Monday, 31 March 2014

Not the Perfect Mom

Tonight didn't go how I wanted it to go.  Not at all.  It's the first time in a while that the kids and I have had an evening to ourselves.  They're in bed now, and I'm sitting on the couch, wondering if they know the truth. The truth is, that I missed them all day today.  Every time, I calmed a screaming child, or changed yet another poop-drenched diaper, or laughed or held or cuddled a baby, in my heart of hearts, I was doing for my own kids - hoping they had the same love, care and attention from their daycare provider today.  I miss having fun with them, and hoarding all the time I want with them, and the only thing that I want to do when I get home is to see them and hug them, and hug them, and hug them.  That's not the truth I showed them tonight.

But, tonight went more like this...barking orders, annoyed corrections, and short patience, a fumbled meal, exhausted frustrations, and rushed bedtimes.  Not what I wanted, not nearly close to what I planned.  Instead of a sweet, loving and gentle Mom, they get this frazzled, middle-aged, pregnant woman who doesn't know how to bridge the divide between the Mom she is, and the Mom she wants to be, who, in the meantime, is what they are stuck with.

I clearly don't know all the answers. I couldn't even attempt to string them together into a outcome based list at this point...but the only thing that really spurs me forward, that really encourages me to keep going - is maybe that Mom I plan to be, I actually am, sometimes.  The rest of the time, if I at least keep her in my sights, then I have something to aim for. And maybe, just maybe, that one day, in the future, when my own kids have kids, they may not forget all the times their Mom fell apart, but they will be able to forgive me for it, and remember the other times when I held it together - and know that those times are really what shaped their childhood.

I've stopped striving for perfection. I already know it's unreachable, a standard that defines itself by the constant comparison between itself and day to day failures.  Instead I want to strive tomorrow to be better than I am today, and the day after, and the day after....always keeping in focus a great deal of grace, mercy, love, peace and gentleness.


  1. I had a day like that today too! I ended up frazzled and angry and really had no one to blame but myself. Next time will be better. And the time after that will be even better. That's why grandparents have so much fun, I think. They get to be the perfect parents they always wanted to be but weren't (and they get to give the kids back to their frazzled parents too).

    I read a blog post recently about the importance of before pictures (it was a home decor blog). The writer said that before pictures are important because they remind us to compare where we are with where we used to be, instead of always focusing on the ways we fall short of our ideal. T

  2. You know I'm with you! Jana, you love your kids, and they know it. And, they love you! Savor the moments you know go right. Let yourself notice them and be proud. And if they don't, remember that God forgives your repentant heart and so will your kids. :) BTW, the families at daycare are blessed to have you care for their kids so lovingly!

  3. Thank you ladies! It feels so good to be surrounded by friends who know what I'm talking about!!!


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