I’m a mom. Yep. Mommy. Momma. Mother. Mum. However they say it, I respond to it.
When I had my first child 5 years and 3 months ago, I quit my job, read all the parenting books I could get my hands on, attended La Leche League, had already decided on the perfect discipline methods, prayed over my babe, and KNEW that I was going to have this motherhood thing mastered! Even on day 1, I remember being in the hospital bed, nursing for the first time in my life and thinking, “I’ve got this!”
But… truth be told. I didn’t. And I still don’t “got this.”
A few weeks ago I had an epic parenting fail. At least that’s how I felt at the time. My 5 year old strong-willed son was having the meltdown of a lifetime over the fact that I was requiring him to eat his granola/flakes mixture before I’d allow him to eat his eggs. Now, the problem was that we were out of almond milk (dairy free family here), so I told him (trying to avoid a meltdown from not having any milk), that’d I’d make him an awesome milk mixture that he was sure to love! I mixed some unsweetened coconut milk with maple syrup and wha-la! Delicious milk! He said he liked it. (Yes!) But then said it was too sugary. (Uh oh.) But it was already mixed with the WHOLE bowl of granola and I didn’t want that granola wasted! Hence the requirement. No eggs till you eat it! (Sorry buddy. It wasn’t even your fault that there was no almond milk…)
Well, apparently that was the wrong thing to require because what I try so hard every day to avoid happened. Explosion. Screaming. Tears. Angry mean words. I tried everything I could think of to help him calm down just so we could talk! But by this time, my own little emotional storm was more than brewing.
I even went into the bathroom where he was having his volcanic emotional eruption and tried to just pray out loud with him present. It’s worked before! Not this time. When he covered his ears and screamed, “Blah blah blah”, I cracked. Hands in the air, I said, “I’M DONE!” As I stormed off to the car for my dentist appointment that I was already not excited about, I left my son (oh, and daughter too) with my sweet husband who needed to leave for work as well.
I had one of those scream-cry conversations with Jesus in the car. Most of it was me yelling at the top of my lungs, “I’m Sorry! I’m Sorry! I’m Sorry, okay?? What am I supposed to do?? Tell me what I’m supposed to do!! How are things going to change if I don’t know what to do???” (Yes. This is really true. This all really happened. Like… last month.)
Thankfully, the Spirit interceded and started to calm my heart. The tears stopped flowing, I stopped screaming, and my splotchy face went back to its normal color before I walked into the dentist office.
There is this crazy lie out there that says us moms have to know what we are doing. Otherwise we are going to mess our kids up! But this is JUST NOT TRUE. Motherhood is messy. And truth be told, NONE of us know what we are doing! But within the messiness of it all, God has given me sweet promises of grace and truth that I CLING to! Like 2 Cor. 9:8 for example.
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times you may abound in every good work.”
Rearing my children is a GOOD WORK that I am abounding in! (Okay. So the more I say “abounding” the stranger it sounds. But just hang with me here.) Whenever I start listening to the perfectionistic lie of having to have it all figured out, I just remember God’s promise. He has COVERED me with his grace (the free and unmerited favor of God) so that I can exchange all of my messy motherhood with the ability to be all sufficient in all things at all times in my parenting! Say what?!?!
This means that regardless of my circumstances, my son’s emotions, my coffee intake, or my feelings of whether I’ve got motherhood figured out or not, good works WILL come forth within my parenting! I no longer have to live under the guilt and pressure of having to know it all. I just have to trust Jesus and receive this promise of the power of grace. And that, my momma friends, is a promise for you too.