(If you know, please tell me so I can give credit!)
I found it inspiring.
That is EXACTLY who I want to be.
I am fully ok with the fact that I will not be a perfect mom.
I will not pretend to be.
I try recipes that don't taste right. Sometimes I forget that there is a load in the wash (for a few days). My house isn't dusted or vacuumed or disinfected nearly enough. I yell at my kids and then feel really bad about it. Patience is a virtue I'm still working on. I have emotional outbursts more often than I care to admit. I don't spend enough time actually playing with my kids. More often than not, by the time 2pm rolls around, I'm more ready for their nap time than they are.
Right now as I type, my 3 year old is in minute 42 of fake crying in his room because he doesn't want to nap.
But, I'm taking baby steps.
"Progress. Just make progress. It's okay to have setbacks and the need for do-overs. It's okay to draw a line in the sand and start over again - and again. Just make sure you're moving the line forward. Move forward. Take baby steps, but at least take steps…"
(Lysa Terkeurst in Unglued - Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions)
I have only been at this "being a mom" thing for a little over 3 1/2 years. Sometimes on really challenging days, I have no idea how I'm going to get out of my "funk," as I call it. That's why it's good to remind myself that...
"I have a choice to have destructive thoughts or constructive thoughts right now. I can wallow in what's wrong and make things worse, or I can ask God for a better perspective to help me see good even when I don't feel good." (Lysa Terkeurst in Unglued - Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions)
I'm learning. I'm growing.
And, so are my kids.
In this moment, I'm hoping that by not giving in to the temptation to go talk to him about his fake crying, he'll start to grasp the fact that whining doesn't get my attention anymore.
As of two days ago, I announced to our 3 year old that my ears don't listen to whining. So far, so good. It actually allows me to not lose my patience. I simply remind him that I won't hear the whining. It's shocking how fast his words become intelligible.
Truth is, I want my kids to know that it's ok to make mistakes.
They see me do it e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y.
That's why even before they can understand it, we started apologizing to them when we do something that deserves an apology.
By the way, there are not too many things that are more humbling than apologizing to a 3 year old (especially when you are apologizing for doing adult versions of the tantrums that the 3 year old usually throws).
We want them to know that even mommy and daddy do things wrong sometimes. Sometimes mommy and daddy need to say they're sorry, too.
How can our children truly understand and experience grace if they never get to experience giving it?
(By the way, the little mister is FINALLY asleep)
Apologizing to our children opens up the chance to have meaningful conversations with them about how we sin and God forgives us. We show them how we pray and ask God to help us to show patience, kindness, respect and gentleness to one another. We demonstrate that in and of ourselves, we will fail, but with God's help, we can succeed.
So, I wrote something on the chalkboard in our kitchen for a while as a friendly reminder to myself. It says, 'Be the mom you want them to remember.'
The mom I want them to remember is humble, willing to admit that she's not a perfect mom, but she's depending on God to help her to be the mom they need. I want them to remember a gentle mom who gives grace when she can and discipline when necessary. I want them to remember me pushing them to do their best and knowing that I'll be there loving them regardless. I want them to remember that I am a work in progress, just like they are, and that we can be a team - pushing each other toward the people God wants us to be.
So, I designed this little printable for you. If you feel the same way, download it. Print it out and put it next to the coffee pot. Save it as your lock screen on your phone or tablet. Let it gently remind you through the day that it's ok to fail because kids need to know their parents aren't perfect either. Let it remind you that you don't want to be remembered as the perfect mom, but instead the mom that was demonstrating humility, love, grace, truth, gentleness, patience, repentance,… Let them remember the real you.