This Is Motherhood

Motherhood can be grueling.

On the good days we are encouraged, buoyed by a smile, sticky hands, and an “I love you mommy.”  On the hard days we are certain that there is nothing about us that is enough; utterly convinced that we are failing our children.

We are weighted by guilt and the belief that almost everyone else does this mothering thing better than us.  In a world in which our food and even our clothing are organic, the bar has been raised.  The standby packages of Hamburger Helper and Ramen noodles are hidden away in the back of the pantry; and box-mix birthday cupcakes have been shamed by Pinterest masterpieces.  We are grateful to Kraft for removing the artificial colors from their macaroni and cheese – if only because it alleviates the side serving of guilt served with this box made speciality.  We are shamed by this definition of cooking.

Before the title “mother” is even official we are confronted with the debate of breast versus bottle; the inherent long-term damages of both pacifiers and vaccines; and whether or not to ferberize.  We agonize over the big and the small; second guessing our abilities as well as our choices.

We take our babies to their Well-Child appointments and watch the growth chart go up or down and convince ourselves they are eating too much or too little.  We’re certain its our fault and convict ourselves to “do better.”  And then, there are the times we don’t take them in, only to be met a week later with a diagnosis of a double ear infection and a dose of shame.

We forget about homework assignments, library books and “crazy hair” day.  We always sign-up to help with the class party but never to bake anything and feel guilty about our lack of ability and/or desire to create awe worthy treats.  We pick up our children after school and wonder how we never noticed that their tender ankles are sticking out well past the hem of their jeans and wonder how many other eyes noticed the same thing.

We forgot to send along snow pants, cannot find matching gloves, and realize belatedly that their sweet little toes are smashed within their too small shoes.

This is motherhood and we are faulty; nevermore so then in our own mind.  We will make mistakes; but, we are enough.

If we believe in the sovereignty of God; if we believe in His supremacy and that nothing is outside of His control or influence, then momma’s we can rest in the knowledge that we are enough.  We can also trust that His grace will fill in the gaps.

Our God does not make mistakes.  He created you for a purpose.  It is not by chance that your children are in your care.  Our heavenly Father has written a story for you and for your children.  You are essential to their story.  The Lord knew you before you were even formed in your mother’s womb.  He knew your weaknesses and strengths.  He knew how you would struggle and what you would fear.  And yet, despite these things, He chose you to be mom.

YOU were CHOSEN.

You may be weary. You may be weak, scared, and defeated.  But, YOU were CHOSEN.  Be in awe of God’s plan for your life.  Move forward confident in the knowledge of His will for your life.

Don’t be like Jonah fleeing from the Lord and Nineveh.

Embrace God’s will, “his good, pleasing and perfect will” and let Him stand in the gaps. (Romans 12:2.)