There are so many things that surprised me about motherhood; things that no one tells you in the What to Expect books. I knew the statistics for c-sections, but I didn’t know I would actually grieve the loss of natural childbirth. I knew there would be sleepless nights, but I didn’t foresee the loneliness and isolation.
And the need for an endless supply of batteries. Did anyone else know that babies go through so many? I sure didn’t.
All of these surprises were eye-opening and caused me to adapt and grow, but there was one unexpected aspect that I’ve learned I simply have to say “no” to: the mom guilt.
I never realized that one person could feel guilty for so many different imperfections at the same time. The overcooked rice. The sheets that need to be changed. The unfolded laundry. The absence at bedtime.
There are times when my mom guilt exhausts me to the point where I feel like I can’t go another round. Until one day, in the midst of the dishes and the playdates and the carpools I had a startling revelation.
I can never expect to give grace to my kids if I don’t give it to myself.
When my feelings of inadequacy consume me, I snap and yell and fuse is short. I cannot referee the fight in the next room because I’m too caught up in my own sense of self worth. And I’ve just about had enough.
So, to all you moms and women who mother, sitting there on the other side of the screen with the dark circles under your eyes and the kids pulling at your ankles: can I tell you something?
You are worth more than you know. You may not be a superhero, but in those tiny eyes that sparkle at just the right time and melt you the next, you are a hero. You are their world. And sometimes in this hard walk of parenting, we simply have to give ourselves a little grace.
Grace for this moment. And grace for all the moments after that. Because we were never intended to be perfect. And when we let our mighty Creator fill in the gaps and meet us in our weaknesses, the road becomes a lot more colorful and easier to walk.