For the Momma Who Feels Like the World’s Worst Thursday, December 26th, 2019
I have this memory from when my kids were little… they had spent the morning playing with play doh and coloring and reading and dragging out all of their toys and FIGHTING. There had been tons of fighting. I had my four month old on my hip as I put away the dishes when my oldest two (three and five years old) came running through the kitchen.
“Sissy has what I want!”
“No! You can’t have it! Bubby, it’s miiiiine.”
I started with simple reasoning. “Let’s all play nice together…” Which was pretty much the equivalent of just staring at them. And then I tried pleading with them. “Please stop. Just quit fighting. Hey. Guys. GUYS!” And then, I tried threatening everything from early bedtimes to personal calls to Santa if they didn’t stop teasing each other. But as one of them caught the other and shirts were being grabbed and the toy was being wrestled over, I hollered, “That’s it! JUST Stop it! Both of you!”
And they quit fighting, froze, and looked at me for about fifteen seconds in silence before beginning to cry and pleading their case.
I remember feeling like the world’s worst momma for making them cry.
I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I was stretched thin and pushed to my limit. And while I remember getting down on their level and apologizing for raising my voice rather than calming separating the two of them and listening to them individually, somehow the memory of what I did wrong always seems most in focus when I look back.
The World’s Worst Mom.
Have you ever thought those words? You know, I bet moms think it more often than we realize.
When we’re the last mom to pick up our kid from school, or forget that it’s show and tell day, or picture day, or everyone wear red day. When the baby gets ahold of the baby powder, or the toddler finds the permanent marker, or the preschooler finds the scissors and plays hairdresser. When just want a minute alone rather than with a child in our lap, or when we wish we could get that snuggle time back as our kids grow. When we worry our kids have too much screen-time. When we feel like we haven’t connected emotionally to our grown children like we should. When we realize that there are virtually no photos of our second child’s first six months of life. Or just about every time we log onto social media and read about some other “good mom” moment.
The thought, “You are the worst mom ever,” flashes through our mind, and we believe it. We fear it. And sometimes, we joke, as if to take back the power of those words, “Gosh. Am I the world’s worst mom or what?”
But even our playfulness doesn’t hide the reality that under it all we are afraid it might actually be true. It’s what the Enemy of our motherhood wants us to believe. Why? Because if he came make us feel guilty or ashamed or discouraged, then he can steal our hope. He can kill our confidence. He can destroy our view of ourselves, and this? This doesn’t just steal or kill or destroy us… it hurts our families as well.
But do you know what?
Repeating lies a million times still doesn’t make them true.
(I’ll say it again just in case you missed it.)
REPEATING LIES A MILLION TIMES STILL DOESN’T MAKE THEM TRUE.
We are moms who might have hard moments, but we are also moms who sing bedtime songs, and cuddle babies after nightmares, and drive to a million practices, and create a place for our families to gather for dinner, and check homework, and make the doctor’s appointments, and prepare for our kid’s future, and drive around moody teens, and go in to check on our kids night after night just to make sure they are tucked in and warm. We are moms who love with out limit, holding nothing back.
The truth is, what you are is normal. A woman with a great days and not so great days. A woman with great moments and not so great moments. A woman who tries her hardest and loves her family fiercely (whether they notice or appreciate it or not). What you are is a woman who cares whether or not she is doing a good or bad job, and that… that means you are definitely not the world’s worst mom. You aren’t even close. As a matter of fact, YOU are a good mom. Even on the hard days.
So, Lord, today we pray for the momma who has believed the lie that she is a bad mom. She has let her not so great moments define her. She has focused on all she has done wrong, but, Lord, You see how hard she tries and how much she loves her kids. Help her hear Your voice reminding her of all she does well. Help her see herself the way You do – a good mom who is trusting You to help her each day. Push back the fear in her heart and give her peace and confidence in it’s place. We ask in Jesus’s name.
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