I see you. Standing at the kitchen sink as the tears fall down your cheeks. You've been trying to get the dishes washed for at least an hour, while your kids work to gain your attention between their "Mommy, watch this"es and their meltdowns.
You feel pulled in a million different directions as the laundry piles up, the to-do list builds, your 5 year old just wants you to read a story with him, your 3 year old is screaming about ALL THE THINGS, your baby is crying instead of napping, and you know your husband is on his way home to the disaster of a house.
When your head finally hits the pillow at night, the guilt lays right down with you. You wonder if you fussed at the kids too much today. Or if you weren't firm enough. Or if the discipline you gave was even effective. The reel of “bad mom moments” plays in your brain on a loop. You wonder if any other mom is having this hard of a time, and promptly decide it’s just you. For some reason you just can’t handle this mom gig, and your kids would be much better off with a different, nicer, more fun mom.
It feels like the weight on your chest won’t allow you to even get up. The pressure feels suffocating as you try to juggle all the jobs, demands, and expectations. You feel like you're letting everyone down. That there's just not enough of you to go around. That you're not enough.
I see you. I've been you.
First let me tell you that the nagging voice in your head trying to throw all that guilt on top of you is not true. That voice is not God’s.
You ARE doing a good job.
Your kids DO love you (they probably even like you).
Your efforts are not futile.
Please hear me when I say this: there are more than enough things on your plate each day, and there is not enough room for guilt.
This season of mothering? It’s hard. It feels lonely. You're surrounded all day by small little people that are prone to selfishness. They ask and ask and want every little ounce you have to give without realizing you only have so much capacity. Your tank seems to runs dry, and it's hard to get it refilled. You somehow manage to find a minute to take a break, only to be met with mamas on Pinterest and Instagram who seemingly have every bit of their lives together. They have well-dressed kids and their hair is perfectly blown out or braided. Meanwhile some days you are living on dry shampoo and pulling clothes out of the laundry hamper because you forgot to start that load of laundry last night.
Sister, I'm going to venture to guess you are doing the best job you possibly can. So if some days it’s a dry shampoo and febreze-the-laundry day, don’t sweat it. You may have "fussed too much", you may have raised your voice too loudly, you may have spoken too quickly to your kids, or to your husband when he got home. But there is grace.
There is grace.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Did you love your kids today? Were they fed? Did they have clothes to wear (Febrezed or not)? Then mama, you are doing alright.
I know it feels like you have to constantly be all the things to all the people. I get it. I feel that way, too. But I promise you're doing a good job.
Tell that guilt that wants to eat away at you to go straight back to hell because that’s where it’s coming from. You don't have time for it, and it's just not the truth. Scripture tells us there’s no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1). It tells us the Holy Spirit is our helper and our comforter, not our condemner (John 14:26).
So go look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you're doing a good job. You're not ruining your kids. You're not a disappointment to them. They think you hung the moon. They think you're super woman. You're their most favorite person on the planet. And at the end of the day, instead of going through the list of all the things you think you did wrong, make a list of all the good things. The fun things you did and the memories you made. Make a list of all the things that are true about you: that you are beautiful, perfect, holy, chosen, and righteous...end of discussion. That may feel untrue, but we have to take God at His word (Col. 3:12, Heb. 10:14, Rom. 5:1, Eph. 2:10). And a beautiful, perfect, holy, chosen, and righteous mom is not a bad mom. And all those things I just said (and much more importantly, God has said) about you are always true even when you feel like a bad mom, even when you don’t make the perfect choice in a tired moment. You may feel like you're screwing it all up, but your kids don't think so. And I don't think so. And God doesn't think so.
You are enough, and you are doing a great job. I’m going to say it one more time because I know it can feel hard to believe, and we know for dang sure the enemy is yelling the opposite to us on the regular. Mama, you are enough, and you are doing a great job.
I’ve been to my college sweetheart for almost 11 years, and we live in Louisiana where we are raising our three boys, Evan (7), Porter (5), and Gibson (2). I’m a stay at home/work from home mom who blogs, takes photos, and paints, You can check out my artwork on facebook and instagram and follow along for my day to day life and encouragement @coldcoffeehotmess.