Today I was a bad mom.
Today I looked at the crumbs all over the floor, the toys covering the living room, the frightening amounts of laundry that cover most of my bedroom, I thought back to all the times that I got too stressed out and raised my voice at my toddler, I thought about all the moments that I was on my phone when I should have been focused on my boys, I thought about all the times where literally all I wanted was to sleep and be alone, I looked at my to-do list that gets longer everyday and rarely gets a dent made in it, I thought about everything that I needed to do and every situation that wasn’t the way it should be and it hit me…
The mom guilt.
The mom guilt started to set in. I should have been more patient with them, I should have put my phone down, I should have napped when they napped, I should have put a load of laundry in the washer, I should have stayed up later to get the things done that I needed to do. Instead of saying no, later, tomorrow, or not today, I should have said yes more.
Part of being a mom is giving your whole self to tiny things that can’t do much for themselves or show their appreciation for you. (Heck, if they’re young enough, they don’t even know they should appreciate you) That’s freaking hard y’all. Every day I pour my entire being into those boys and most days I feel depleted and exhausted.
Even on the days that I yell more than I show love, once they are asleep and I’m watching them so peacefully, I feel overwhelming joy thinking about the small and unexpected moments. When they were both laughing and playing together, when we were all happy and playing at bath time, when Jayce came over and hugged me, when we had a tickle war…
And then I realize those little people are so forgiving. DAILY. Daily I fail them, daily I make mistakes, daily I have regrets, but they seem to move on and forget all about that almost immediately after it happens. They have nothing but love and admiration in their eyes for me and they know nothing but the good things I did for them that day. I may only be able to list everything I did wrong in a day, but if you asked my oldest son what we did today he would tell you all about the fun moments and the little things we did together that made him so happy.
How is it that they can show me so much love and grace, but I can’t seem to give myself that same grace? Don’t you think that if our babies can love us so much, forgive so easily and show us so much grace that we should be able to to do the same thing with ourselves and others?
Moms, we are not perfect, we are human beings. Very tired human beings. My boys love me, they think we have a great day every day, they have fun, they are happy. It’s when I start stressing about making mistakes, keeping up with chores, and being “perfect” that I actually am less happy and not the mother I want to be for them. Maybe the things I think I’m screwing up so badly really aren’t that bad after all. Maybe I need to just do my best, love them, and not worry about the rest. Yes, they stress me out, but they also bring me more joy than I ever thought was possible.
Probably the greatest joy I have is knowing that God created me to be their mother and them to be my children. He did not give me these boys for no reason. My boys are a part of me and I know we were created for each other. I was meant to be here, no matter how defeating, lonely, and tiring it may be at times. No matter how challenging they are, no matter how little sleep I get, no matter how behind I may be on all the chores, no matter how many times I yell and instantly regret it. Because for every one of those moments, there are moments where my cup is just overflowing with love and joy. There are so many sweet moments that I know I’ll remember for the rest of my life and THOSE are the moments that make it all worth it and make motherhood the greatest job I could ever ask for.