A good friend of mine called me tonight and told me a story about a challenging moment with her son. She was discouraged and felt like his behavior in that moment, was an indictment of her ability to parent. She just needed to be reminded that she was a great mom.
There are so many times when I have felt the same way and needed that same reminder and encouragement. Whether it was my daughter’s behavior at the grocery store or my sons ability to drop to his knees and refuse to walk in front of our pastor while trying to leaving church, I often feel like I am falling short. I find that I grade myself each day. Today I sent store-bought treats to preschool, forgot diapers for my boys, left the lunches on the counter and am wearing what my children had for breakfast…..fail! The next day I lost my temper when my two-year old sons didn’t understand my need to get to work on time, I burnt dinner and didn’t read that extra storybook my daughter asked for…..fail again!
When we go to our jobs we have a start and an end to our work day. We get time off on the weekends and holidays. If we are fortunate, we even get to retire when we reach a certain age. Because of these breaks, we are able to offer an improved and filtered version of ourselves for a certain number of hours a day to our coworkers and bosses but our spouses and our children get us unfiltered and uncut. We don’t step away on weekends and holidays, and as I’m sure my mom and dad would testify to, there is no retirement plan for parenting.
I sometimes catch myself feeling sorry for the uncut version of myself that my kids receive. The mommy that sometimes cries in front of them out of frustrations and exhaustion. The mommy that occasionally lacks the patience required for certain situations. The mommy that doesn’t always respond in the calm, cool and collected manner I wish I would. But here’s the thing. I’m not perfect. They won’t be either, and if my occasion crazy momma moments let them know that its okay to struggle, then I’m going to embrace those moments. If they can see my imperfections and offer grace to others in the future who are struggling, then let the frustrated tears flow.
I heard someone say once, “Behind every amazing kid is a mom who thinks she is screwing it all up.” So even if your child didn’t eat a vegetable today, you forgot to pack the special blanket for school and you have smashed bananas on your pants…hear this….You are still a great mom….and tomorrow is a brand new day.