It's just not easy being a mom. I am convinced that my biggest struggle as a mom is my own darn brain. That actually might be my biggest life struggle, actually. Turning it off. Freeing the guilt.
As I was tucking them in last night and in the middle of our Bible story, I got really sick. As I ran from the bedroom to lose all of dinner, I told them I'd be right back, and felt terrible while vomiting that I couldn't even complete our special bedtime routine first. As I rushed back in a few moments later, wiped and teary eyed, I apologized and grabbed our Bible...to silence. They were sound asleep. And it was ok.
As they were braided and dressed and fed and shoed and backpacked and out the door and in the truck by 7, ready to pull out, Lily noted the drizzling rain and asked for her jacket. "You'll be FINE! It's Haiti!" I promised, still in my pajamas and getting soaked at the end of the sidewalk, needing to get my own self ready and up to work. I sent them off, only to spend my shower thinking about the continuing rain and picturing Lily, blue-lipped in her dark classroom, shivering and battling frostbite, her teacher and fellow moms shaking their heads.
Each and every day, oh my Sofie. I wonder if there is a child on earth that requires more p-a-t-i-e-n-c-e than our dear, ornery, stubborn Sofie. As she changes her clothes a dozen times a day, as she canNOT be rushed, as she puts toys in toilets and gets in the flour and knows exactly how every instant should be and canNOT be flexible otherwise...each 10th time I lose my patience with her sweet frustrations, I lay awake, sorry. Worried.
My own mom, at least in my memory, was truly Super Mom. Anyone would tell you so. There were intricately themed lunches in our boxes and cut-out cookies for every season (I didn't even tell the girls there was such a thing this Christmas!), special notes and special dinners, special gifts and special outings. I never saw her sleep, like, ever. I never saw her buy something for herself.
Her forte was making EVERY day special, little things a big deal. Making US a big deal.
From the time I was little until I was in college, the other kids always grumbled, wishing their moms sent weekly boxes, wishing their moms sent dorky themed lunches, wishing their moms showed up at every event, wishing their moms did family dinner.
Even when I remember feeling embarrassed at 16 & 17 by all this, I also always knew that I was greatly loved. Over the top loved. And that mom would stay up all night, clean up all evening, give and give and give. I knew I was of great value to my super mom. She showed me His crazy love, showed me selflessness. Showed me sacrifice and service.
I can't keep up with Susan, my memories of a perfect mom. Not usually, but especially not when I'm trying to house a growing third.
I know if she was here, she would probably tell me a million stories of a million times she failed. I missed those precious years where you realize that your mother is actually a PERSON, where you hear all the stories, when you call her bewildered over your own kiddos and she tells you what it was really like and makes you laugh and makes you realize that not grabbing their sweater does NOT scar them for life.
I have this desire for my mom to be here to free me from all of my mom-guilt (and to move in for a few weeks and help!), only to realize that the reality is...the one who frees us from our guilt is probably not our mothers. Those you who still have your moms (go kiss them!) would probably tell me it can be the opposite!
It's still just Him. It's still Him.
Conviction, God, keep on me.
Guilt, Lord, replace. Replace it with your sweet reality...the reality of ENOUGH. The reality of LOVED. The reality of CHERISHED.
That I might pass THAT to my children. Even on vomit days. Even on rainy days.
The guilt and the need to do more and to keep up and to be SUPER is strong.
He is stronger. And the only way I know to abide in Him and to dwell in His love and grace and His reality is to stay as close to Him as possible....for the sake of my children.
Dive into Him today with me...deliberately pouring prayer and His Word and worship into our daily lives, replacing that which is so "normal"--but so not of His design--with Himself.
And tell me your stories.