Being a mother is a beautiful, wonderful calling.
It's an adventure wrapped in peanut-butter-breath kisses, handprints and nose prints on once-clean windows, "I love you"s, and success stories of watching little ones grow into young men and women...
And, done well...it's also daunting, often thankless, full of fear and doubts, filled with crying and whining (that is too often my own), and it can also be downright depressing.
It's a life-long commitment to being selfless in a selfish world.
Sometimes, I wish I could see the future and see each of my children as they will be in 20 or 30 years. Would I discipline more/less? Would I focus differently? Would I worry so much about having a clean house? Would I snuggle more? Would I feed them differently? Would I teach them the same school curriculum? Would I yell less? Would I show love differently?
It's good I can't see the future...God knew today is enough for me to handle in itself.
Overall, I think we moms are often pretty tough on ourselves. Now, don't get me wrong. We have a God-given responsibility that should be taken seriously.
But, in America, we expect so much from ourselves. We want to do it ALL...and do it all WELL.
As Christian moms, we expect to teach our children Biblical truths daily - in speech and in action. We expect to never raise our voices and always apply consistent and gentle discipline. We expect to give our children the world at their fingertips, and we expect to have a Martha Stewart home, and only the healthiest meals will do. And we work outside the home - or create our own businesses inside our homes. We cater to sports, and music, and dance, and a host of other activities. We expect to balance it all with grace and beauty - all while wearing skinny jeans!
Gregg often tells me that I get down on myself because I have unreasonable expectations of myself as a wife/mother. I think my children are wonderful, and I often write about the good things here. But, the reality is...
Here at home, on a day-to-day basis, I have at least one child (which child I'm referencing depends on the day in question) that I wonder if/when he/she may wind up in the state penitentiary. I wonder if I'm doing anything well. I feel like maybe I need to wipe the slate clean and start over.
Then...one of my children will do/say something that renews my courage and my strength for another day. God knows I need this...I'm convinced He orchestrates it just for me.
This morning, I ran across this video, and I was reminded that we moms often see ourselves and focus on our negatives. We're often harder on ourselves than we should be.
Instead, we need to see ourselves through the eyes of our children. We'd have a renewed knowledge that what we do - failures and all - matters.
Yes, this video made me cry...and it gave me a different perspective for my day. If you're a mom, I pray that you will find a different perspective today and that it brings you hope.
(P.S. I know this video was geared toward Mother's Day...but I still think it's something we need to hear more than once a year...)