We’ve all had them.
The times we feel overwhelmed, insufficient, incapable, and stress paralyzed. The times we feel like utter failures as moms, wondering if we’ll survive and fearing our kids will grow up severely damaged.
I really think we need to give ourselves a little break. A bit of grace. For myself, I need to find humor in motherhood. If I didn’t try to find something to laugh at, I wouldn’t be able to find the joys an meaningfulness of being a mom!
So here are 15 things about my motherhood adventures that I hope you can laugh at, cry with or relate to. I also hope you will be encouraged that you’re not the only one who doesn’t have it all figured out!
15 Ways to Know You are a Good Mom
1. You made a to-do list like this one:
- mow yard
- fold laundry
- clean toilet
But, at the end of your exhausting day, you realized none of that was done. So you added the things you did get done so you’d have something to check off on your list!
- mow yard
- fold laundry
- clean toilet
- wipe boogers
- change 11 diapers
- swing the kids
- read them a book
- make PB&J for lunch
- again for snacks
- and for supper, because that’s what they wanted today
- kiss boo-boos
- keep everyone alive
The last one is especially essential. I prefer doing it every day. PB&J helps accomplish that!
2. Your child got stuck in the mud you told him to stay out of. He can’t move and was screaming for you to come rescue him. You do, but first you must calmly snapped about five photos from different angles.
And you laugh.
3. You got called a pig and took it as a compliment. Actual words from my daughter,
“Hey mom! You’re the bestest mom ever! You know why? Cuz you eat my leftovers.”
….thoughtful pause and slight giggle as she finished with,
“You’re kinda like a pig!”
4. You realize you only got one leg shaved and you’ve been walking around like that for 2 days…in shorts.
You decide you’re just getting in touch with your more primitive side.
5. You tell yourself, “My hair isn’t messy. It’s the humidity making it look like this.” And you try to believe it. If that doesn’t work you justify your wad of frizz with, “It’s a messy bun. That’s an actual hair style, you know.”
6. Your first thought at seeing your 1 year old chomping on dog food is,
“Oh!!…. Well, its good for the dog. It must have some nutritional value, right?”
Then you check yourself, try have him spit it out, but it gets swallowed anyway.
7. You can handle a conversation at the dinner table where your children are sharing about squeezing chicken entrails till the poop came out.
Then, without skipping a beat, they mentioned off-handedly that the dog ate his vomit that day. You listen interestedly and never gag because you’ve grown a stomach of iron.
8. You rename a recipe because of something your child said about it.
In our family we have a delicious pasta and fruit salad smothered in poppy seed dressing. Due to all the poppy seeds, our oldest deemed in “Fly Poop Salad”.
Yes. We call it that.
9. You have 45 minutes to do errands….ALONE.
But you’re not sure how to handle it, because this freedom thing….its so strange….and quiet….and boy, did it fly by fast.
So for the last mile, you slow down to a whopping 10 mph, roll the windows down, crank the music, because loud is all you know and you’re just trying to squeeze in a few more seconds of this loud quiet.
10. Your children come bounding out of the house, jumping up and down, wanting hugs, and expressing pure delight at seeing your face again. You feel a twinge of guilt that your delight doesn’t quite match theirs. But your heart is full at such a grand welcome home after only 43 minutes.
11. You need a shower. BAD.
So you lock all windows, deadbolt the doors, turn on cartoons, hand the kids a bag of cheese puffs and a huge community mug of lemonade.
You dive into the shower, sure you hear them escaping or a home invasion taking place. You’re breathless as you barge out of the bathroom, clean and clothed in 2.5 minutes flat, just in time to see the last cheese puff being devoured and the 64oz mug slurped empty.
Success! Now just wait for the sugar high.
You still didn’t get that other leg shaved.
12. The kids are fighting. There’s major exaggeration and self justification in their screams. You poke your head in the room and holler over the din, “Anyone kill their sister yet?”
They freeze. Stone quiet for 1 second, as they process what they just heard. Then they erupt in giggles and the day resumes peacefully.
13. Not only are you the only one who flushes the toilet, but you can also tell who has been there last. Let’s just say….you know who’s is who’s.
The mountain men of the 1800’s called it “reading sign”, don’t you know.
14. You tell your children they need to go to their rooms and that you don’t want to see their beautiful faces or hear their lovely voices for 15 minutes.
You set the timer for 17 minutes.
Then you crumble onto the living room floor, in the middle of all the mess and bawl your eyes out. You glance at the timer. You have 8 minutes to get it together.
So, you dry your eyes, wash your face, breathe a prayer, tell yourself you’ll be alright and your kids will survive. Then you make the timer ding 5 minutes early because somehow seeing them is what you need right now.
They come running and you all have cuddle time on the couch.
15. You sneak into their room at night, push back the mound of messy hair, kiss their soft cheeks, in awe of God’s beautiful creations, wondering how He trusts you with them.
You brush a tear off their cheek and realize it’s your own.
So much is held in that one tear…..
Joy and awe at the sight of this perfect creature.
Sadness that she’s growing so fast.
Terror at how the world will damage him.
Excitement at how He will impact the world through the child.
Relief at the promise of beautiful sleep awaiting you.
You see, dear friend, motherhood is crazy.
It’s also crazy blessed.
No matter how much I beat myself up, one thing I’ve learned is that my child loves me and thinks I’m awesome, just for being mom.
I wonder sometimes if our children want to tell us, “I love you for giving this mom thing your best shot. You’re doing a very good job at loving me.”
But, he has a hard time expressing himself. He feels, but can’t say.
She knows, but can’t express so much in words.
So, they do it by pouncing on us, screaming excitement in octaves not meant for human ears. They cry anger, and frustration at us because they know they’re safe with us.
They tackle us, lay on us, rub on us, tap on us till we go nuts, tug our clothes till they come off, repeat “mom, mom, mom” till we’re sure the word has a hole worn through, making demands just to know that we’re still holding them as a priority…
and we are.
Every time we fulfill their need be loved, no matter how hard or annoying it is, we’re doing it because we really are good mothers.
So, don’t be so hard on yourself.
Look for the beauty in the every day, in the imperfect, and the less than ideal.
Because in that, you’ll find the perfect. The beautiful. The blessing. The more-than-you-can-imagine.
Now go hug your kids and tell them you love them. They’ll hug you back and tell you they love you, too.
Because today is going to be crazy, and you’re going to need the reminder.