I am insecure in my mothering abilities. There, I said it…and no, it didn’t feel good to “get it off my chest.” It just sucked. And stung a little.
And, I worry. I worry and wonder if they are learning all the things they need to learn? Are we creating a home where they can grow to be themselves? Am I making God real to them? Are they going to grow up to passionately love Oreos instead of broccoli, just like their mom?
I wonder what God was thinking sometimes–giving me three children to care for. I mean, I did ask for all three of them, but since when does God give me everything I ask for?
And how did I end up homeschooling (at least this year) because man, I am so stinkin’ bad at it. I wonder what the next 10 years will look like and I immediately become exhausted–sorta like the way I feel when my mind tries to comprehend eternity. You know, where your brain hurts and feels like it might explode with thoughts of Forrrevvverrr….
But mostly, I think about what my kids will be like as adults? Will they be capable, full of character, in pursuit of their dreams? And will they inevitably look back and think “Man, mom really sucked sometimes. I wish she had done _____ or been more ______.”
Of course, I know that I’m harder on myself than I need to be. My husband is so quick to encourage me as a mom and remind me of the good, not just the bad and the ugly. While it helps, I have to admit, that motherhood has proven to be harder than anything I’ve ever done–or probably will ever do.
It’s a daily and constant exercise in faith, patience, resilience, perseverance, and trust. And many days, I feel like I’m failing.
I mean, I’m not so bad that I should be fired, but certainly demoted. CEO of motherhood, I am not. More like the entry-level mom of something or other.
But, I’m learning and all of this leads me to ask you a few rather important questions:
1. What did your parents do really well? What do you remember as their strengths?
2. What were you parents not so great at? Not to shame them or judge them, but as adults, for us to honestly evaluate where our parents were less-than-stellar.
Because, at the end of the day, motherhood–and really parenting, in general–comes down to us trusting our instincts, finding support in a community, and scooping up as much awesome parenting advice as we can. Generally, I avoid unsolicited parenting advice from strangers because they tell you things like “Rub some whiskey on their gums,” and “Kids don’t need discipline, just hugs and snuggles.”
But, we aren’t strangers. You are my friends…and I’m asking.
So have at it! Share with me your nuggets of wisdom and gold and may I read and re-read them again and again, especially on the days when locking myself in the bathroom honestly seems like the best course of action.