I was having one of “those” days, where everything felt like a giant “mom-fail.”
I had made plans to help a friend fix her hair for her family portraits, but I also needed to run to Costco which made me late for my visit with my friend.
I went to Costco hungry (mistake number 1) so not only was I late to help my friend, I blew the budget too. -FAIL
My friend was willing to come over a little later than we discussed originally, which gave me just enough time to get in the door with the groceries before she arrived. My house was a disaster already, and then the explosion of my hungry Costco loot only added to the chaos. There were boxes, and food items all over the place, and as I struggled to hurry up and put things away, I heard her voice from downstairs. Welcome to my mess sweet friend, welcome to my mess.
As she made her way up the stairs, my toddler met her at the gate. My friend said hello, and my toddler growled in return. I was embarrassed to say the least. What kind of mom has a toddler that greets guests with a grumpy growl? -FAIL
My toddler screamed at my side, and yanked on my clothes begging to be picked up, while I hurried to try and get things put away. I was embarrassed about the mess, about the behavior, and worried that the food I purchased out of lack of self control would spoil before I got it put away. Wouldn’t that just be the perfect icing on the ” you blew your budget on snacks you big piggy” cake…? Can you imagine, not only spending way more than I should have…but ending up having to throw it away too. That would have made me cry for sure. Thankfully it got put away in time.
My friend was gracious enough to help me put away what needed to, and then she sat down with me, in front of my vanity, as I heated the curling iron, ready to work my magic on her gorgeous hair.
I did nothing more than start to untangle the ends of her hair, when the baby (toddler) started to growl, scream, and cry, because someone else had my attention. She didn’t want me touching my friend. She didn’t want me talking to my friend. She didn’t even want me looking at my friend. All she wanted was “momma, up!!!!” and she was relentless to say the least. So, not only was I running late, but my house was a disaster, my toddler was rude, and then I wasn’t even doing a good job trying to comfort her. At this rate my friend was going to end up having a half curled, half pony tail, rats nest, and would have been way better off without my “help”… -FAIL
It just felt to me, like everything I was trying to do that day was going wrong.
I was running late.
I wasn’t careful enough with my spending.
My kid was a grouch.
My house was more of a disaster than usual.
I called my oldest daughter in for reinforcement.
I didn’t do a good job entertaining my friend.
It took me way longer than it should have to fix her hair because I kept having to stop.
I got frustrated.
The baby wouldn’t take a nap.
The only thing I could get the baby to eat that day was chips. (And not even the good kind, I’m talking Dorritos, probably off of the floor…)
It just wasn’t my finest day, and it kind of haunted me up until bedtime. What kind of mom has a kid that growls at friends, and only eats chips? What kind of mom buys that much junk at Costco? What kind of mom lets their house get this messy? What kind of mom can’t get their baby to take a nap when she has company? What kind of mom asks the other kids for help because she can’t handle things on her own?
My thoughts ate me up all day long.
Right before my head hit the pillow that night, my phone buzzed with a text from my friend.
Her words spoke to my heart, and soothed over the stinging parts of my soul that felt the burn of my mom-fails.
She said “I wanted to tell you that it was really awesome watching you all interact with the baby today. You are great parents! So calm, and patient in a situation that could be very frustrating for some. And your big kid was so helpful without questioning you when you asked her to do something, and no complaining! Amazing!”
Wow! In the midst of my chaos, embarrassment, and heavy guilt of a day that felt like mom fails, my friend encouraged me. She said we were great parents, on a day where I felt like anything but that. She said I was calm and patient, when I felt like I was coming unraveled inside. She didn’t judge me for my mess, or for asking my oldest daughter for help, she thought it was neat the way our family worked together, and made a point to tell me so.
Her encouragement lifted me up, and helped me feel like I could face another day, growling toddler and all.
Have you ever felt like you were having a day, or even a season of life that was full of failures? You don’t have to be a mom to feel that way.
Have you ever had a time where you were embarrassed because you felt like you just weren’t quite enough?
Have you ever felt like you were letting people down, because as much as you tried, you didn’t follow through the way you’d hoped?
Has someone ever lifted you up out of those difficult moments with just a little bit of encouragement?
Can you be an encourager?
Maybe there’s someone in your life that could use just a little encouragement. Maybe it’s the mom in the store with the toddler that growls…Maybe you could find something to appreciate about her, that will help her keep a smile on her face when she feels like the world is judging her because of her toddler.
Maybe it’s the volunteer that shows up faithfully every time. Maybe you can tell them you admire the way they keep their commitments.
Maybe it’s the friend that’s going through a hard time. Maybe you can remind them of a noble part of their character that stands out the most, even when they’re struggling.
Maybe it’s the co-worker that greets you with a smile every day, or makes a point to say hello and ask you about your day. Maybe you can tell them how much you appreciate their joy and enthusiasm.
Maybe it’s someone in your own family that needs to know that you appreciate who they are, and what they do. Maybe you can take the time to notice the way they do the little things to make your life better every day, and let them know you see and love their efforts.
Maybe it’s a teacher. Maybe they need to know how much you appreciate the way they love their students.
Maybe it’s a coach. Maybe they need to know how much you admire their stradegy.
Maybe it’s your pastor. Maybe they need to hear how much you appreciate their knowledge and faithful service.
Who in your life, needs some encouragement?
In a world that is so torn apart with comparison, opinions, and conflict, be an encourager.
Encouragement is not only valuable, some might say it’s priceless.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
In His Love,