Bad Mom VS Good Mom
|How do you handle THIS with grace?!|
I had the most amazing day at church today. It was Stake Conference. (Though I am Mormon and we do eat meat, we don't actually EAT steak and confer about it at these things, we just get together and listen to people talk. It is spelled differently.) Anyway, it was good stuff. I felt really...lifted up in a good way.
Do you know that feeling? When life has been kicking you in the teeth and you are starting to feel a little sorry for yourself and angry at somebody (probably hubby) and then something happens or you read something or hear something and suddenly, your burdens feel lighter and you just KNOW you can go on and do better?
It was like that.
And it was a good feeling.
My noisy babies fell asleep and my older kids were quiet for a few moments and I actually had a chance to be still, reflect, listen, and look inward at what I needed to work on. It is a wonderful thing every once in a while for a busy, noise bombarded mother to just B R E A T H E and consider life and what is going right and what is going wrong.
I don't get those moments very often. And too often, when I DO get a moment alone I spend it moping a floor or reading a junky novel. (Which is totally awesome by the way, not giving up mysteries anytime soon.)
I know I talk a lot on here about the stuff I do wrong and the spilled milk and the screaming kids and ways I manipulate my husband, but deep down, I actually want to be a good person. I WANT to be a good mother and an amazing wife. I want to look back on my life when I am old and feel like I did my best and be...content with the job I did.
So I left this conference after hearing a lot of words that I needed to hear. I thought some thoughts that I needed to think. I felt whole and confident and humbled all at the same time.
I was sure of it: I was going to do better!
Shoot, I was even going to clean my windows.
I can't think of a better feeling than that- the peaceful feeling you have when you know you need to work on something but you also KNOW you can do it. It is a quiet and humble confidence. It is really what us religious folks call faith on a personal level.
Then of course, I got in my car.
I drove home.
My family was there.
Then the strangest thing happened.
My five year old sassed me over something really stupid.
The house was imperfect, just how I had left it.
There was lots to do and people coming over and nobody seemed to cooperate as I desired.
Suddenly my desire to be more incredible was slammed face to face with the reality which is life: chaos, mood swings, imperfection, and fatigue.
Mama, it is SO much harder to be a good mom in real life than it is IN MY HEAD. Do you know what I mean? I have the sneaking suspicion you do. (I am not even good at being a good mom on my blog!!!)
I think of the scripture in Matthew 26: 41, "the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Did I just freak you out with scripture? Sorry. Very occasionally, usually on a Sunday I whip out the old spiritual post. You can leave. Don't be mad at me.)
But it IS true you know. Even if you don't believe in the scriptures, this one has a lot of truth in it. Inside, the GOOD MOM me, she KNOWS how she should be. She knows how important it is. She knows she must be better for these kids and for her husband and for the world and just for HERSELF.
Then real life happens, and boy is it hard. The flesh IS weak after hours of noise and little sleep and just being stressed in so many parts of life. The ACTION of perfection is so much harder than the IDEA of perfection.
I kind of think that this is why things get so heated sometimes between mothers when we talk about all these perfect parenting techniques with all their peace and love and no raised voices. Yeah- they sound pretty good to just about everybody. Kids who listen because you are consistent and fair. Mothers who stay calm even when things get rough.
This all sounds GREAT. But our real lives don't always work out that great, do they? Mine doesn't at least. It is hard not to just get discouraged, don't you think? It is also easy to get offended, HELLO, we usually KNOW when we are doing something we shouldn't! I know that the absolute last thing I need when I am down and out and screwing up is somebody to take the time to say,
"Man, you are totally doing that all wrong. You better work on that."
But I think we should keep going. Keep striving for perfection. Keep trying to improve. Keep forgiving ourselves when we fall short. All the while hoping that little by little we will get better and overcome our weaknesses.
(And for me, I keep hoping that my kids won't remember much before the age of ten except for awesome stuff about cookies and hugs. I mean, you want your kids to be smart, but not TOO smart. Then they just remember stuff you would rather forget.)
Peace out mamas-
I think we can do it.