I am the worst mom ever. Oh, you might not think so, but go ahead and stop thinking of every terrible headline you’ve ever read that might make me feel better because your opinion doesn’t matter. My daughter’s does.
And, today, she’d probably tell you that I am the worst mom ever. Oh, she didn’t say that to me. She didn’t have to, you know?
Truthfully, I am really just a mom who was trying to “stick to her guns” so to say. I was trying hard not to cave in, and she was trying VERY hard to make me. But, either way, I feel like a failure. Oh, the argument finally ended, and she left for school wearing the shoes I had chosen for her. It’s a long story, but YES, on the surface the whole thing seemed to be about shoes. It wasn’t though. It was about obedience. Or lack thereof.
And, the funny thing is…In the beginning, she had a choice. She could wear any pair she wanted to wear. All she had to do was put them on.
It was 45 minutes later that only one pair remained, and we were both crying. Did I mention she’s strong willed? Seriously.
So, how did I end up feeling like the worst mother in the world? Because there is no doubt I could have handled it better. I could have spoken more gently. After all, “a gentle answer turns away wrath,” right? But, I still couldn’t cave. She had to do as she was told. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. (“Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right,” right?) Because she shouldn’t argue with me. (“Honor thy father and mother.”) And, because she can’t go to school barefoot. (Sorry, I don’t have a scripture quote for that, but you know it’s true.)
The sad thing is that she never seemed to realize how much easier things would be if she’d just do as she was told THE FIRST TIME. And, the other sad thing is how often I am exactly the same way. There are just some moments in parenting when I get a glimpse into what God must want to say to me sometimes, and this was one of them.
It’s also one of those moments when I take courage from the fact that though I didn’t handle things perfectly, He always does…and I can learn from him. I can require obedience and still offer love. I’m still learning how, and I’m still in need of forgiveness myself. But, I hope that my willingness to admit that and ask for it will help her learn to do the same.