It is Mother’s Day week.
Man, does this day bring up so much.
It hits all of us.
Those who are mothers. Those who have had great mothers. Those who haven’t.
Adopted, not yet a mom, divorced, abandoned, infertile; the list is literally endless. None of us can escape the beauty or the loss of this day.
This stuff has always been there. Thankfully, I think we’re just getting a little better at talking about it.
For months now I’ve been processing the fact that this year, I will have the title of “mom” for a decade. My son will be ten, and my daughter will be eight. And for almost eight years of their lives, they were my full-time job. I’ve just recently gone back to working outside of the home, and it’s basically sped up all of the time and caused me to reflect on what on earth I did with them during that time.
I’ve been sucked into baby videos and pictures and wondering how on earth they were that small.
But here’s what I’ve recognized for myself. I’m not grieving the loss of their tiny-ness. That season was HARD.
I’ve been grieving the version of me that they had.
The mom I had always hoped to be; and the reality of who I was and who I currently am.
This sounds depressing, but I’ve begun to wonder if maybe more of us are in this boat than we think.
I look back at these extremely formative years for my kids and the mom that they got is not who I would’ve picked for them. I look back and wish I would have done so much differently.
Slowed down just a smidge.
Gotten help a little earlier.
Let go of control more often.
I’m wondering if you’ve had these thoughts, too. Your kids may be three months or thirty years. This is what we do as women, though, isn’t it? We hold ourselves to a standard that most of the time, no one else is holding us to.
We want to be perfect for them. I really do. If I had my way, I would get it all right. I would really, really like to get it all right.
But let me ask you what I’ve asked myself: If I were a perfect parent, what would they need God for?
If we believe that God is real, then we must believe in all of His character traits and attributes. All of them. One can’t exist without the other.
He is kind and He is just.
He is sovereign and He is loving.
He is full of grace and truth.
He is both convicting and comforting.
If He created us and created our kids and we believe that His hand is over the whole thing – then He chose them for us. And He chose us for them.
You, with your control issues.
You, with your lack of belief in yourself.
You, with anxiety or depression.
You, with no earthly example of a healthy mom to model after.
Yes, you, with your questions and your doubts and your timidity.
You were never meant to be God to your kids. You were made to point them to Him.
The Lord knows your limitations and He knows your strengths. He knows theirs, too. He knows your kid that puts up a fight about just about every decision. He knows your kid that is too passive, too sensitive, too loud, too… fill in the blank.
It is not your job to fill in all of their holes, to fix what you’re afraid will turn out as brokenness as they grow up. It’s not your job to do everything exactly like your mom, or to never be like your mom – depending on which type you had.
The list of attributes we feel we must strive for feels really endless.
Kindness, dignity, love, gentleness, wisdom, perseverance, strength, humility, oof. How are we supposed to do it all?!
God is saying to us,
“My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.”2 Corinthians 12:9 TPT
We were never meant to be more than human to anyone, least of all our kids. Should we seek wisdom and work on being the healthiest versions of ourselves? Yes. A thousand times, yes. But were we meant to beat ourselves up every time we feel like we get it wrong? That’s called shame, my friend. And shame comes from the accuser, not from our God.
Our only answer, then, is this:
“So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weaknesses, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment – when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ – I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.”2 Corinthians 12:9-10 TPT
Our lack of superwoman-ness is not a curse – it’s a gift.
Let’s humanize ourselves. Let’s normalize asking for forgiveness from our children – I don’t care how old they are. Try saying, “I shouldn’t have done that.”
I promise you, it’s the shame that keeps us bound here. The shame of who the world tries to convince us we should be, when God has never put those expectations on us.
We don’t have to live in regret and we don’t have to live in fear.
We can trust that the God of the universe is our God, too.
It is only with the acceptance of this knowledge that we can learn how to be present and accept grace.
If not, we’ll strive, fail, and repeat.
I began this blog three days ago. And that night, I went to bed once again feeling pretty tired and defeated as a mom.
This isn’t a Mother’s Day thing. This is an every day, Monday morning, Thursday after school, in the middle of the night, for all times thing.
His grace really is sufficient. Accept it, and show the people He’s entrusted you with how to accept it, too.
Don’t worry about being supermom. Be human.
“So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God, He created them…”Genesis 1:27