I remember it like it was yesterday -
I was wearing my pregnancy jamis, with ice cream stains on the belly – and with the extra
sixty eight pounds of baby pertruding out. I was pacing around my quiet, toy-free home. I held the phone close to me as I cried out “‘But, what if I don’t love my baby as much as I loved yours?”
I was on the phone with one of the pillars in my life, Cindy. She is the Mom of the precious boy I was a nanny for in college. For three years I loved on this darling baby boy most of my week. He was six-weeks old the first time I laid eyes on him. Not even six pounds of precious, beautiful, wrinkly blessing. I had never held a baby that small. But, when I picked him up, he captured my heart. I became a part of their family, and they became a part of mine. Cindy and I became fast friends and spent most of our time hanging out together with sweet baby JG. We were snarky, silly, irreverent, and fun. It was one of the most treasured times of my life.
At some point, I had to graduate college. I had to get a ‘real’ job. I had to get married and move on. It was tough to leave my Lubbock family. Sad, sad. But, we found fun ways to keep in touch and enjoyed every visit we could. Then, years later, poor, unsuspecting Cindy called me to see how I was feeling. She knew I was close to my due date. She knew me well enough to know I was getting nervous. I guess she should known I’d do this. Yup, I lost it.
“Really, Cindy. What if I don’t love this baby as much as I loved yours? What if we don’t connect? What if I don’t know what to do? What if all these people, all these years were wrong? What if I’m not a good mom?!?!”
Looking back, I laugh out loud at myself. Oh, the innocence. Oh, the ignorance. Oh, the hormones.
Precious Cindy Lou soothed me, calmed me, reassured me, as she had done for so many years when I came to her
for free therapy about college, about life, about men, er, I mean boys. She had seen me love on her baby boy. I guess she felt pretty confident I’d do ok with this baby boy.
Blink. Blink. Blink.
Now, my baby boy is almost nine years old. Her baby boy is pushing fourteen. Gulp.
My baby boy has a baby brother and a baby sister. Neither of whom are babies anymore.
Yet, I still have my moments. Daily.
What if I am screwing these short people up for all time?
What if I only pass on all my worst traits to them?
What if they grow up to resent me and God together at the very same time?
What if the selfish heart that is growing in my son only gets worse and worse?
What if? What if? What if? Oh how the enemy loves to beat me over the head with those freaking two little words.
All the while, the Bible screams at me, “Don’t go there, sista!” My devo I read this morning -
Trust Me One Day At A Time. Trust keeps you close to Me, responsive to My will. Trust is not a natural response, especially for those who have been deeply wounded. (Um, that would be me!) My Spirit within you is your resident Tutor, helping you in this supernatural endeavor. Yield to His gentle touch; be sensitive to his prompting. Exert your will to trust Me in all circumstances. Don’t let your need to understand distract you from My Presence. I will equip you to get through this day victoriously, as you live in deep dependence on Me. Tomorrow is busy worrying about itself, don’t get tangled up in its worry-webs. Trust Me one day at a time. Psalm 84:12 12 O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.
Matthew 6:34 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Deep breaths. Deep breaths.
So, on this precious Mother’s Day, my dear friend, I want to encourage you. Yes, YOU! The one sitting there with throw up stained on her shoulder, and also the one who has to take a deep breath before she checks her kid’s facebook page each night. Both phases are equally draining and equally scary.
Contrary to my own thoughts sometimes, I have been told I am a ‘good Mom’. So, in the spirit of full disclosure, I will tell you what a “good Mom” really is. What I am. Maybe after you read, you’ll still be my friend.
A good Mom yells at her kids, but then apologizes. Uses the words, “Please forgive me! I was wrong! Mama is going to try and work on that!”
A good Mom puts her child in time-out and then forgets they are there. More than
twenty times once.
A good Mom manipulates her kids’ emotions.
A good Mom forgets to pray for them by name each day.
A good Mom works on their batting stance more than their Scripture memory.
A good Mom takes them with her downtown to see what ‘poor’ really means. She hugs those poor kids, prays for those poor kids, and then looks her kids right in the eye and whispers “God loves that sweet baby. And God loves you.”
A good Mom then completely loses her temper exactly seven minutes later in the minivan on the way home from said downtown mission work. Sheesh.
