I’m only a few years in and I have had my fair share of “Mom Fails”. For example…
There was the time we were getting ready for family pictures. I was trying to get some things accomplished when I realized my toddler was playing on our stairs. I literally thought to myself, “I need to get her off of those stairs. I’ll just finish this real quick…” Next thing I know she has tumbled down half of our solid wood stairs and is screaming at the top of her lungs. Of course, on top of feeling awful for ignoring my intuition, she is forming a nice big lump on her forehead and her eyes are all bloodshot. I felt terrible that she got hurt, but was also desperately hoping our pictures wouldn’t be ruined.
Did you know that Pastor’s wives don’t say things like “crap”? I’m pretty sure that when I married my husband, this was somewhere in the legal contract. Well, this past week, as I was painting my girls’ nails, some polish got on my couch and I said, “crap”. Apparently, my youngest loved the sound of this word and she immediately started turning it into a song. “Crap! Craaaaap, Ccccrrrap, Craaap!” My apologies if she ends up sharing her new vocabulary with you.
Earlier this week, we ventured to Walmart for some groceries. It was my first time getting out since being snowed in all weekend. Our trip turned into quite the adventure. I had a cart full of groceries plus two little girls. It’s always a struggle to get all these things in my car, but this time I failed miserably. I decided to start by buckling in my youngest, but as I’m about to place her in her carseat I hear, “MOMMY!!!” I immediately turned and ran after my cart (carrying my oldest in it) which was already halfway in the driving lane. So many thoughts plagued my mind, but I managed to get everyone buckled while praising Jesus for keeping us safe.
I once posted on social media about my youngest bathing herself in toilet juice. As the story goes, I had just finished cleaning the toilet and hopped into the shower. When things got a little too quiet, I peaked out to find my daughter with the toilet brush in one hand, and the other hand scooping wet, nasty, gooey, chemical-filled toilet juice out of the brush holder and all over her hair. I was mortified. The logical reaction would have been to stick her in the shower with me, but instead, I felt the damage was done and finished my shower before giving her a bath of her own. The worst part about this? It happened twice. I’ve since hidden the toilet scrubber.
This mom job is hard. It seems like every day I struggle with the decisions I’m making and whether or not I’m failing at my task. I’m always sorting through things like:
- Am I teaching them the right things?
- Do I intervene in the fight, or let them work it out on their own?
- Should I work harder in this area, or am I expecting too much?
- When I get angry, do they know that I still love them?
- How do I point them to Jesus?
- Am I giving them enough choices, or too many?
Yesterday, after jokingly calling me a potty mouth for teaching our daughter to say “crap”, my husband reminded me that raising children doesn’t happen in a day. It is a lifelong process. Why is this encouraging?
Our mistakes today do not have to dictate tomorrow. When bedtime is nothing but a battle, it doesn’t mean my girls are going to wake up mad at me the next day. My failures today do not mean I have failed at this parenting thing altogether.
There is grace for these moments, and the opportunity to learn from them. We pick ourselves up and try again. I trust that my girls are watching me learn my lessons too. They may see my failures, but they also see how I respond to them.
I’m not going to do this perfectly. I won’t get it right all the time. Someone else will always have a different opinion. But no matter what happens, I’m grateful that I don’t have to do it alone.
This week, while reading Beth Moore’s “Believing God”, I was reminded of the power of God’s Word. As such, I’m clinging to this verse:
“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13; NIV)
*Photo credit: Alexa’s Photography