It hasn’t been very long that I’ve been a mother.
Eight short years.
A wailing, bald headed, blue eyed, bouncing baby boy turned me into mother, just eight short years ago. We surprised our church family then, by simply walking in on Mother's Day, babe in arms, and announced that we’d become a family that week. Oh the JOY!
“For this child I prayed…..”
- 1 Samuel 1:27
In those earliest years, my young, naive, idealistic hopes of what kind of a mother I would be, painted a picture perfect woman. She was always cheery, never lost her temper, planned ahead, and was overly prepared and organized. She was fun, and kind, and beautiful. She knew how to balance it all between loads of laundry, and stacks of dirty dishes. She never seemed to run out of energy or fresh ideas or resources to make it all happen. Her children would model that all of her hard work was paying off because they were well behaved, well groomed, smart, and fun little people to be around.
It seemed like a simple equation.
And then God grew our family overnight again, and our family quickly grew by one more. And suddenly, I was overwhelmed. I had barely gotten into a routine and now needed to adapt to a new one. I was tired, weary, behind on chores. And broke. My hopes of becoming that dreamy mother I wanted to be, quickly dissolved into the mess that I had become. My new dream was more short term. Most days I just dreamt that I would get to take a shower….
By the time the girls came around, I mostly felt like a walking time bomb.
Or a zombie. Either way, most days took too much energy to really enjoy this phase of motherhood. I was in complete survival mode and sadly don’t have many memories of this time. I was consumed with all the things I was telling myself I needed to do to be a good mother, and severely lacking the ability to actually pull it off.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven…”
– Ecclesiastes 3:1
Here I was, blessed beyond measure with four of the most precious, beautiful children that a woman could ever dream of, and if it weren’t for mounds of pictures and my journal, I wouldn’t have anything to remember it by.
I fail daily as their mother.
I loose my temper. I scream. I plan poorly and we have to eat PB&J for dinner....again. I tend to over-react, and turn little things into big things. I am constantly behind on laundry, and so the baby wears pajamas 3 days in a row. I stay up way too late, and then am grouchy in the morning because I’m tired. I can be demanding, and ask too much of them. I tend to be distracted when they talk to me. I fear I am not teaching them balance between needs and wants. And worry that I am not demonstrating forgiveness. The list goes on and on….
I am constantly torn between knowing that it all goes by really fast, and actually taking or finding the time to enjoy it all. Because I have mounded expectations on myself, and have a never ending To-Do list that runs through my brain all day. For some reason I have bought into the lie that a good mom does…rather than a good mom is.
The legacy that I want to leave for my kids has nothing to do with what I did for them, but how I was with them. I want them to be able to say:
My Mom is a good listener.
My Mom spends quality time with me.
My Mom demonstrates forgiveness, grace, and constant love.
My Mom prays for me, over me, and with me.
My Mom doesn’t sweat the small stuff.
My Mom cheers me on.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:9
"And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know
He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for."
–I John 5:14-15
Be sure to read these other posts on Motherhood:
Our Miracle Story, an ordinary momma, this moment