I’ll admit it. I feel like a bad mom, and somedays more than others. It’s not that I think I’m a terrible mom, per se, but sometimes I do feel that way. Some days I feel like I have fallen so short that if I looked up it would be like I was on a raft floating 500 yards from shore, and on those days the current definitely threatens to take me further and further from stable, safe, dry land.
I mean, I’m sure I’m pretty good overall, descent at least. I know I wouldn’t be worried a bit if I wasn’t, but in my mind I set the bar pretty high. It’s a long fall from that height too. But the honest to God truth is that some days, in some instances I really am a bad mom.
I typically think things like, I should read to them more, or I should be on my phone less, but occasionally it goes beyond that. Occasionally I fall flat on my face while trying to perform the toughest job I have ever had. It’s those days that get me.
When I catch myself yelling at my kid for being a kid I wince. When she refuses to wear clothes that are in her mind “too tight, too big, too itchy, too uncomfortable,” and that pretty much covers the entire wardrobe, I get flustered. It’s a daily battle for goodness sake, and after thirty minutes of changing outfits that look fine to me I grab ahold of her arms, look in her eyes, and say, ” something is wrong with you!” But when her eyes subsequently fill up with tears I know that really something is wrong with me.
I’m the epitome of calm, steady patience; until I’m not. I’m the most laid back, understanding mommy on the planet. Until I’m not. I’m the soft-spoken, gentle woman of strength; a woman worthy of her children looking up to her. Except when I’m not.
And when I’m not I’m certain I have failed. I’m a bad mom. Not really… but in that moment I am.
I hug my baby. I dry her tears, and I whisper, “I’m sorry. Mommy is so sorry.” Her eyes dry quickly, but my heart still weeps. And I cry silently to God to forgive me.
And as He speaks to my regretful spirit I hear a few things that I desperately need.
I realize that He doesn’t require perfection from me as a mother. He only requires a willingness to learn. He requires an open heart eager to serve Him, and one that realizes being a parent is one way I do that.
He doesn’t require a woman who is without fault, but just one who desires forgiveness when she falls short His glory. But most importantly He requires a woman willing to receive His forgiveness, forgive herself, then move forward with new resolve.
He doesn’t require a strong woman, but simply a woman who knows where her strength lies. In Him.
He doesn’t require me to be the perfect teacher, but simply willing to teach. To teach them His truth.
He doesn’t require me to be a flawless mother, but simply one who is open for Him to reveal her flaws.
Maybe sometimes, when I’m honest with myself, I am a bad mom, but I’m getting better. Every day I am open to learn more patience, more dependence on Jesus, and more of His example for how to love.
Again, He doesn’t require my perfection. He simply requires my willingness to be the kind of parent I know He has made me to be. Am I a bad mom? Probably not. Well, maybe sometimes.
But I’m also a really great mom. Just ask my daughters.