This is for those moms. Moms like I used to be. The ones who not so much in the day to day, but in the looking back, struggle the most, pick apart the most, question the most, play the “What if” game the most. This is for you if you ever looked back and felt like a failure, the worst mom ever. This is for you who wrestle daily with doubt that you got any of this mom thing right.
I used to want to be anywhere but in church on Mother’s Day when they would pray over the moms, and somewhere in that sweet prayer they would thank God for moms and talk about how wonderful they were. I did not think I fit that description at all, and I felt like a fraud. I was so hard on myself, taking ownership of so much that was not mine. It was a heavy burden I placed upon myself.
If I could talk to my younger mom self today, this is what I would say. I wish someone had said this to me, so I will say this to you. Consider it a Mother’s Day gift from my heart to yours:
Gentle and easy does it. No need to look back and see so much that you can’t believe you missed, yet only use what you see to be down on yourself. No need to focus on yourself at all. Self blame and sadness over fairy tale dreams ending only adds more fuel to the out of control fire of the nightmare that still rages in your heart though the embers are cold. Don’t look back, don’t look down. Look out. Look around. Look up.
Oh, girl. How I long to make you understand. Know just how much you are loved? So much. By a great big God who sees every one of your shortcomings yet loves you all the more in the midst of them. Your mom mess-ups? Forgiven. All of them. You need to forgive yourself. I know, easier said than done. But you can. Because I did. It took a very long time, and I would love to save you from that delay. Look up, and see the grace freely given. It’s yours to receive and strive to live in light of.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Rom 8:1