It’s 10am and nothing has been accomplished. My coffee has been reheated for the 6th time, no one is out of their pj’s yet and my 2 year old has watched 4 episodes of Little Baby Bum. My 5 month old has been up all night nursing every 2 hours like a newborn and I am feeling it. My husband texts to see how everything is going at home and I respond with a cute picture of the three of us. Because, you know, I’ve got it together. With the right filter, it even looks like I’m wearing makeup and with the right angle, it looks like we’re all wearing actual clothes. It’s only Monday and I’m so ready for the weekend when I can pass my baton to Aaron for some help.
It’s 10:25am on a Sunday and everyone is yelling, screaming or crying as we try to get out the door with two kids two and under for church. Church is at 10:30 and we live 21 minutes away. My two year old has said “Mommy” 117 times in the 10 minutes from our house to the bridge. My 5 month old is screaming in her car seat because her adorably huge bow has fallen over her eyes. We park at the very bottom of the hill and lug up the kids and diaper bag and barely slip in before communion has ended. One of us takes Samuel to class and the other attempts to make it through a sermon with Oliva. I wonder why we bothered.
I lose my patience. I get snappy. I text Aaron and tell him I’m losing my mind and could he just come home early? I forget why I ever left my job. I pick up pots and pans for the 10th time that day because Samuel likes to pretend to cook. I want to throw the Xbox out the window if I have to listen to Trolls one more time. I pray for bedtime so I’m not being touched or talked to. Then bedtime comes and I check on my kids for the last time. Their little hands and faces make me want to wake them up just for one more snuggle. I love them so much it physically hurts me. Sometimes I feel like my heart will actually explode from the sheer amount of love. And then I cry. I fail them every day. The short answer when Samuel wanted a snack. The huff when Olivia woke up to nurse. The adamant no to another viewing of Trolls. They are so little and it breaks my heart when I think of all the times during the day I fail them. I lay in bed just knowing they would be so much better off with a different mother; someone more patient and kind and someone who would be willing to quote Trolls all day, every day. I think to myself how much better I’ll be tomorrow and how I’ll show them all day how much I love being their mom. I expect perfection from myself in this role.
Moms, we strive so hard for perfection. The cleanest house, the cutest baby outfits, the best Christmas picture, the perfect vacation, working so hard to make every day magical and perfect. And it weighs me down SO much. I can’t be the perfect Christian, wife or human so why would I ever think I could perfect this mom gig? When I think of the mom I want to be most like I think of Mary. Her faith, her obedience, her love are all qualities I hope to emulate. And she wasn’t perfect. While Jesus was fully God, He was also fully Man. Do you understand what that means? This means He didn’t sleep through the night as an infant. He teethed. He comfort nursed. He had a favorite song Mary sang and she would sing it until she thought she couldn’t handle one more verse. She had to teach Him to walk and talk and struggle to find foods He wanted to eat. She needed sleep. She didn’t even know where He was for three days when He was 12. She was exhausted. But she raised Jesus. She RAISED our Savior. We like so often to go from the manger to the cross that we forget there were years in between. Years where Mary hoped she was making the right decisions. Years where she didn’t know how she had the energy to make it through one more day. We can assume Joseph died during these years (since Jesus took care of Mary) so at some point she was doing this ON HER OWN. She raised Him knowing what He would do. She had to watch Her son die. For us. For the world. She watched Him die for her. She was His mom. And she was not perfect. But because the role of mom is so vital, so important, our perfect Savior made it one of His last commandments from the cross to make sure His imperfect mom was taken care of.
Our kids do not need perfection. They do not need hours of Pinterest crafts to keep them entertained all day long. The do not need Instagram perfect moments. They need us. And they need us to show up, day after day, with all the love that only a perfectly imperfect mom can bring.