Not a day goes by when I don’t find myself questioning something I did during the last 24 hours as a mother. Bearing the responsibility for four precious beings, plus an overgrown puppy can, at times, place a lot of pressure on this mama’s perfectionist-driven shoulders.
-Did we have enough fruits and vegetables?
-Did I encourage each of our amazing girls in a special way today?
-Did I wash her favorite bunny in time to tuck her into bed tonight?
-Are chicken nuggets for dinner okay again this evening?
Like a constant movie-reel some days.
A few weeks, while loading three-out-of-four tiny tots into the van, following a doctor appointment that confirmed the third ear infection in our house in two weeks, my beautiful mother looked at me and said, “You know, with each new little one you have, you just get calmer.” My response? “I have to, or I will lose my mind.”
Now granted, I was half-joking…but oh sweet mamas, there is definitely truth behind it all. Especially in today’s day-in-age image of motherhood…
…as so very many of us find ourselves encompassed by the remnants of failed Pinterest-attempts. Juggling the attention of multiple, loveable, little beings. Balancing the care of these same precious babes in our lives with the silent screams of the piling housework. Trying our best not to fall into the superficial trap of comparing ourselves to others in our Facebook-and-Instagram-driven world.
It’s the unfortunate state in which many of us find ourselves.
So, what if, beautiful souls…instead of the comparing…the organic vs. engineered…the breast-fed vs. the bottle-fed…the private vs. public…what if, instead of comparing, judging and belittling, we found ourselves forgiving.
Our own selves.
And in instead, filling those demeaning thoughts with encouraging words. Embracing hugs. And listening ears.
Motherhood is one of the. most. selfless. jobs. in. the. world. Sacrificial. Tireless. And when we compound these job traits with undue stress, comparisons and self-doubt, we end up in a whirlpool of exhaustion and turmoil. Sinking more quickly than we could even imagine catching our breath.
And so, incredible mamas, I am here to let you know…that it is purely and simply o.k.a.y.
~to sneak out for a few hours at the salon
~to stash a few Cheetos into your sweetie’s lunch
~to brush his teeth only once today
~to allow someone else to feed that precious baby a bottle
~to fill the shopping cart with nonorganic, in an effort to save money
~to leave your babes in the care of another, to pursue a career outside of the home
~to let the tears flow
~to spend some time each day indulging in something just for you
~to sacrifice girls’ nights out for Friday night movies-and-pizza on your living room couch
~to fill that coffee cup a few extra times this morning
And more importantly than all, incredible beings, embracing the beauty of knowing that it is beyond okay to extend yourself the grace of forgiveness. The forgiveness of motherhood. Knowing that what you are doing for your family is perfect in every. single. way. Because your circumstances are in no way comparable to anyone else’s.
And that’s just how God would want it to be…
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12)