I wasn’t going to do a motherhood post. Seems like there’s a lot of those anymore. Encouraging burnt-out stay-at-home moms, telling us that laundry, and spit-up, and sippy cups are God’s work too (and they are). I just didn’t really feel like I had anything to add. In fact, I saw a post in the mom’s group this morning about this exact topic. So. If it’s redundant, I apologize LOL.
But, it’s Mother’s Day so I plowed forward anyway, okay? What do you want from me?
My own journey to motherhood wasn’t easy. I was labeled infertile at 18, and tossed in a rare bleeding disorder in my early twenties. But my husband and I decided to try, because what harm could it do?
Well…the infertility thing is mentally taxing to say the least. That negative test every month is not only a disappointment, but it feels like a massive failure on your part as a woman. This very basic thing you should be able to do is out of reach, and it’s very hard to find God in that. But that’s probably a topic for another day. Listen, mommas with empty wombs, I see you.
Obviously, we got our miracle. And the one thing I can say about being a mom, is my kid is mine. And your blessed child that you want to strangle sometimes, and kiss into infinity others, is yours. They don’t need me telling you how to raise them. Are you having sleep training problems? Potty training (girl, I just said a prayer for you)? Meltdowns? Not eating their veggies so obviously malnutrition is just around the corner?
It may not feel like it, but you know what to do. And even if you don’t, even if you do nothing, and let your child cry it out, or wear a diaper for a little longer, or throw things, or eat mac and cheese for every meal, it’s 100% okay. Because you are doing what they need. You’re showing up. You. Not me. Not some guru in a book. You are what they need.
When you don’t feel like enough, when your stores are depleted, and you know in your heart of hearts that you’re failing, that’s the devil talking to you. Did you know that? Are you gonna listen to that crap? Are you gonna take that lying down?
Because, listen, Jesus says you are enough. You are:
- “Fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
- “God’s handiwork.” Ephesians 2:10
- “Your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 6:19
- “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are.” 1 John 3:1
I love all of these because A. God doesn’t make mistakes. You may feel ill-equipped to care for this little fireball God gave you, but you’re not. To imply that you are ill-equipped implies God doesn’t know what He’s doing. And I know we (by we I mean I) would never do that, right? ::whistles innocently:: And B. That body you hate because it has stretch marks, and fat dimples you didn’t know were a thing, and aches in places you didn’t know you had? That’s a dang temple. That body created an entire person. You best start treating it like the house of worship it is. Again, possibly a topic for another blog. But. That fact remains. God made you. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less.
Let’s play a game. Let’s play out your worst-case scenario. Calm down, turn off your master alarms. It’s just a game. Let’s say you are ill-equipped and all the things that stupid voice whispers some days and shouts others. Sometimes what the devil tells us has just enough of a ring of truth to it, that it’s hard to turn away from him. Isn’t it? So, in this worst-case scenario, if we are ill-equipped to be moms, is that by design? If it’s not, why is this feeling of inadequacy so relatable? So unifying? Because maybe, just maybe, God wants us to lean in. God loves your baby just as much, if not more, than you. And He wants to help. He doesn’t want you listening to the lies that are so loud sometimes. Like, why is that, God? You are all-powerful. Can ya turn the volume down on the devil every once in a while? Please and thank you.
But I digress. I have an amazing mom, a blessing I am eternally grateful for. The older I get, the more of a blessing I see that to be. More and more I encounter someone who didn’t have the same experience, and that makes my heart hurt. Because my mom is my best friend, and an amazing ally in helping me with my own daughter. Her experience and insight are invaluable to me. Because my own little blessing is a bit of a spitfire that needs all hands on deck sometimes. And I love that my mom is ready at all times to dive into the dirty work. She was made for me. And I for her. She knows when I need her, and when to step back. And if she misjudges and makes a mistake, it’s okay. Because I make those too. Like all the dang time. And seeing her do it reminds this monster perfectionist that it really is okay. And momma’s, that’s what your kids are learning from you. Not that you suck and you’re a massive failure, but that it’s okay. That learning is eternal. And that you’re human.
Your kids have to learn everything from you. Including forgiveness. So if you made a mistake, congratulations! You just presented them with an opportunity to practice forgiveness! Pass Go and collect $200! If they didn’t learn it so well this time? Never fear! There will be another opportunity just around the corner, don’t you worry!
My daughter is eight. She knows I have a hot temper. She also knows I love her fiercely, and am proud of her every day. She knows I will be quick to apologize when I screw up, and she knows I expect the same from her. I know she will not remember her childhood the same way I do. I don’t think my mom remembers mine the way I do. I remember summer reading races (she always freaking won), and sewing, and braiding my hair and singing “You Are So Beautiful” when she was done, and looking me right in the eyes when she did it. I remember love. And whether or not a therapist would tell me that’s right, it’s what I remember. And I’ll be dog-gonned if that isn’t what your kids remember too. No matter how much you yelled today. Or how messy your house was. Or how many times in a row you fed them chicken nuggets. They’ll remember love, mommas. Because that’s what you have. And that’s all you need.