11.09.2011

I'm the perfect mom...

Or at least, I once upon a time thought I would be! And in the interest of being totally honest, I'll just say right up front, my title is purely meant to be eye catching. I didn't ever really think I'd be 'perfection' when it came to Motherhood ;-)
But I do remember baby sitting lots of kids and watching families around me at church and thinking I would have this "parenting" thing all figured out by the time I  became one.
HA!
With every child we have, God shows me just how little I actually know... and its been quite humbling. I never thought I'd have the smartest or cutest kids {I'm not that delusional} but I definitely thought I wouldn't struggle with motherhood the way I heard some women say they did.
My kids would certainly never get me in a tiff, or try my patience so far I actually have to go lock myself in the bathroom to pray through my building anger. I never thought I'd have a hard time adjusting to an added family member, and figured my kids would always be thrilled to have me as their Mom.

I love being a Mom. I'll put that out there now. Its amazing. I can't imagine life without my kids, or my relationship with Jason since God made us parents. The older my kids get, the more fun they get. Baby stages are pure joy, but I'm continuously telling people how much more fun they get as they learn to communicate and can enjoy life with you, on more of a big kid level. I'm loving it.

Last week at Target, Ethan and I bought Battleship! Remember that game? I loved it when I was younger and it seems right up his ally. Every so often we like to go to the board game aisle and grab one to add to our collection. Its making family game nights way more exciting and challenging.
And I've said it so many times on this blog, so I'll say it again - I tend to be more of a kid than my kids are most of the time. I loved being a kid, so I attribute it to that. I can't help but join them in their fun :)
I asked Ethan what his least favorite thing about me having morning sickness was and he said, "you didn't play with us very much and you laid on the couch a lot. I felt like we had a different Mommy during that year." - so clearly 2 months feels like a year to him.

Last week I had a day where I really battled all these "I love being a Mommy" feelings. I woke up not feeling well {nothing pregnancy related, just getting a head cold} and so I wanted to stay in bed.
The last thing I felt like doing was getting right to school work, then housework, then running errands. And so sadly, I tried the route of ignoring my kids. I begrudgingly did their school with them, I cleaned up the house, complaining and huffing the whole time. Even telling the kids if they wouldn't make messes, I wouldn't have to clean up so much :(
We went to run errands {this actually went quite well} but I was totally worn out by the time we were done. And again, that was apparently my kid's fault.
I don't know about your kids, but when mine see me getting grumpy, they begin to act up. So the naughtiness set in as soon as we got home. Rachel took a pen and colored all over her body and bedroom, Kara found some candy and hid in a corner and chowed down. Ethan opened a game I told him not to touch, took the whole thing apart and lost a few pieces.
I discovered all the naughtiness and lost it. First I cried. This is usually what I do when I'm completely overwhelmed and don't know where to begin. Plus, it really crushed me that they were all being super sneaky and naughty. Then, when I should've prayed, I began fuming. Sent them all to their rooms, cleaned up the messes {why did I do this and not have them help me? I have no idea...} I began feeling angry with Jason, who was still at work. For some reason Satan likes to try and convince me that the chaos that happens at home during the day is somehow Jason's fault. But all in all, I blew it. Had to go to each child and say I'm sorry, ask for their forgiveness, remind them about why we obey and how we obey and ways we can help Mommy, etc...

But then for the next couple of hours, I faced so much guilt. "Why do I do this and why do I have 'woe is me!' days?! Why can't I always display perfection and godliness to my children? Why must they see Mommy blow it?!"
It was during me asking all these questions that God quickly showed me, through Ethan, that Mommy blowing it is something God uses for good. About 3 hours after I said the I'm sorry's and we prayed together and hugged it out, Ethan came to me and thanked me for setting a good example. He thanked me for "mostly" being a great Mom and for understanding that even though I'm big, I still need to obey God and I still need to set a good example, even when it comes to apologizing.

 I realized in that moment, there's a reason these things happen. No, its not ideal to have grumpy, discontent attitudes - but it amazes me how God uses those times to help us display His grace. Even in my bad days I can reflect Jesus to my kids. I can show them how to make a wrong, right.
I certainly won't ever be a perfect Mom. I'm going to mess up on a daily basis. But the real nugget is this, I can turn that around and show them what it looks like to be daily sanctified in Christ.
How much worse would this whole day had been, had I just gotten over myself and moved on?! Imagine the example we set for our kids when we're too prideful to say "I'm sorry" and to acknowledge {to our kids} that we blew it and yet God in His mercy has already forgiven those sins of ours.

I'm amazed how much God is changing me through this journey of Motherhood.
Some days are great.
And yet I drudge my way through some.
But God is always present in them and His grace and perfect example are what remind me to press on with joy.
Having to admit our faults to our kids is never a bad thing. Its a great way we can show them that a life in Christ isn't roses and lilies; Its a daily battle of dying to ourselves and living for Christ.

10 {comments}:

Gideon said...

I appreciate your honesty Stef. Sooo true and convicting! Thank you for sharing your heart.

Gideon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gina said...

Stef you're such a good mommy & a great example to me. You're years ahead of me in spritual growth--when I grow up I wanna be like you! No seriously, I only hope I can be half the mom you are to your kids. They are lucky to have you!

Stef said...

I'm glad, Sarah - love you!

Gina, I'm quite flattered. May I say I believe its why God introduced us to each other? I feel the same way about you, so this must be what "iron sharpening iron" feels like :)

Erin said...

Yes! I get so mad at myself for getting so mad at my kids. But truth is, God's grace reaches even to me.
What a blessing Ethan was to you in your time of discouragement! God is good!
thanks for sharing, Stef! <3

Emily said...

It hits home! I had a day like that today. Not feeling well. Grumpy. Irritable. And my kids were the same. Jacks especially pushed every button. The sad thing is, I didn't even look at myself long enough to see the need to apologize to them until I read your post. Of course they're in bed now. Guess what I'll be eating for breakfast? Yup...humble pie.

Liz said...

So true, my friend :)

Charlotte said...

I thought that Motherhood would only be me changing my children (because they need it), and that I was doing just fine. But this road has been one of the most sanctifying I have ever been on, and one of the most humbling.

There have been days when I am in tears from my frustration because I got mad at them again, or because I don't want to go over another math lesson. My kids see that, and then also see me needing, once again to apologize.

Like you said, what a perfect example of His grace! May our children see this grace in our imperfect lives and remember Christ.

Sarah Moulton said...

you could have picked one of several days around here. I didn't think I would be a perfect mom by any means but I also thought I wouldn't let my kids do certain things or that they would act this way, I've apologized to my sister in law several times realizing I was being judgemental and that indeed my kids are probably worse.
I was just telling my mom last night that I think I'm most thankful that we grew up in a "real" home. We were allowed to be who we were, disciplined daily, and she prayed and apologized in front of us all the time. She was real and her faith was real. She wasn't perfect but she taught us to see Jesus and our need for him.
I don't think a lot of kids have that example and I'm very thankful I did! I hope to be the mom my mom was :)

Tara said...

i do the same thing--tend to blame matt or snap at him when things go wrong at home and i am so stressed and i need help and he is not here. i somehow, find some way, to blame him. :(

motherhood is HARD HARD work.

you're doing a great job!

 

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