Did you fail today as a mom? I did. I fail every single day. I know you do too.
Did you forget to sign the permission slip?
Did you feed them junk and set them in front of the television so you could make dinner in peace?
What’s the state of your home? Is it clean and tidy? Has the laundry all been folded? Have the sheets and towels been changed out in the last week? Or . . . let’s be real, the last month?
Did you put down your cell phone and engage with them?
Did you volunteer with the PTA?
Did you take time to explain and apply the appropriate life lesson each time it was presented to you?
Yeah, me neither.
I’ve done all of those things wrong in the past week. My performance review of motherhood would be daunting . . . if I had one.
The reality is there’s no performance review and almost nothing I do is noticed unless I fail to do it well.
But the words I’m choosing to repeat over and over is that I’m doing better than I think I am. And so are you.
You’re doing better than you think because you protected them. You said no to things they don’t need and yes to things they do. You’re the gatekeeper and the boundary setter. You see a bigger picture than they do, and you seek out their good above all else. You are the ultimate advocate for the people who depend on you most. You ensure safety and continuity and structure.
You’re doing better than you think because you met their needs. You wiped the jelly off their faces after breakfast. Or the peanut butter or the chocolate sauce . . . or whatever it was. You saw the thing they didn’t know they needed, and you met it before they even knew to ask for it. You provide all of the basic needs. The clothes, the baseball cleats, the backpack to carry all the things. The lunch money, the new tube of toothpaste in the bathroom. Your mind never stops planning, preparing, remembering.
You’re doing better than you think because you delighted in them. There’s nothing they’ve done to earn your love, yet it’s unconditional. You listened to their stories, regardless of how interesting they were because they were coming from the mouth of your beloved child. You put the flower they picked behind your ear. You stuck their drawings on the fridge. You scooped them up, you held them tight, you cuddled them as they drifted off to sleep.
Your intrinsic delight brought you near to them and let them know that they are loved beyond measure.
You’re doing better than you think because you helped them become better. You may have missed an opportunity or two to teach a life lesson, but you didn’t miss them all. You challenged their sinful nature with truth. You disciplined them even though it was hard. You encouraged them when they were afraid and acted as their safety-net as they reached and climbed for the next rung. It was hard for you to see them fail. It hurt your heart when theirs was broken.
No. You weren’t perfect. Not even close. You’re in over your head and there’s no time outs, no re-dos, and no handbook. But my friend, you’re doing so much better than you think.