I know I write a lot here about the choices I make as a mother to enjoy and cherish my children; our happy mornings, my discoveries in parenting my boys and my girl. These oh-so-significant days that really don’t last very long and one day will be gone forever. I love sharing these things with you here, and I think it’s important to be a voice for motherhood in a world where so many have spoken against the value of the stay-at-home-mom. But I also think it’s important that I share something else with you, just to be fair.
It’s never perfect. I’m never perfect.
I don’t ever want you to read my posts here and think I’m some kind of perfect mom who always has the right perspective, always chooses her children over herself and is always patient. For me, writing is a way of processing what I’m learning. I often come away from a day with my kids with a burdened heart asking God, “Did my actions today please you, Lord? Did I help my children? Did I give them what they need?”
Because often, living here is like living in a zoo. Some of it is frustrating and a lot of it is simply hilarious. Here is a rundown of the “real” mommy moments in my week:
- I stayed up way too late every single night and walked around each day with my brain half on.
- Abby spent one whole day throwing fits. You name it, she did it. (It’s so awful when it’s happening, but for some reason it seems so funny in retrospect).
- A laundry pile stayed in the living room for an untold number of days (over 5, at least).
- I never went grocery shopping so we ate weird meals.
- Hudson had a lot of time-outs.
- The children fought.
- We had growth group at friend’s house and Abby scooted around on their bed with a poopy diaper and got it all over their beautiful comforter. (Why??!!).
- I was getting over a cold and had ladies troubles. No need to expound, you all understand.
- I haven’t walked regularly for exercise in three weeks.
- Brian had to get up a lot at night with the kids, and Stryder started waking up to eat more at night.
What’s funny is that, now as I look back over this list it all seems like the silliest stuff. I’m laughing about it now. But in the moment they seem so impossible to handle with good grace.
I am not perfect in all that I do as a mom. I wish I was more professional about things–got up earlier, got showered first thing, made a better breakfast, didn’t let Abby sleep in so late, focused more on teaching Hudson at home, cleaned our bathroom more, made the bed every day, actually thought of doing the laundry regularly.
But the truth is, I’m a human being.
I get up, go through the day with my kids: love them, guide them, apologize to them when needed, have fun with them, care for them. At the end of the day, when I look back, I face another choice. Do I become discouraged because of what I haven’t done? Or do I receive it as a lesson, thank God that tomorrow brings new mercies, and welcome another day?
Because I may not be perfect, but I have chosen this and I have chosen them. And perhaps the perfect mom isn’t one who does it all perfectly, but one who has simply chosen to be there. For each little piece of the day that she can be. The skinned knee, the favorite television program, the afternoon in the sand box.
My task is not to do it perfectly. My task is to do it with love. To forgive, to give of my time and never let the sun go down on my anger. To give them a home where peace reigns and they are able to be themselves.
I am not perfect, but I am choosing the more perfect thing. Someone other than myself.