Last week I decided to do a “mom” challenge based on the book “The 5 love languages for kids”. Every day I did a different challenge based on a different love language. For example, one day I focused on gifts, one day on quality time…etc. I also shared the challenges on social media so family and friends who wanted to join in, could.
Well, I want to share something about my “mom” challenge. If I can be completely real, I’d have to say I sucked at these most days, or at least I felt I did. However, I’m very glad I did them, because the challenge taught me so much, not just about my kids, but about myself.
I was feeling great doing the challenge until Wednesday night, and on Thursday night, while trying to do something nice for them, my kids hurt my feelings and I started to cry and gave them the “silent treatment”. (Mom of the year, I know) I remember thinking to myself “After everything I do for them, and they still treat me this way?”. Then, Saturday night, I found myself screaming at my child in the McDonalds parking lot like a crazy person. (Yes, believe it or not moms sometimes lose their cool, how dare we, huh?) People probably thought I was seriously crazy. The things that were coming out of my mouth were not so nice, and I was so worried, upset, and disappointed, I was not thinking or speaking rationally. My point with sharing this very personal, embarrassing story, is not to air out my dirty laundry, but to be real and genuine, and help all the mommas out there understand that the real challenge of motherhood is not always what we think. It doesn’t always look like quality time, or gifts, or making enough time to cuddle, it doesn’t always mean making cookies for the bake sale, or having the smartest kids, or the kids with the most athletic abilities. Sometimes it is hard, very hard. You question yourself as a parent, you make mistakes, you have regrets, fears, doubts, moments when you think “I shouldn’t have said that”, “what was I thinking?” “I was too harsh, or not harsh enough.” So Saturday night after my meltdown, I cried, I felt so defeated.
There is something so humbling about getting on your knees, bawling your eyes out, and crying out to God. While praying and ugly crying and complaining about my own kids to God, He revealed something that changed everything for me. God reminded me of His grace and forgiveness, the one I don’t deserve. He also opened up my eyes to see just how much I act like my kids most days.
Just like I am my children’s mother, He is my Father, and I don’t always listen to Him. He gives me everything I need, yet I’m not always thankful. He desires to spend time with me, yet He is not my priority. Sometimes I do stupid things, but He never withholds his love or forgiveness from me. He is the Perfect Father, and I am his imperfect daughter, who, is at times unfaithful, disobedient, and impatient, just like my kids are with me. So, motherhood is not about being the “perfect” mother, motherhood is about guiding your children to the Perfect Father. I know it’s difficult to wrap your mind around, but He loves our kids far more than we could ever love them, we have to trust Him with their lives.
Motherhood is hard. Cooking, cleaning, working, practice, bath time, helping with homework, demands, bills, expectations, attitudes, runny noses, doctor appointments… and the list just keeps on going. Being a mom can be overwhelming. There are nights when I lay in bed after a long day, so exhausted, I can barely think. I feel like I have nothing, absolutely nothing left to give, yet, I wake up the very next day and do it all over again. As we all do. I’ve had so many people ask me “How do you do it all by yourself?”
The secret is… are you ready? I don’t. I never have. It’s all been by the Grace and Mercy and help from Jesus Christ who sustains me, provides, and gives me strength. Y’all, mom guilt is still very real. Even the mom who seems to have it all together, breaks down at some point. Don’t ever let the enemy tell you that you’re a failure. Keep your eyes on Christ, and keep raising those sweet babies.
Mommas, please remember your kids are not the enemy. Their attitudes are not the enemy, as much as it seems that way sometimes. Their behavior, or bad choices, or talking back, are not the enemy.
The bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12, NIV: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Our struggle are not our kids, so don’t fight them. The struggle is against the real enemy, the one who wants to destroy your kids, so fight FOR them. And if you don’t get it right the first time, get up the next day, fall on your knees, ask God for help, and do it all over again. He knows you are not perfect, and so do your kids.
Sometimes motherhood will look like gifts and quality time and mushy hugs, other times it will be disciplining your child at the McDonalds parking lot and looking like a crazy person, and that’s ok!
Perfect moms are overrated.
The World’s okayest mom.