(Cue soft classical music please)
Growing up all I ever wanted to be was a teacher and a mommy, but mostly a mommy. My sister and I spent countless hours sketching the design of our houses and talking about what life would be like when we were mothers. We were going to be the best mothers out there. Kids in the neighborhood would always be at our house, because that’s where everyone wanted to be. Our children would be well mannered, secure and at the top of their class. They would be soooo happy that we were their mothers......nobody can be perfect, but we knew in our hearts - we'd come pretty close.
(This is where the record player screeches to a halt)
Funny how life turns out. I am not a perfect mother and struggle constantly with feelings of inadequacy. There was a time in my life, when my oldest two were very young, that I was well known and very respected in the homeschool community. I believe I gave the image of "having it together" that so many of us want to have.
Enter RAD child. Wow - how this child has rocked my world. Gone is any image of having it together - fact of the matter is - I do not even care about the image any longer - I just desperately long to be what I am not. Our family therapist has suggested the book to me "The Good Enough Mom" time and time again. I can't get past the title....yeah that's what I want to be "good enough" Maybe my epitaph one day will read "Loving wife, good enough mom". Yeah -- that's what I want. I don't want to be adequate - I want to be great! ( I know - I should read the book - maybe one day - but today is not that day)
But – “great” is what I constantly feel that I am not. I allow Satan to place thoughts in my head like "What kind of mother cannot keep her family together?" "What kind of mother let's her child go into foster care and can't find an alternative to keep her family safe?" "What kind of mother allows her kids to go through such trauma?" "What kind of mother has to work so hard at getting her child to attach?" Many of you - your heart is crying right now because you can relate all too well to the questions.
I want to ask you this today - "Do you love your children?, Would you do anything for them?" Then if you too struggle with the above questions (or similar ones) call them what they are - Satan's lies. You are a great mom. If you are like me - you accomplish things you do not even give yourself credit for because your family does not run like the Andy Griffith Show. Try to remember - that’s because we don't live in Mayberry. Our life is not black and white - it's in full "Technicolor". For those of you who struggle because your child is in residential or your family is separated for some other reason beyond your control and you start feeling like "What kind of mom can't keep her family together?" - ask yourself if the women of the holocaust were bad mommies. Of course they weren't - -- circumstances were out of their control. Sometimes circumstances are out of your control too.
My two oldest children do something that is a balm to my hurting heart. A few years ago we did a study on Proverbs 31 ( the perfect women). One of the verses says that “her children will rise up and call her blessed.” We talked about what that meant. My 2 wonderful, sensitive, incredible children will sometimes - when they see me having a bad day - come over and whisper in my ear - or hug me and say really loud "Blessed, blessed - blessed" Makes me tear up just thinking about it. (Just one of the many items that I stick in the pockets of my heart to pull out on bad days.)
I shared all this because I know I am not the only one that struggles with this - I bet all trauma mamas do ( at least to one extent or another). And many moms that are not trauma mamas. It's in our nature, we love those kiddos, so we so desperately want to be what we cannot be. But we can point them to the One who is. After all - isn't that what it's all about "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself" If we were perfect - they really wouldn't look beyond us to Him. Through our imperfection we can point them to the perfect One. And that my friends is what makes each of you an incredible mom - your love for your children - your desire to be better - and your desire for your children to know the loving God. You deserve to be called “blessed” by your children – and one day you will be. You may not be the “perfect mom” – but “your price is far above rubies” because you are an incredible mom – whether you feel like you are or not.
Dancing in imperfection ( and trying to be okay with it),