Another day passes. Another set of choices. Mistakes made and lessons learned. We move forward in some areas only to backslide in others. Navigating through the uncertain and sometimes tumultuous journey of parenthood, we often end our days in a state of defeat.
Before our eyes give way to slumber, we reflect on our day. We think about how we yelled at our child when they accidentally spilled the juice. We think about how we forgot to send our child to school with a coat. We think about the piled-up laundry or the sink full of dishes, and how we failed to get it all done. We remember the way that other mom looked in the carpool lane, and wonder if we’ll ever be able to look like that. We think about the way we burnt the dinner and couldn’t get our two year old to eat his vegetables.
At the end of most days, we fall asleep counting our failures and measuring ourselves with the yardstick of impossible expectations. We hold ourselves to standards we can never meet and then berate ourselves when we inevitably don’t. We live in a constant state of comparison – comparing our worst moments with the highlights of others. We convince ourselves that we are alone. You’re certain you’re the only one struggling – that no one else can possibly feel as though they’re drowning – just trying to keep their family above water – dog-paddling with all of their might to just survive one more day.
We as mothers buy into some powerful lies. We allow false beliefs and unrealistic expectations to determine our self-worth and value. We look at ourselves and can only see the mistakes.
If only you were…
If only you could…
If only you hadn’t…
The lies we choose to believe about ourselves are powerful.
“I’m a failure.”
“Someone else would do a better job raising my kids.”
“I am not enough for my family.”
“I can’t do this.”
We pick ourselves apart – piece by piece – until we are no longer a woman, mother, friend, daughter…..but merely a pile of flaws and mistakes.
Even when you feel like you’ve hit the bottom and screwed up your own life – remember this – you are something NO ONE ELSE CAN BE. You are your children’s mother.
Even on your worst day – YOU are who that child needs. You are who was chosen to be that child’s mother. You are the mother of your children on purpose, for a purpose.
Let’s get one thing straight – God could have given your children to ANYONE. But He gave them to YOU. You. With all of your mistakes, flaws, and imperfections – YOU were exactly the right mother for them. You are who God knew those children needed.
When your pillow is soaked with tears and you fall asleep feeling like the world’s worst mother – YOU are doing something no one else can do. You are raising your child.
You may fall asleep tonight thinking that your family would be better off without you – that another mother could give them the life they deserve. You might feel as though you are holding your family back – keeping them from happiness and experiences. But you, beautiful mother – YOU are enough. You are who they need. You are the voice of comfort, reason, and acceptance. You are the person they cling to when scared and run to when excited. Your children don’t need perfection. They don’t fancy. They don’t need someone else. All they need is you. Flaws and all.
Don’t let your head hit the pillow one more night believing that you are not enough. Don’t let past mistakes cause you to lose sight of the incredible job you are doing. You are who those babies need. You are the shoulder and ear for your teen. You are the comforting arms for your toddler. You are the safe place for your tween and the home-base for your grown child.
Broken mother, wearied by your past and worried by the unknown future – rest easy. You matter. You have great worth. You are enough.
You may not be whole, happy, or the person you want to be. Every day may be more difficult than the day before. No matter what mountain you are facing or what hole you need to dig yourself out of, know that you are EXACTLY the mother your child needs. On purpose – for a purpose. You are loved. You are valuable. You are enough.
I remember these feelings all to well and even as a mom of adult children go through these feelings as I watch my children stumble and fall through this thing we call life. Where did I go wrong? Why didn’t I do this or that differently? My saving grace from beating myself up too much is that I know no one could love my children more than me. they couldn’t when my children were little and they still can’t. Also the fact that they reach to me with hands and words and say mom you are such a great mom and always have been how did you do (ABC)? and the biggest prize is the hugs and I love you’s that you will always remember and I am still getting today from my adult children and now their beautiful little ones.