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Imperfect Mothering

Do any other mama’s feel like they enter into a funk the closer we get to Mother’s Day? I certainly do and I’ve been thinking on these feelings a lot this week and talking to Matt about it. I‘ve come to the conclusion that I get into a funk because I pull all of my expectations for myself up to the surface and take a hard look at where I’m succeeding and where I’m failing.

The problem with this outlook is:

1) No one is perfect (especially when it comes to parenthood)

2) In doing this, I only see the negatives

3) I’m not giving myself any grace

I have a feeling that all parents truly want to do their best. Who goes into parenting with an attitude of “I don’t care how my kid turns out”? We want to raise good and kind human beings with a fear and fire for Jesus! In a sinful world where we can’t even hope to be perfect, why do we expect that with our parenting? Yes, we should always strive to be Christlike and treat other the way Jesus did but in this sinful world, we have grace from God. That Grace includes parenting.

I get to the end of each day and look at my messy house and start beating myself up. Not thinking about all of the fun that my boys had that day, thinking about Jonathan signing “more” and saying “set” for the first time or how Josh grabbed my face with both of his hands to make me pause and look me in the eyes before saying “mama” and then gave me a kiss. I sit on the couch and think of everything I didn’t do. The messes, the crafts we didn’t get around to, the lack of a walk, I forgot to workout, didn’t work on my quilt, didn’t clean specific areas in the house…my mental list of beating myself up goes on and on. I feel like to be a mother means perfection; even when I know that no mother feels perfect. I think part of this is due to my childhood memories. In my eyes, my mom was the perfect mother. She homeschooled all three of us kids all the way through high school, made sure we knew the Lord, took us camping when dad was deployed, had us in multiple extracurriculars…the list goes on. She was (and is) Wonder Woman. In talking with her as an adult, I know she didn’t feel perfect in her mothering; and in learning that, I realized that I can mess up on the daily and my children will most likely still see me as perfect. Children don’t see all of the flaws in their parents (especially young children). They see the love. While I’m far from perfect with my children, one thing I do know I give and show them all day every is my love. So as we move into this Mother’s Day weekend, I’m going to keep focusing on loving my boys unconditionally and enjoying this life I have with them.

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