Love Letter to the Failing Mom

  Photo by  Roan Lavery  on  Unsplash

Photo by Roan Lavery on Unsplash

First of all, breathe.


Have you taken a nap lately? Have you eaten today? Showered? Maybe go do one of those things. I'm serious. Put a show on for your kids, beg/borrow/steal a babysitter, give your kids the good chocolate--whatever you gotta do. Take a minute. 


Oh, your house is a mess? That's ok. Mine too. You know what? It means your babies are here. They're living. They're alive and it's glorious. Put on some music and dance with them. Or, sweep everything into a giant pile in the middle of the floor and throw it into a trashbag. That works, too. 


Is it late at night? Are your kids asleep, and you've barely seen them because you were at work all day? OR were you home all day, but working, and you barely paid any attention to them? And either way, now you're racked with guilt? Let it go, girl. It's not your guilt. Your children are well.


You have eternal influence on them whether you share the same space daily or not, whether you did precious fingerpainting crafts all day or not. There's grace for it all, so sneak into their rooms to kiss them while they sleep, thank God for them, ask him to increase opportunities to connect with their hearts, and go to bed. 


Um, yes, my kids watch a lot of Octonauts too. They're still really smart. So are yours. You're going to be ok. 


Are you crying? It's ok! Cry it out, girl. Call a friend and cry it out. Lock yourself in the bathroom and have a good cry. Let your babies see you cry. Tell them mommy's having a rough day, and can they give you a hug? 

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Did you yell at your kids today? Me too, probably. Then I apologized to them, and asked them to pray with mommy that Jesus helps her do better next time. Then I let myself off the hook because I'm not the judge of me--Christ is, and he judges me clean. Are you ready to stop being the judge of you, too? 


Sometimes I worry my kids will grow up and lose all their teeth because they are malnourished individuals who subsist on Cheerios and sandwhich meat and Chick-fil-A. You, too?


You know what--they won't. And even if they do, I feel like we can reasonably expect the dental community to have made great leaps forward by then.


Sometimes I think about how utterly and completely embarrassed I'd be if someone walked into my home and saw--all of it. Me in my husband's scraggly t-shirt that I've been wearing for three days with the giant zit on my chin and hair that hasn't been touched by any sort of hair tool in...a while, and my house that smells like a zoo, and the children that are hanging from the fan...but then I think about all the other mamas, and how we're all thinking the exact same thing, and I think--we're all in this together. Even if we forget that. 


Girl, whatever Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, your mom, your mother in law, your best friend, the Walmart cashier, or that random nosy neighbor says: the dishes don't matter, the baby weight doesn't matter, work doesn't matter. What matters is you--your heart. It's going to be ok.


There are good things in store, so have hope. The long days end, and there is rest for your weary, aching soul. You are a wonderful, fantastic mother, and you are doing an amazing job. 


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PS what you don't know about self-care here and anxiety about telling my kids the important stuff here