friend. Find people to vent to and support you. Share your horror stories and find a way to laugh at them. Step 2: Do what Elsa does and "Let It Go". There is only so much you can control, girl. The rest you have to give up. 1 Peter 5:7 says, "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." It is as true for you just as it is for me. He will take what we cannot handle and then give it back to us when we can.
I joke all the time about submitting my application for Mother of the Year because it's comical how awful at mothering I can be. But the truth is, none of us are perfect. The truth is, we all fail. The truth is, we could all be doing more. But another truth is, we are the best mom our kids could ever have. God gave those little people to us (and us to those little people) for a reason. I choose to wear my mom badge of honor today knowing that in some ways I don't deserve it but in many more ways I do. My hope is that you can do the same.
P.S. Share your worst mothering moment in the comments to be entered into a drawing for a FREE A Mother's Nature product of your choice! (No judgement here! I've probably done worse.)