Saturday, May 12, 2012

On Mothering….






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

Just like that, in the beauty and surprise of adoption, we’d grown into a family.   I think I believed that just as quickly as I became a mother, I would also become a good mother.

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.

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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.

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“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven…”
– Ecclesiastes 3:1

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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.

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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….

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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. 

All of those things are much more important to me than having a clean house, or finishing up one more project,  or cooking fancy meals.  Truthfully, I can’t be the mother that I think I should be.  I am far too imperfect.  Eight years of striving for it has shown me nothing but failure in it. 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:9

But I can be the mother that Christ has called me to be.  Trusting and knowing that He alone planned and ordained our family, matching us up according to His plan.  He alone gives me the ability to keep striving every day, to make a difference in these four little lives that I’ve been entrusted to care for.  He alone can cover over all of my mess-ups, all of my imperfections, all of my shortcomings.  He is the only one who can fill me with the qualities of the mother He desires me to be.  All I have to do is ask Him.

"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

This Mother’s Day I am focusing on the mother I can be through Christ, and praising Him for the opportunity to be a mom!

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Be sure to read these other posts on Motherhood:
Our Miracle Story,   an ordinary momma,   this moment

5 comments:

Jenny K said...

So beautifully written and full of wisdom.

Thank you for sharing from the heart like always. This is why your blog is one of my favorites!

Praying is often what gives me strength to get through the day too.

GS said...

Great post! I've had many "mother of the year" moments these past few weeks! I needed this and the reminder that im striving to be the mother God is calling me to be, not society! We all struggle, but live under grace and forgiveness of our Lord! Thanks for sharing.

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for the sweet note of encouragement! This was hard to share...

Kelly B said...

What an honest look at motherhood!! What we initially think is "good mothering", the overwhelming reality that we stink at mothering in our own power with our own ideals and then the realization that God give us strength, wisdom and GRACE to get through the days... with joy... when we're willing to trust Him and attempt to be faithful in this task!

Thank you!

Sarah said...

Thank you so much Kelly! Motherhood is such a journey isn't it?