World's Okayest Mom
Let me begin with the disclaimer that I'm not writing this for affirmation or fishing for compliments. This is for the fellow moms who might feel the same way I do from time to time. I hope you can be encouraged to know there are others of us. With that said…
To my fellow okayish moms,
If I were to write an autobiography, the most fitting title for this chapter of life would be something along the lines of, “Not To Brag, But I Put On Pants Today."
There's a reason why I don't post Cyrus's milestones. It's because when I scroll through my feeds and I watch all my fellow beautiful mamas post about how their kid could run a mile and talk in complete sentences by the time they were one, the temptation to compare my child’s progress and my own parenting skills is overwhelming, and inevitable discouragement almost always ensues. I'm working on it, I promise I am. And please don't stop posting, moms. It’s an opportunity for me to celebrate your child's triumphs with you, and I think that is so crucial in this motherhood community—the ability to celebrate the victories and grieve the losses of others.
It's hard being honest about being a mom because it's a constant balancing act of not scaring my friends who don’t have kids, and not condemning the mom's who always seem to have it all together. My goal as a writer is to always be a source of encouragement, but I feel like the best thing I have to offer you is my honesty, pure and unfiltered, otherwise my words hold no weight. So here it is--
Sometimes I struggle to feel like I'm doing enough for Cyrus. I feel selfish when I'm not connecting every minute of every day because I'm working on a homework assignment or stressing over my to-do list. I feel responsible when he doesn't eat his dinner, and I feel lazy when I just give him the grilled cheese because I know it goes without a fight. I feel like I’m under-disciplining when he’s throwing a fit in the frozen food section, and for goodness sake, I feel like I’m being too insensitive when I let him cry it out.
Of course, I feel so much pride and joy and inexplicable fulfillment in this new role, but I need to know it's ok to feel the other things, too. It's ok to wrestle and question and occasionally give in. It doesn’t make me a bad mom and it most certainly doesn’t make Cyrus any less special or significant.
Cyrus isn't going to be raised in a perfect home by perfect parents. I can't promise that he'll be reading months before his peers. What I can promise is this: he will be loved with a messy, imperfect, voracious love. A love that says I'm sorry when I respond the wrong way or lose my patience. A love that says no matter how many meals he refuses to eat or how long it takes him to learn something new, I could not be more proud of him, and I'm not going anywhere. Because at the end of the day, can we just all agree that it’s not going to matter if he was a delayed talker or impartial to nutrient-dense casseroles? I’m pretty certain his taste buds are going to change about a thousand times, and from what I hear, Ivy League schools aren’t super concerned with the vocabulary of an eighteen month old.
This blog isn’t an excuse to not try my best, or to be negligent or apathetic about investing in my son’s health and future. It’s about recognizing that my best, your best, is and will always be enough, only because it is supplemented with the inexhaustive grace of God. No mom is perfect. We are all fighting our own battles. But the good news is, your child doesn’t need perfect. He just needs a safe place to grow and learn and live. And he needs to know that there IS a perfect person who can give him everything you can't. And that person is Jesus. I'll leave perfect to Him, and resolve to good enough.
World's Okayest Mom