There are moments I imagine myself as the momma with everything held together in a neat little bow. You know—the one not falling apart at the seams. The one whose children breathe the word routine. The one who remembers appointments.
Oh, I want to be the well-dressed momma in Target who remembers to bring snacks. The mom who knows entertaining finger games to placate the little one neatly strapped in the grocery cart seat. The mom who manages to create healthy, well-balanced meals from random food staples like quinoa, frozen asparagus, and chicken nuggets.
I defy those who say—not possible! There must be momma out there capable. It’s just not me.
Because I’m the mom cringing as my three year old Court Jester darts in and out of red shopping carts. I hear the under-the-breath harrumphs and glance at the shaking heads of store patrons as they walk by. Yes. I can feel the judgment clinging to my skin. What was it I walked in the store for anyway?
I know I am not the mom dreamed of above. Instead, I’m one of those parents.
Instead, I’m that mom. You know the one I’m talking about.
Sometimes I let my kids skip baths. Two days in a row. I forget to help my son brush his teeth. In a week the dentist will tell me how many cavities I have bred due to that simple fact. I’m not a spur-of-the-moment-sure-she-can-come-over-for-a-play-date kind of mom.
I need other mothers to tell me when my children need to be places. True story. I seek those mommas out. Beg for texts and reminders, keep-me-straight phone calls. Thanks Cyndi and Amy for making sure my Princess actually made it to the Cinderella Ballet Ball this year. I think I would have forgotten if not for you…because I’m that mom.
My toilets have mildew rings around them and my dirty clothes pile teeters, Everest-avalanche ready. I hate to dust and legitimately will give it to my daughter as her chore rather than do it myself. I’m that mom.
Daily note in the lunch box? Not a chance. I don’t even pack the lunches. Prince Charming does. If I had to pack them, my children would starve. I will miss my daughter’s award’s ceremony for the third year in a row tomorrow. This year I forgot she even had one. Yep. That mom.
Frozen pizza. Once a week. Sometimes twice.
I’m late for everything. Every. Thing.
And so I sigh. But then the Still Small Voice whispers.
I’m also this mom.
I love to watch my children sleep. I drink in their sweet smell and feel their warm breath on my cheek. I can’t wait to see my children at the end of the day and feel their arms around my neck.
I still rock the Court Jester to sleep when he lets me. Because I’m this mom.
I’m the mom who doesn’t mind flour from one end of the kitchen to the other as little hands help me bake cookies or scones. My children know me as the baker, and Saturday mornings usually bring about sweet smells from the oven.
Random trips to fro-yo after dinner? Absolutely. And I can rock the ballet bun. Creative teacher gifts? Darn skippy—When I remember to create them. (Ms. Chappell, you may have to wait a few more weeks for yours…)
Every-now-and-then notes in the lunch box? You betcha. Complete with rhymes and candy for special occasions. I’m this mom.
I’m the mom in Birkenstocks and jeans on weekends, with the car windows down and the music loud. The momma who jumps at the chance for free theme park days. The momma who tries to let her little ones stop and smell the flowers.
Funny accents and dramatic reading voices? Right here. I’ve been known to climb into my daughter’s bed with my own delicious book as we read silently. Together. Side-by-side. My refrigerator is covered with childhood artistry. And summer crafts are some of my favorite things.
I am the toy fixer, the heart mender, the compassionate listener. This momma is the Joy finder.
I am this mom.
And so grace. Because comparing ourselves to the mother we wish we could be prevents us from being the momma God called us to be. Comparison is a bitter pill God has never asked us to swallow.
Oh, but there are day’s I’m desperate to be a better mom. But desperate by whose standards? Society’s? My own? or God’s?
You see, when I choose God’s standards for mothering, my life breathes freedom, and my children bask in its glow. Because God created me for them. For my Court Jester and my Princess, I am enough.
I am enough for them when I have laid myself out before the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and asked Him, How should I mother today?
I will fail. But God gives grace. Society doesn’t. So being the momma God created me, called me, directs me to be is the safest place to fail.
Because I am this mom. And with God’s grace, this mom is enough.