Like most moms, I begin my days with the best intentions. In fact, the resolve in my head about how I’m going to parent my kids, usually starts the night before when I kiss their sleepy heads goodnight. I tell myself how I’m going to try harder and do better. Better at what exactly I don’t know. But in those moments I feel the full gravity of my role as their mother and swear that no matter what it takes, I will do better in the days and months that follow. It’s not that I’m a bad mom, I’m just a very ordinary good one.
I sometimes shout too much and lose my shit about trivial things. I don’t always keep a watchful eye on them at the park or restaurant playground, instead getting wrapped up in chats with my mommy friends. I let them eat too much sugar and sometimes, occasionally, I let them leave their vegetables on their half eaten plates. I say “No” too much because I’m often too tired or too busy or just too distracted with my own stuff – important stuff like Instagram and Facebook and What’sapp chats. I let them watch TV for longer lengths of time than I should and often question whether they should be watching half the stuff they do. I expect too much of them at times and make them feel like they are failures for not getting it right. I shout and scream and ask them why they can’t just listen – for once in their little lives. I question whether their gentle little spirits are being broken a little more each day while under my care. Will they only remember me for these moments of weakness? Will they only remember me as the shouty, distracted, frustrated and no-fun mom who can’t seem to stop being such a tight-ass?
But here’s the other side of the reality. The reality that my kids are all too familiar with. My kids know how much I love them them. They know this because I tell them about a gazillion time a day. They know I love them because five minutes won’t pass without me kissing them or hugging them or taking the opportunity to tickle them just to get them to laugh. They know I love them because they see me make their meals, do their laundry, tidy up their mess and still drive them around all day to school and extra murals and playdates. They know I love them because I protect them with with every fierce bone in my body. They know I love them because I offer them a place of safety and comfort – I am there to pick them up after a fall, wipe tears from their faces. They know i love them because they hear the way I talk about them to my friends and family.
They KNOW I love them because they see it my eyes, hear it in my voice and feel it in their bones. They are connected to me in a way that only mother and child will know. And regardless of the many mistakes I make, they love me for all that I do right, and even the many things I get wrong- because in these moments lay my humanity. In these moments I’m given the chance to show them my weaknesses and ultimately teach them how to say sorry.
I am a good mom. No matter which way you look at it, because although I’m not perfect, I try everyday to be the mom that they deserve and will not stop trying to give them everything they need.
So instead of making a thousand declarations as I kiss them goodnight of how I’m going to do things differently, or feeling guilty about the same stuff every night, I’m going to keep asking God for grace to get me through the challenging and relentless parts. But I’m also going to pat myself on the back for being a good mom to my children and always putting them first. I’m going to stop beating myself up about the things I don’t get right, but salute myself for every little kick ass thing I get so perfectly right!