The other day I had so much work to do. I sat at my computer and plugged away; typing, researching, focusing, thinking.
On those days, I can really struggle as a mom.
They are the days when motherhood feels impossible. I know that I can’t give them the time I want to, and for sure can’t do the things I’m supposed to because according to most of the Pinterest images or Facebook posts I see, I am supposed to bake cookies and read books and play games on a fairly regular basis.
But, this season of our life, it just seems like an impossibility…and it spurs within me the feelings of failure as a mom.
Do you feel that way sometimes? Like there’s no way you could do all the things that a “good mom” does? Like motherhood is this elusive idea wrapped up in idealistic life experiences and constantly joyous smiles?
I know I sure do…
You are not alone
Motherhood is tough! And, today’s social climate does not simplify that fact! We are pummeled with images and thoughts and opinions about the “right” way to mother or parent or love our children and care for our families. All that these ideas tend to do, though, is undermine our best efforts and whisper “You’re just not doing this right at all…”
Somewhere along the way, though, I guess I had what some people call a “come to Jesus” moment.
Sometime around kid number five, when my son became sick with his auto-immune disorder, and even making myself breakfast seemed like a feat, I REALLY came face to face with my inability to do all the things that I thought were needed to rock motherhood.
In those days, my oldest had just turned six, and everything felt like this heavy stream of constant pressure. Everything was a fight. EVERYTHING was hard.
Since getting out of the house just felt like a losing battle, and it took me four hours to do a week’s worth of grocery shopping, I did not often have the chance to get around friends, or simply enjoy some time to myself.
It. Was. TOUGH.
And, that’s when I had to re-evaluate my definition of motherhood, and what it really means to be a good mom.
To not experience struggle as a parent is to not allow for a challenged life. I want to be challenged, because with challenge comes growth.
I want to grow and never stop.
Motherhood seems to be an evolving aspect of my life and something that continually is redefined as life unfolds one more layer. Even now, nearly 12 years into my motherhood journey, I cannot even come close to claiming that I’ve figured it out.
I don’t believe there is any such thing. The struggles still come. I still get frustrated, but the Truths I’ve learned along the way help to center me again and remind me that “this too shall pass.”
Lessons on Motherhood…
- Motherhood is a progressive evolution of growth between a woman, her child(ren) and the relationship between them.
- It is a unique experience for every woman the world over, because no two women are alike, and no two children are the same. Therefore, motherhood is not something that can be standardized and set in how it is carried out.
- There is no such thing as a perfect mom, but there are a million ways to be a good one! Click To Tweet
- The greatest gift I can give myself is to accept my own unique experience with motherhood, and to extend the same respect to other women with theirs.
- The most life-changing lesson I can teach my children is that life is a journey of constant change and growth, but on the other side of hardship is incredible blessing.
- My status as a mom is not dependent on the behavior of my children. I am a good mom when I live out my life in an authentic and whole way.
Motherhood is a journey we are all experiencing on our own paths
Moms, you don’t have to do a million things in order to be a good mom. Motherhood is more than simply “doing things” with our kids, but rather doing LIFE with our kids.
Sometimes life can be less than perfect. Life can be messy and busy and crazy. The greatest blessing we can offer to our children, however, is to simply be there with them through it all.
Offer a hug when they’re having a bad day. Hold a boundary when they are struggling with the rules. Show them real life as we live it out in all of its messy glory, while we learn for ourselves what it means to be Light in the world.
We have the unique opportunity to teach our children what a walk with our Abba looks like, and that it isn’t always all smiles. Sometimes the Walk feels like toeing along a tightrope between two cliffs over a ravine!
The Walk tends to bring us to the end of ourselves, where we see the pieces that we lack. It reveals where we need cleansing, over and over as we grow in faith and wisdom.
A good mom is more than a happy mom. A good mom is a mom who connects reality to idealism, and navigates the delicate line that lives between the two.
And truly, whether or not our children receive what we teach is entirely up to them. This truth alone is a hard pill to swallow and unleashes fears and anxieties in the best of us who would rather have a guarantee.
Just keep swimming…
Motherhood is not an easy path to walk, but easy and possible are not the same.
Keep on walking and learning and trusting, and He will bring together the results in the end.
He who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion…” ~ Phil. 1:6