Not A Perfect Mother

Can I tell you a secret?

I’m not a perfect mother. I could tell you a thousand reasons why. And then I could tell you some more. I try to do my best, but it never feels good enough. All too often I compare myself to other mamas who seem to have it all together – and I, very clearly, do not.

I’ve got stains on my tee shirt, and my eyes are beyond tired. I haven’t showered in a day or two (or three…sometimes). The clothes that I used to wear – well they don’t fit anymore. I’m often impatient, and I snap too quickly. I get frustrated when things don’t go my way, and I usually set my expectations too high. Many days are long and lonely, and sometimes I question if this will ever get any easier.

And did I mention?

I don’t read enough.
I don’t clean enough.
I don’t exercise enough.
I don’t cook enough.
I don’t know enough.
I don’t eat healthy enough.
I’m not organized enough.

I could go on, but I’ll spare you.

I know I’m not a perfect mother, and I know I’ve got a lot of things I need to work on. However, I also know that God placed these sweet babies in my arms for a reason. He chose ME – with a plan and a purpose.

As their mama…

I will fight for them when no one else will, and I will cheer them on – even if I’m the only one cheering. I will protect them when they need protecting, and I will pray for them on my hands and knees. I will teach them courage and how to stand up for what they believe – even if they are standing alone. While they are still little, I will encourage them to pursue their passions – even if others laugh at them. I will teach them the value of a heartfelt apology, and that “please” and “thank you” are still kind words. I will love them with all that I am and encourage them to grow in their walk with the Lord.

One day they won’t want me to catch them at the bottom of the slide, and they won’t need me to push them on the swing. The day will come when I’ll no longer need to kiss their owies, and they won’t want to dance with me in the kitchen. Eventually they won’t need me to tuck them in at bedtime, and they will be too embarrassed to hold my hand. All too soon their chalk art won’t cover the driveway, and they won’t give me a hundred dandelions a day. Soon I won’t be able to scoop them up in my arms, and I’ll miss their sweet giggles as they run through the sprinkler. One day, their room won’t be cluttered with toys – it will be empty.

I don’t want to take another second for granted. They will slip through my fingers all too quickly, and I will be begging for just one more day like today. Just one more kiss. Just one more bedtime story. Just one more dandelion. Just one more hand hoId. Just one more snuggle. And just one more dance.

So for now, I’m going to hug them a little tighter and hold them a little longer. I’m going to soak in these precious days with them – even the ones that feel like an eternity. I will give them an extra kiss any chance I get, and I dance with them whenever they want. I’ll read another book, and rock them to sleep another time. I’ll wipe away their tears, and encourage them to try again…

Because right now they are here in my arms. I know that all too soon I will blink, and they will be grown and gone. Although some days I feel like a failure in my own eyes, I need to remind myself that I AM enough. I’m not perfect, but I’m exactly who God created me to be, flaws and all. He knew I would make mistakes and fall down, and that I wouldn’t be perfect. But He also knew that I would need these sweet children and that they would need me. They will always be my precious babies, and I will always thank the Good Lord for choosing me to be their mama.