Yesterday was, well… a day. The morning started off great as they typically do, but by lunch time I could tell Charlotte was in need of a nap. Ava started not typically needing a nap every day, which is causing nap time for Charlotte to be a bit tricky. I honestly feel like I’m devising a strategic tactical plan when I think about how I’m going to handle the 12:30 post-lunch battle.
Well folks, yesterday I lost. (Kids: 1 // Mom: 0). Around 3:30 – 4:00 p.m., the wheels started falling off the happy express bus, and we were headed straight for crazy town. There were sibling fights breaking out over paper scraps (I mean, seriously), sassy words being shouted, timeouts happening, raised voices, and enough guilt to go around for everyone. Eventually the girls went to bed miraculously early, without much fuss; so as my day was ending, I started to analyze the events that occurred and of course started feeling like a ‘bad mom’.
I prayed for a better day tomorrow.
Then, this morning when I decided to stay up after feeding Naomi to finish the last chapter of the book I’m currently reading, I was reminded of a big truth that’s not always easy to allow yourself to believe:
“YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.”
“YOU ARE ENOUGH.”
The words stung. I said them out loud. I needed to hear them.
Here’s an excerpt from the chapter, in case anyone else needs to hear these words this morning:
“Here. I’ll say it again. YOU are a good mom. Has anyone told you that in a while? Or ever? Has anyone looked you squarely in the eyes and told you that you are doing a great job? Has anyone held your hand and reminded your heart that this whole being a momma thing is hard, and its normal for it to feel impossible some days? Has anyone ever admitted to you that she feels like a huge failure some days too?”
“Sometimes it happens in the middle the afternoon. The kids are fighting, and I’m trying to get the baby to nap, so I holler, “Go sit on your beds, and don’t make a sound until I come get you!” And immediately, I feel guilty for how I have responded. I think about how they are just as important as the baby that I am rocking in my arms, and I wonder if they feel like I don’t love them as much. I question why I couldn’t just set the baby in his crib and give a kind correction to my older children. Why couldn’t I just show them, love, when they needed it the most? Isn’t that what I would have wanted someone to do for me?”
“So, if you’ll let me, I’d like to remind both of us why we are not bad mommas. And hopefully, by the end of this thing, we’ll have started a movement of women who want to speak truth into the hearts of other moms across the globe. Because when we mommas set our hearts on something, there’s nothing that can stop us. And you and me? Well, together we just might be about to change the world. But it has to start with us. First, we have to believe it ourselves. So, say it with me: “I am a good mom.”
Friends I feel like this, and if you feel like this also you are not alone. This next passage hit me right in the gut, it was like she was talking to me about my day yesterday. It’s incredible to me how we just happen to read something right when we NEED it. She continues:
Lately, I’ve been wanting to be given grace in certain situations (see: laundry and dirty floors) but truth bomb… so do my kids. Now, there is a fine line between extending some grace and not letting them get away with something but sometimes they just need grace also.
My takeaway from this chapter is this:
Let’s not focus on the #momfails, but instead let’s change the conversation about motherhood. Call yourself a good mom, and believe it. Say goodbye to the negative feelings, because we all make mistakes. And by all means, stop whispering to yourself “if only I were a better mom…” Stop thinking “all the other moms are doing it right, and I’m not…”
Because, even though it feels like it at times, I know with all my heart that I’m not a failure. And I know you are not a failure. Let’s be real for a minute. We are all trying to survive, we are all doing our very best, and the reality is – there is no one right way to do anything. You do what you need to do, do it the best you can do, and believe in yourself because YOU ARE A GOOD MOM, and YOU ARE ENOUGH.
We certainly don’t hear it often enough. So let’s commit to not only telling ourselves that but let’s commit to telling each other every now and then.
Ask yourself, “How can I encourage another mom this week? How can I help her believe she is a good mom too?”
The book is:
Hope Unfolding: Grace Filled Truth for the Momma’s Heart by Becky Thompson
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