“God, I know I’m messing up a lot with my kids. I pray that my mistakes, failures and shortcomings will not be ones that my boys will need to tell a therapist about in 20 years…” I used to be the best mother ever, I had all the answers, I knew how to handle every situation, I was incredibly patient, loving, kind, and fun… until my oldest son was about 2 months old.
At that point a friend gave me a book to read and I learned that apparently I was not “correctly teaching my son how to sleep”. From that moment on, I became extremely aware of all my short comings. For the next 10 years, I have battled feeling like a failure comparing myself to authors of books and magazine articles, comparing myself to friends, comparing myself to strangers in the grocery store and often feeling as if I don’t measure up.
Anytime my imperfect boys misbehaved, clung to my side, went running around wild, said something inappropriate, didn’t say something when an adult talked to them, hit someone, didn’t share, took a toy from someone else, got a bad grade, got a cavity, was mean to another child, watched TV instead of playing outside, had McDonald’s or pizza again for dinner, was reading a Pokemon comic book or “Captain Underpants” instead of “Treasure Island” or some other classic, wiped his nose with his sleeve instead of a tissue, picked his nose, picked his butt, had a dirty face, had hair sticking up all funky, had clothes on that didn’t match, had dirty clothes on, didn’t pick up his toys, cried through the grocery store, cried during church, cried at a birthday party, cried at school, cried when I left him in a child watch, walked through a screen door, broke a ceiling tile, got a bloody nose all over someone’s couch, ripped up someone’s drawing, knocked over someone’s block tower… I felt like a failure of a mom and was positive those offended or around in those situations judged me as such.
Anytime I yelled, spanked or disciplined out of anger instead of calmly and rationally, anytime I let them watch TV while I escaped into a book, anytime I said something that tore them down instead of building them up, anytime I fed them chicken nuggets instead of organic, whole grain fed, free range chicken (that I should bake using a fabulously healthy and delicious Martha Stewart recipe) and french fries instead of some steamed vegetables, anytime that I let them go to bed without brushing and flossing their teeth, anytime I realized my boys hadn’t bathed in at least 4 days, anytime I let them play video games instead of joining them in some educational play… I felt like a failure of a mom and was positive those looking in judged me as such.
So, as you can probably guess, pretty much every day, I can beat myself up and feel like a failure of a mom. But here’s the thing I use to battle these thoughts… I love my children like crazy, but God loves them even more than I do. His word says they are the apple of His eye, He delights in them, He knit them together, He works together all things for good for them, they are His masterpiece, His workmanship, He desires that they should not perish but have life, He loves them with an everlasting love, He is their heavenly Daddy.
I’m not just going to let anyone watch my kids. Rather I am going to make sure they care about my kids, are able and capable and reliable. So if the God of the Universe loves and cares for my boys more than I do, I’m pretty sure He didn’t mess up by making me their mom, He knew I was the right mother for them… not a perfect mother, but the perfect mother for them to grow into the men he created them to be.
Just even typing that, a reassuring peace comes over me, it’s like feeling God wrap his arms around me and whisper in my ears, “It’s OK, I’m here.” It’s like hearing God standing on the sidelines as I’m running a race clapping His hands and cheering like crazy, “Run, keep going, you can do it, Go Becki!” It’s like seeing God pick up the baggage I’m struggling with and He says, “Don’t worry, I got it.” Such sweet peace…
Now, I know that doesn’t let me off the hook. I am still accountable as their mom before God. I still need to be repentant of my failures that are due to sin. I still need to strive to be the best mom that God created me to be. But, oh the peace, of knowing that God covers my imperfection with His perfection…
Do you feel like a failure? Like you don’t measure up? Do you wonder if God messed up letting you be a mom? Do you wonder why God hasn’t “allowed” you to be a mom yet if ever? As I type this, I am praying for you, asking God to cover you in that same reassuring peace He has just covered me in. I am praying that you know God loves you like crazy, that you are the apple of His eye, that He delights in you, that He knit you together, that He works together all things for good for you, that you are His masterpiece, His workmanship, that He desires that you should not perish but have life, that He loves you with an everlasting love, that He is your heavenly Daddy.
♥Becki, imperfect mother