Thursday, January 22, 2015

I don't want to be a good mom.

I remember when I was growing up, dreaming about one day being a mommy. I always thought of all the things I would do that would make me a "good" mom. When I was in middle school and high school, I baby sat. Parents and kids loved me, that was affirmation that I would one day be a good mom. When I was pregnant with my first, I heard more times than I can count that I would be a good mom. Since having my children, I have been told I am a good mom.

Can I make a confession? I'm not a good mom. At least, not the way I measure myself. I cannot even begin to tell you all the times I have failed as a mom. I have been irritated in the middle of the night when my child(ren) won't sleep and I have tried everything I can think of to get them to rest. I have had so many mornings where my children's smiling faces are ready to start the day and all I can think about is another hour of sleep. I have yelled and gotten angry too many times. I have allowed my emotions to rule me. I have placed unrealistic expectations on my children and been upset when they don't rise to them. I haven't baked enough cookies, colored enough pictures, read enough books or played enough games. I have allowed my children to wear mis-matched socks. I have skipped bath nights and not kept nails neat and trimmed. I have let them eat junk for dinner. I press "play" on the DVD player too often. I spend too much time looking at a screen myself. I have told my child(ren) to just wait until I finish dishes/laundry/whatever chore has presented itself as more important. I have allowed my idolatry of self-worship to take precedence a shameful number of times. 

My failure to be a "good" mom has worn hard on my heart. I have spent a good portion of the last couple years lamenting about my failures. I have climbed aboard my pity train and refused to get off. I have struggled day after day, telling myself, "Today, will be the day I am a good mom." Every day, I fail in some way. I have come to the conclusion that I will never be a "good" mom. Last night, I had an epiphany, I don't want to be a good mom anymore.

I want to be a grace-filled mom.

I don't want to measure the success of my mothering by all the things I always thought I should and shouldn't do to achieve "good" mommy status. I don't want to feel as though my life could be cataloged in beauty on Pinterest. I don't want to be a super mom who always has her home shining, clothes folded and put away, freshly baked cookies on the counter and a smile on my perfectly make-uped face. 

No, I want to be a mom who fills my home with love and joy. I want to be a mom who can grab a roll of paper towels and clean up the spilled paint water without gritting my teeth. I want to be a mom who rests in Jesus when I am weary from another sleepless night. I want to be a mom who clings to grace, each and every moment of every day. I want to be a mom so full of the love of Christ that my children will come to know Him, not through the pounding in of Bible verses but through daily seeing grace in action. I want to be a mom that is always a safe place. One who teaches my children that it's okay to make mistakes, because His grace is big enough to cover them. I desire my path of motherhood to be one that points to the cross. 

Yep. Forget being a "good" mom. I want to be a grace-filled mom.