I sat down with my oldest daughter and asked her to help me prepare my blog this week. She didn’t know what my subject was, or how I would even use her response, I simply asked her if she would answer a series of questions for me and she agreed.
I asked her to grab a pencil and a piece of paper and then I proceeded to asked her my list of questions. I had no idea how she would answer, and honestly, even asking her the questions made me nervous. Even though I’ve been her mom for 11 years, I still don’t feel cut out for this. I have no idea what I’m doing most days, and once I feel like I have finally mastered a season of life, the seasons change and we’re onto something new. As the next kid approaches the season we’ve just endured, it’s like starting from scratch. Different kids bring different versions of seasons. Some kids are like mild winters where the roads are manageable and the temperatures are tolerable. Other kids are like blizzards in Antarctica with white out conditions, hypothermia, and frostbite. You’re not certain how you’ll survive, or if you even want to. (I’ll let you decide which kid is which.)
As I sat down with my daughter and asked her my questions. I wanted to know how she saw me as a mom. It wasn’t in an attempt to stroke my own ego (because egos don’t pay for therapy) but I genuinely wanted to know, am I doing right by my daughter? Am I a good mom to her? What could I do to be better?
Here are my questions:
What kind of mom do you think I am? best mom ever, okay mom, or need to work on it mom.
Why did you pick that?
What are your favorite things to do with me?
What is something that makes you proud of me as your mom?
What is something you wish we did more of?
What is something you wish you could change about me?
How could I be a better mom to you?
What makes you know I love you?
What is something I do that makes you laugh?
What is something I’ve taught you?
Would you want to be like me, or different than me, when you become a mom?
What makes you say that?
What have I taught you about God/Jesus?
Her answers surprised me and made me smile. I don’t feel like the best mom ever. I certainly don’t have a coffee mug, t-shirt, keychain, or any other memorabilia crowing me as such… Most days I’m barely the World’s Okayest Mom but my daughter thinks I’m doing pretty good.
The reason I share this, is because I wonder if there are other moms out there that are struggling because they aren’t the world’s best mom either. Maybe their kids are eating pop tarts and old popcorn for dinner more often than they “should”. Maybe dinner for your kids is whatever they can put in the microwave or toaster themselves.
Are you like me? Did you imagine this mom thing would be different than it is? Maybe you thought you’d be dishing up hot, organic, homegrown meals every day of their lives and that’s just not how it goes. Maybe you expected that you would sing more songs, play more games, do more devotions and keep things cleaner. Maybe you expected to have kids that listen, speak 42 foreign languages fluently, and are potty trained in the womb. Maybe you expected to be more patient with your kids, to discipline them less, talk more softly and calmly at all times, but maybe your kid is an Antarctic blizzard and sometimes it’s hard to remain calm when you’re hypothermic and frostbitten.
Give yourself some grace there momma. Being a mom is the most beautifully difficult thing you will ever do. Your worth is not found in your family. I know so often it feels that way, but it’s not true. Your worth in this life is not based on how smart your kids are, or what they do with their bodily fluids. You’re not a failure if your kid is still in diapers longer than someone else’s, and you don’t get a prize if they potty train like a champion. (Well maybe you do, and that’s why I didn’t get any of the best mom ever memorabilia. I thought my kids would be in diapers so long I’d be wiping butts at graduation.) Your worth is not found in how clean your house is, or what you feed your kids. Sure, we all want great homes and healthy kids, but sometimes the best you can do is just “okay” and that’s ok. Your worth is found in the One who created you, and He will help you be the best mom your kids will ever have, even if that means you’re just the “world’s okayest mom” like me.
Don’t worry, there’s no trophy to share.
There’s a chance though, that your family thinks you’re the best mom ever… Maybe you should just ask them, you might be pleasantly surprised by what they say.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
In His Love,