A good Mom makes her kid wear a stained shirt into a store, even though he is terrified of everyone making fun of him.
A good Mom doesn’t let her kid invite twenty kids to their birthday party for the sheer fact – “You do. not. need. that many presents!”
A good Mom makes them donate one of their only six new birthday gifts to a kid in need anyway.
A good Mom raises her voice as she tries to make the point -”These kids having nothing! Don’t you understand that!?!”
A good Mom writes a note in the kids’ lunches every single day for as long as they will let her. Even when she honestly can’t think of anything to sweet to say because they have annoyed the fire out of her!!!!
A good Mom lets her kid fail.
Repeat- A good Mom lets her kid fail.
A good Mom lets her kid get picked last.
A good Mom lets her kid be disappointed. Daily.
A good Mom walks away when she is so mad and disappointed in her kid’s selfish heart that she just may shake him!
A good Mom smiles when their kid asks for yet another worldy good. She says No! She smiles, and then yells sometimes. But, she does smile.
A good Mom turns the praise and worship music up to a deafening decibel in order to not have to listen to another bickering word from the monsters in the backseat.
A good Mom ignores her children when they interrupt for the twentieth time that hour as she is trying to write about being a freaking good Mom. Yes, as in, flat out i-g-n-o-r-e-s them.
A good Mom chooses facebook over after-school chatting sometimes.
A good Mom even goes days without actually probing deep into their world for important details. Days.
A good Mom intends to spend time every morning in the Bible with their kids, but instead sleeps an extra fifteen minutes and then scrambles to make three lunches in four minutes.
A good Mom wants to spend Mother’s Day alone. As in, away from every single one of her children and the man who made them. Glory.
Now, who was it again that said I was a ‘good Mom’??!?! Where you at now? Were you smoking crack??
Oh my precious friend….I sure do try. By my own strength I fail mis-er-ably. And then often, by His strength, I try my very best to be a ‘good Mom’ – whatever the heck that is. I want to be a good Mom. I want my kids to think they have a good Mom. I want my God to see me as a good Mom. Oh how I do.
But I am selfish. I am prideful. I am judgemental. I am laaaazy. I am unorganized. I am impatient. I have a temper.
And, I don’t know if you have figured this out or not, friend, but let me let you in on a painful truth of motherhood. You ready for it???
It is waaaaay easier to be a bad Mom.
To say yes just to make them happy.
To let them continue with their wordly desires.
To let them go that friend’s house just to avoid a fight with them.
To let them have yet another expensive article of clothing to shove onto the floor of their overfowing closet.
To ignore their attitude.
To ignore the heart behind that attidue.
After all, we have bigger fish to fry. We are busy. We are stressed. We have more at stake that some of the ‘minor ‘stuff.
Bull honkey. (insert any other word you’d like there!)
That. is. bull.
As a Mom, we must care about everything. From their safety, to their character, to their heart-choices, to the attitude in their voice. Ev-ery-thing. It’s our job. It’s our high-calling.
So, if you, like me, feel like a ‘bad Mom’ sometimes, then join the club.
I am Activities co-chair. But, don’t stay long. Come in, have a drink, slouch on the couch, but then get up and leave. Quit the club, friend! Don’t you the enemy keep you there.
There is always tomorrow.
God will be with you tomorrow. Through the sleepless nights. Through the throw up. Through the throw down. Through the girl drama. Through the boy fighting. Through mid-driffs, and tattoos, and break-ups. Through colic, and postpartum, and spit-ups. Through it all.
Do not give up. Stand strong. You can do this! I can do this! We really can do all things with HIS strength.
Don’t aim to be a ‘good Mom’. What does that even mean?
Sweet friend, just aim to be a servant of Jesus. Just stand there with your mouth stinking shut and point to Jesus.
Love others. Serve others. Make your kids do the same. Give freely. Take a deep breath before you speak. Pray often. Ask for forgiveness even more often. Be authentic. Give endless hugs. Give even more smiles and winks. Laugh with your kids. Laugh at your kids. Pray for your kids. Pray with your kids. Wake up anew every day with a thankful heart – a hopeful heart – a humble heart.
And, enjoy this day.
Alone and quiet.
Happy Mother’s Day from one ‘good mom’ to another.