I'm too hard on myself.
I'm certain I'm hardest on myself in the area of parenting. I want to be a good mom. I want to make the right choices that allow my child(ren) to thrive. I want to ensure that they eat the right things and don't watch too much television and learn, learn, learn and learn some more. Yet, all that really, truly matters is that they are loved and feel loved. That they have a roof over their heads and don't go to bed hungry. That for the most part they're on track for their age. That they enjoy their childhood.
I'm a good mom.
I know that. Sometimes I have to say it and literally encourage myself with those words; I'm a good mom. I need to extend myself grace during the times that I'm not the perfect cookie-cutter mom that I've imagined a mom should be.
When there are piles of dishes in the sink, the floors haven't been mopped in weeks, smudges on the dining room table, and crayon markings on the window from weeks ago; I need to take some time to reflect. Those dishes are the result of a home-cooked meal, those floors show traces of food dropped by a little kitchen helper, that dirty table is the home of family dinners, and those markings, well, that’s an artist’s creativity at its finest.
If you stop by I’m doubtful that you’ll find a mess-free home or completed projects from the thousands of pins I have on Pinterest. I’m doubtful that you’ll find that I've taken the time to do my hair (specifically during the weekend -- thank God for cute hats in the fall) or that I've managed to shower before noon. But you probably will find Madison full of laughter throughout your visit. Puzzle pieces strung about from earlier in the day and books on the floor that we've read for the millionth time. And hopefully you’ll take note of that fact that I don’t stink, whether I've taken a shower or not ;).
If you could see behind closed doors you’d see that I lose my patience. That I've raised my voice a time, or 'few'. That I've made plenty of mistakes while raising my little girl and will make plenty more in the years to come. But you’ll also see that I’m never afraid to apologize to my child, admit when I’m wrong and even ask her for forgiveness.
Raising child(ren) takes a lot of effort and there is no handbook or perfect model that can be followed. I need to remind myself of all the things I’m doing right and continually ask God to help me see and change the things I’m doing wrong. I need His grace to cover me during one of the most important tasks that He trusts me to manage.
Ultimately, as I've said before, I need to extend myself some grace.
I am a good mom.