In the last 24 hours, I have had several mom-friends share their feelings of either shame over “failures” or exhaustion over trying so hard to do it all…
I can’t shake it. I know these women. I believe in who they are and all they do for their children. How is it that they don’t see the same things I do? Do they see the gifts they have and the amazing blessings they give their family? Self-criticism, blame, and punishment. It comes so naturally doesn’t it? I see it all the time. I often wonder why it is we can’t see beyond those pieces in our life that we fall short on, and embrace those triumphs in all we do right.
A mom who regrets and shamefully shares that she was unable to keep photo albums of some of her children, however she has had nine kids (yes, NINE) and all have grown into beautiful amazing faithful human beings. ALL OF THEM! Falling short?
A mom who works full time, comes home to do homework with the older kids, rises to the “mom job”, breast feeds her infant at 3:00am and up to start the day all over again at 6:00am… but she can’t shake her fatigue and depression because she needs more time in the day to do it all. Falling short?
A mom who has four children, works as a nurse for 12-hour shifts, and struggles with desperate attempts to help her kids with ADHD and academic issues. Her shame? Not being able to find her son’s glasses that he lost and equating this with her success as a mom. Falling short?
A mom who forgets a morning brunch and shames herself for not keeping up with her social calendar… having a nursing baby, 7 other children off to school that first day and one on the way in a month. Falling short?
A mom who is desperately trying to help her children adjust to a divorce and living arrangements, feeling pain over their pain. Yet, her faith is evident in their lives, as she has remarkably taught them to trust in God. Falling short?
A mom who loses her temper with a child she is home schooling and shames herself for lack of control…all the while just starting this new way of life with THREE children in various grade levels, attempting to create a unified family. Falling short?
Here’s the thing my dear moms…
What’s your “mother mission statement”?
If we think in terms of having this ministry in our lives, which indeed that is exactly what it is: Should we have a purpose to shoot for? Are we indeed carrying out our mission? Aside from the things we fall short on, can we see that our mission is being fulfilled? Or has it been clouded up with the self-blame and judgment choking our light and our power? If we have a mission to measure our motherhood, maybe we would be able to realize that although we may fall short on some things…
We are carrying out our mission!!
I can’t write your mission statement. But I can offer some ideas…
My children build a strong foundation of faith.
My children are loved unconditionally and always know they belong in our family.
My children become successful citizens of the community and find a purpose.
My children learn to love others and live in grace.
My children develop strong coping skills to live in society.
My children find true self-confidence in who they are.
These are just a few. Maybe you have more or maybe you like them all…
Of course there are millions of goals we have for our children and many details we must follow through in order to achieve them: Sleeping through the night, potty training, passing 3rd grade, making the volleyball team, keeping up with their homework… ETC. It’s not these “missions” I am talking about- those are “mini-missions”, not THE mission! Of course they are significant, but as we walk through the millions of opportunities to fall short on those…
We can keep our eyes on the bigger picture.
If you realize your Mother Mission, the details and every day shame will become smaller and your vision of your ministry will become clearer. There is no perfect mom. All far short. But at the end of your day, you can reflect on your “mom mission” and know that even through those few failed attempts in the details…
Your mission is being accomplished.
Can I hear an AMEN?
So as you find yourself counting all the mini-goals and details you may have fallen short in your mother ministry, please do me a favor?
Reflect back again and find all the things you have done that truly support your mission.
Picture your mother ministry like a hiking path that is created by those pebbles you see often at parks etc. You are walking on your path defined by the pebbles. The pathway is created by millions of them that lead you around bends and turns. There are endless pebbles as you go on that path that leads your way. You see some pebbles that have been kicked off the path…maybe even some piles, maybe you see a few way over on the grass.. Although you continue to see them scatter to and fro at times by the pressure of your feet, the path is still evident. You are still able to see where you are going to go, where you have been, and where you are…because the millions of pebbles are exactly where they should be.
On the path…
(Okay, not that you can’t go and grab a bunch of pebbles and throw them back on the path! Even one or two when you can, if you can! But the visual is getting too long! I could do another page on how to “pick up the pebbles and throw them back onto the path, but really…I think we’re done here!)