When I was younger, I would look to moms that are the age I am now, or have the number of kids I have, and think, “They must have their stuff together.” To my surprise–one morning I woke up and here I am, and hey, how come my stuff isn’t together? Did I miss something? Like, most of the time I can’t even figure out when to shower. Sometimes, Brennan and I legitimately look at each other and are like, “Can you believe we have four kids?” Honestly still caught in surprise a bit. In surprise of the blessing, in surprise of the responsibility, and in surprise of how quickly time truly goes. And in surprise of how not put together we really are.
My mom skills, well– they aren’t always what I would hope they would be, and I definitely would not call them put together. One day last week for example, I started my day feeling pretty good. I got enough sleep, woke up early, had a Bible study, made the fam breakfast, and felt like this was going to be a good mom day… and then, on our way somewhere in the car, I lost it. I didn’t even know I was going to lose it, I went from peaceful to yelling in a snap. You would think it would be something pretty bad to derail my cool, but nope, the reason I lost it was because my oldest son was complaining he felt like he was going to throw up.
What kind of person yells at someone for feeling sick? Yeah… I did that. Apparently that day, I was that person, and maybe the only one in history too because that’s pretty weird and not compassionate.
In my defense, I did warn him ahead of time that he always gets car sick and shouldn’t bring his homework in the car, and he insisted. And so, there we were, on the highway, with him feeling sick, my five year old screaming for a snack or else he was threatening he would feel sick too, my two year old crying to hear the Moana soundtrack, and my seven year old feeling like my bestie for being the only kid not currently losing it. And so, I lost it too.
We got home and the tension was so thick you could cut it, our eyes were staring lasers at each other, and I just felt so defeated. And we get inside and Brennan looks up from his work at us and is like,” Tough ride huh??” Haha. I just have to share with you that’s where my mom skills are at some days. I know I’m not the only one who has embarrassing moments like this either and I’m writing about mine here as a virtual hug to you, because you’re not alone and we don’t have to stay there.
A good friend of mine would often pray for the moments that she fell short with her kiddos to fall away from their memories. Like, praying that when they remembered that day, she would hope that moment wouldn’t be the one they remembered. I find myself praying similar prayers as these little ones are getting older.
And as I’m writing this I’m thinking, can’t I pray that for myself too, but for the right now? Can’t I focus less on my shortcomings and imperfections of today? More and more my own imperfections and the realization that I need God’s grace, and don’t know what I’m doing, is more obvious. But I know that the time is short, and I know that one day very soon I’m going to look back at these moments with rose colored glasses because I’m going to miss this season so much. I’m going to miss it, and I don’t want to miss it right now because I’m focused on the negative.
I already do miss the season of them being babies and barely remember the things that were hard in those days, and I’m sure I will soon be missing this season as well, and the next one, and the next one. Because each day is so precious with these people. I love them so much I want to squeeze them until they explode into confetti.
I’m thinking though, I need to put on those rose colored glasses sooner rather than later. I wonder what things about right now I’m going to look back on with rose colored glasses? What part of right now is the good old days? Is it possible to focus more on that instead of my shortcomings and mistakes ?
Mommas, we’re not going to be perfect, but that in itself is perfect. It’s perfect because it makes room for a God who is. I may not feel put together or like I know what I’m doing, but God does. And that perfect God chose us to be these kids’ parents. He chose us. He chose me, even knowing my imperfections. He didn’t just choose us and then leave us to figure it out. He lets us come to Him for guidance, for strength, for forgiveness, for grace. He knows I am weak, and He gives me strength. He says that His strength is actually made perfect in my weakness.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
He knows I’m going to mess up, but He compassionately offers the way back. My parenting was never really about me being perfect anyway, it’s about me being able to point my kids to the One Who is.
And so my rocky situation that day didn’t go perfectly, but God showed up. After taking some time to pray, I could apologize, and my son was super sweet and gracious. And I got to talk to him about how I’m not perfect, and just because I respond a certain way sometimes doesn’t mean it was right that I did, nor am I happy that I did, because I make mistakes too and I’m sorry, and that I’m so grateful for forgiveness.
As I was explaining it to him that I’m not perfect, I realized that so much of my problem starts with the error in thinking I’m going to be perfect in the first place. In the morning, when I thought I was going to have such a good day, did that in my mind mean a day without conflict and one where I wouldn’t need any grace? My kids are going to have imperfect days too, and how I handle mine is teaching them something a perfect day can’t. It shows them how God is so faithful to be there, how He forgives, redeems, helps, gives grace, strength and patience.
So, I’m praying for us mommas, and for our kiddos, that we wouldn’t focus and remember so much about what went wrong, or how we fell short, but that we would remember instead the forgiving hugs, patience, love, grace, laughs, and sometimes the growing pains of our faith.
What a blessing and gift it is to be a momma! And to not have to be a perfect one, but to be able to lean on the One who is, and to point our little ones to Him too. The best thing we can give our little ones is our lives lived in faith.
Love and Hugs,