We feel like we need to be perfect. We need to be the everything, for everyone, in every minute of the day. As mommas, everything feels like it falls on our shoulders. We have set a pretty high bar for ourselves, and every time we fall short, we beat ourselves up saying we failed. Does this sound familiar? Are these the words going on in your head? Is this the conversation you keep having with yourself? It’s time for grace…
Why is it we are so quick to offer forgiveness to someone else, yet cannot forgive ourselves? Do you ever feel like the world is watching your every move, just waiting for you to fail? We tell ourselves we have to be perfect or we won’t be loved, we won’t have any credibility, we won’t be that good mom or wife. Oh, dear momma, this is so painfully true…and yet completely false!
What is true and what we think is true are two totally different things!
What we think is true is that when we lose control and yell at our children, that they will be permanently damaged, that they will have scars lasting a lifetime. That they won’t love us the way we want them to, they will think we are harsh and cold, and our relationships will forever be damaged.
What is true is that our babies are forgiving. Deep down they know we had a hard day, that sometimes we struggle, but they know we love them with everything in our being and that we would give our life for them without a second thought. What is true is that when we ask our children for forgiveness, they offer it without hesitation. What is true is that apologies and hugs deepen the bond between us.
What we think is true is that when we discipline, our kids will not like us. When we take away the phone, or the fun activities, our children will wish they had a different mom, one who is more understanding. We will second-guess ourselves and our decisions, wondering if we’re being too harsh.
What is true is that one day our children will look back and tell us how glad they are that we held our ground. That they now see their peers doing things they shouldn’t and understand why we did what we did. They will even question why other kids’ parents didn’t hold them to the same standard.
What we think is true is that people will walk into our messy, cluttered homes and judge us. That others will think we are lazy because there is dog hair all over, or that we simply don’t care because the laundry is piled high. We think that the very people we call friends will criticize behind our backs about a kitchen table we can no longer see, or the counter tops strewn with dishes and loaves of bread and half-eaten bowls of cereal.
What is true is that while the dishes were piling up, you were playing on the floor with your babies, and helping your sons with their homework. What is true is that the ‘stuff’ in our house is not anywhere near as important as the people who live there. And anyone who decides to judge us is simply not worth our time or effort, because we KNOW what is important.
What we think is true is that we never do enough. We need to have the house picked up, the kids bathed, the dishes done, and the laundry put away. The school project must be amazing, and we need to volunteer in our child’s classroom. We need to arrange activities, chauffeur our children, do play dates, take vacations, and be sure our kids have as many opportunities as possible.
What is true is that you helped with the hard math homework, and curled up in bed with your sick child. You listened to your daughter tell all about the mean kid on the bus, and wiped away her tears. You gave your son a hug when he fell off his bike, and cheered him on when he rode all the way down the driveway. You stood in the rain and the cold and the hot sun to cheer your daughter on the soccer field. And you always remember a good night kiss.
What we think is true is that we need to have the picture-perfect family. The one with the matching outfits on the beach with the wind blowing gently, and everyone is all smiles. Where crisp white shirts and jeans are clean and smooth, and hair is pulled up in cute pigtails.
What is true is that the most beautiful pictures in the world are of mommas rocking a crying baby to help soothe a gassy tummy, or laying on their little boy’s bed with blankets all messy and stroking their fever-hot cheek, or eating peanut butter sandwiches together on the floor after your child’s first heartbreak.
Oh, my dear sweet mommas…you are doing better than you think. You got this. You are enough.