The house is quiet, my girls are peacefully fast asleep, and I’ve just turned out the light, ready to turn in for the night. Immediately, my thoughts are stolen and taken captive by suffocating mom guilt.

I can’t breathe. I can’t smile. I can’t hope.
 
Every opportunity where grace was supposed to shine today—ruined by my impatience, agitation, and frustration, replaying in my memory.

Why couldn’t I just go get that Band-aid, even though there was no blood? Even though it was on the crease of the hand in which every mother across the universe knows Band-aids don’t stick. Would it have been so difficult to hug her and say, “I know it hurts sweetie?”

To me, yes.Why did I lose my cool so loudly and boldly to my daughter who I know struggles with impulsivity, high emotions, and easily misplaces stuff when she lost her jazz shoes . . . again? Could I not have had a stern talk with her about responsibility instead of crushing her into tiny little pieces?

No, I simply couldn’t contain my cool. And as much as I want to say it isn’t my heart to act this way, maybe, just maybe, my actions are revealing is my heart.

Where, Lord? Where was my grace in that moment? In all those moments. Daily. 

Sometimes I feel like the only mother on the planet who cannot get this piece of motherhood right. The only mother who feels like something is genuinely missing within me. Something so integral to motherhood, that maybe I should have never even had children of my own if I cannot fully display love-in-action, especially when it is tremendously hard over something tremendously mundane.

I love them so fiercely, but I fear that my lack of nurturing ability clouds my love. My actions are not teaching them how to unconditionally love in return. 

When all is quiet in the house and no ears can hear, I lay awake sobbing in guilt:

“Am I my child’s worst enemy?” I ask myself

“No, I am not,” says the rational me. 

Then I hear it yet again. 
 
The vicious cycle of my guilt leads to further impatience that completely defeats me, day in and day out.My moments of intensity are always, ALWAYS covered in genuine apologies. We hug, I usually tear up, we discuss how I could have handled it better, and she always, always, always forgives fast.

But still. What is that pattern teaching her? That it is OK to show lack of sympathy and misplace it with annoyance as long as you apologize?

No. This is not the mother I want to be. This is not the mother God wants me to be. 
 
In this life, I do not struggle with material envy. 

I do not struggle, friend, with wanting your house or wanting your car or impeccable style or your fancy trips. I envy your heart, dear friends. I envy your natural ability to put yourself aside and beautifully nurture. I envy how your house can be a wreck but everyone is welcome inside. I envy something missing in me that is found in so many of you. 

Yes, there are so many affectionate ways I love my children. For the most part, I know they feel and see my love way more than I am giving myself credit for. I know they feel valued and cherished and I know they are happy kids living in a happy family with a very happy life.

But ‘for the most part’ isn’t enough. I want them to feel all parts of my love. I cannot stop asking myself, will they remember those more plentiful moments of love or will they remember the ones where I am agitated and impatient and too busy cleaning or writing or being room mom? What am I doing to my seven-year old’s confidence? Her heart? Will she eventually feel lonely and misunderstood and unheard by the one who is supposed to hold her hand the tightest, listen to her the longest? 

So I pray. I ask the Lord to fill me with attributes in which my flesh is fully incapable of.  

When I rise, I cling to the mercy He gives with every new sunrise and I wake with the heart to try harder. To say yes more. To get the needless Band-aid. To put my work aside and focus solely on their needs. To see their needs over my response. To validate their emotions especially when I do not understand or see the reality that contradicts their feelings. To let go of the intensity and welcome gentleness. 
 
I ask the mighty God to change me from within, for she is His precious child that I oh-so-admittedly do not know how to handle the emotions of. I ask of Him to give me the strength, the patience, and the wisdom to handle her in only ways that she sees His love. 
 
Because right now, my flesh is failing and my only hope is in Him.
So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Meagan Prewitt

Meagan is a self-professed info-maniac, total sugar-holic, fitness loving, Jesus following, mama of two spunky daughters, accurately dubbed Sweet and Spicy.  Once a 7th grade English teacher, she is now a stay-at-home mom who is still searching for that balance between being a chauffeur, chef, counselor, friend and wife combined with freelance writing, studying the Word, serving on the Dallas Regional Council for Make-A-Wish North Texas, volunteering at the school, blogging and in any remaining spare time, reading WWII historical fiction novels.  When she dreams it's of traveling the world with her husband of 13 years, but for now, any beach with a pina colada in hand will do.  You can find more of her writing at The Love Filled Way and easily interact with her on her Facebook and Instagram pages.  

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