There’s something that seems to happen among all women both before we have kids and shortly after. I will admit that I too was very guilty of this before kids and in the beginning of my motherhood. Though I might never had said anything out loud, my mind and heart criticized some moms.
I would NEVER let my child make a mess in my car.
Somebody needs to teach that child a lesson. Throwing tantrums on the floor of the grocery store? Unacceptable. My child would never do that!
*gasp* Did she seriously just let her son have goldfish for breakfast?!
Come on, admit it, you did it too. Or maybe you even do it now! The thing is, until we’ve been there, we need to seriously stop. Just stop.
Recently, this picture/post has been floating all over Facebook. I literally laughed out loud, mingled with a bit of frustrated anger, when I read it. This young mom who has been a mother for all of two weeks has decided that she suddenly knows it all and goes on a shaming rant of all moms. The irony is that it will come back to bite her in the future, and the sad thing is that all of her friends will be sitting around waiting to say “i told you so.” But let’s be honest here, how many of us have said the same things in our hearts and minds? This girl was just foolish enough to say it on social media for all the world to see and laugh.
I will say that there is a tiny percentage of moms who excuse laziness for motherhood and therefore deserve a hearty chewing out. But, right now I want to talk to the large percentage of moms who really do care and are trying.
Moms, we all live in different dynamics. No two families are the same. Some moms have several kids, some only one or two. Some are dealing with depression, while others are going through marriage troubles. Some are single, separated, or divorced. Some have children with chronic health issues. Others have children with autism. Some moms are struggling with health issues themselves. Some stay at home while others are working. You see? The dynamics are so incredibly different throughout each family.
Moms, can I ask you to do something?
Just do your best.
Your best will probably be different every day. Your best will not be the same as your neighbor’s, and that’s okay! You don’t know what battles she is dealing with.
Before I was diagnosed with Lyme’s Disease (will tell you about that in another post), I struggled with postpartum depression. Sometimes my best was simply getting out of bed and getting dressed and trying to get through the day without crying. I did it because my children needed me, but at the time, that was my best. Now that I have Lyme’s, my best includes trying to fold laundry, hold my baby, etc. before my joints hurt too much to do so. My best is drinking copious amounts of coffee to ward off the chronic fatigue I battle with from morning till evening.
Your best might be feeding your children goldfish for breakfast one morning because you are trying desperately to overcome a headache. Sometimes, your best might be cleaning the house top to bottom! Some days you do laundry, while other days are spent constantly picking up after your children. Some days are dragging your feet into the house after work and giving your children a warm greeting before collapsing on the couch. Sometimes it means leaving dirty dishes in the sink to take care of a sick baby or not vacuuming to play with your children.
Moms, let’s stop setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves and for other moms. Let’s realize the reality that messes will happen, we can’t be superwomen, our children love us, and we are doing our best.
God doesn’t call us to be perfect. He calls us to do our best and leave the rest to Him. When we feel discouraged, He is there to encourage us. He always has a way of reminding us of the perfect verse at the perfect time. He has unique ways of making us feel His presence. Listen to His voice and do your best. If you need ideas for how to maintain your relationship with God through the busyness of motherhood, I encourage you to read this post. I think you’d find it to be of encouragement to you (and hopefully give you some ideas).
Be slow to criticize.
Do your best.
Trust God with the rest.