I’m not the best mom ever.
I could stop being so darn busy all the time. I could quit filling my calendar and my life with activities so I spend more time crossing things off my list than anything else. I could be silly more often.
You might see me in my facebook/twitter/instagram life and think I’ve got it all together. My social media screams “look at my AWESOME mom life”. And my life is awesome. But it is also sometimes hard as hell. I’m realizing it can be both.
Maybe you don’t feel like you give your kids enough time either. Maybe you yell too much too. Maybe you’re feeling deep inside that you aren’t giving each child the things that particular child needs to grow and develop and become a wholehearted person. Maybe you too worry you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not thin enough to be a good mom. Maybe you wonder if you even have enough to give since you didn’t receive the kind of mothering you needed yourself. Maybe nobody carried you when you were tired or covered you when you were cold or fed you soup when you were sick. On behalf of the Universe, I’m sorry.
Know I’m with you. Lord, knows I’m right there wallowing in that pit, wading through that valley with you. Some days, many days, the only prayer I can conjure up as I desperately try to blink back the tears threatening to roll down my cheeks is “Lord, have mercy.” I pray for mercy to get through one more day of mothering. That sounds awful as I write it because being a mother is a privilege and a blessing. But I’m going to leave the line in because you and I and God also know it can be hard too…so very hard.
Let’s make a pact. Let’s stop trying to be the best mom ever. Because the truth is she does not exist. There is no best mom ever. There are just moms like you and I. There’s just women who are doing the best they can. There are little girls who are now all grown up figuring out this mom thing on their own. Motherhood doesn’t come with instructions.
Today, let’s give all mothers grace. But most importantly, let’s give ourselves grace. Let’s stop trying to be perfect. Let’s stop beating ourselves up because we don’t fulfill some caricature of what the best mom looks like. Let’s let go of our desperate quest to be THE BEST EVER and just try to be the best mom that we can be…right here, right now.
Motherhood is a gift. It is not something that should be taken for granted. But there are hours…days…seasons…maybe even years…when it is just so difficult. Today, I want you to know I’m right there with you. I’m in the trenches. I’m trying to find my way just like you, just like your friends, just like your neighbors, and I’m guessing just like our mothers and grandmothers before us. You are not alone.
I’m not the best mom ever. And I’m not going to be. But, along with your help, I am making a renewed effort to be a better mom, to be a better me, a better writer, a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter and sister and niece and Aunt and neighbor that I can be. May God help us all stand in our truth while being as gentle with ourselves as we would be to others. May God make our best work good enough.