So, I made two of my children cry today and not because they were being sent to bed or denied something they just HAD to have. I made them cry because I made mistakes.
First, my son opened the door of our van just a split second before I pushed the button to open it, which then closed it. On his hand. Regardless of the fact there was no way I could have foreseen the accident coming or the fact that it was an accident or the fact that we’ve told him not to get in so quickly or….you get the idea….those tears were on me. That pain was caused by something I did. Even if I didn’t mean to.
Then, as I was putting the twins in bed tonight, one of them got up and walked to the very edge of her bed and stood for a moment in a very precarious position before I realized it and yelled, “Sit down!” I’ll be honest…I panicked a bit, and my voice was louder and harsher sounding than I meant for it to be. I wasn’t angry with her; I was scared.
But I hurt her feelings just the same.
I scooped that crying baby up and snuggled her close and apologized over and over again. Looking back I realize I must have scared her, too, because yelling usually has no affect on my children. (Ahem.) She gave me a weak smile before falling asleep so I’m sure she knows her mommy loves her.
These kinds of things bring up some of my deepest insecurities and one of my worst fears.
Being the reason my kids hurt. Causing them pain. Wounding their spirits with my words.
Y’all, I’m terrified of making a mess of this mothering thing.
I guess I didn’t realize it when they first placed that first baby in my arms, and one of my worst fears was that I would drop her slippery body during bath time. I didn’t quite feel the weight of this work.
As my kids grow, however, and decisions become more difficult to make, the importance of them is heavy on me at times.
I mean, I once worried about formula or breast milk.
I’ve done both, and all my kids are bright and healthy. (That’s meant as a bit of encouragement for any new mom who happens to stop by. I’m pointing this out because she’s probably too sleepy to notice it was meant for her.)
“Should she go there?”
“Does he need that?”
“Am I teaching them enough each day?”
The list goes on and on.
What effect will today’s decisions have on their tomorrows?
So, how can I relax under the weight of this responsibility? How can I move forward after days like today?
Motherhood is one of the greatest gifts of grace I’ve been given.
God gave these children to me, blessing me beyond what I could have asked or imagined. He must have had a plan in mind.
I choose to thank Him for the gift and trust him for the rest.
As moms, we will all make mistakes, but accepting grace offers us and our kids a chance to grow. We can model humility for them. We can show them where to go for strength. They can learn to forgive and offer grace as we model how to ask for it.
Together, we can watch as God takes things that hurt us and makes them helpful.
We can relax because he redeems. He makes beautiful things out of broken, piecing together parts that had never seemed to fit.
So, on days like today, remember you get to try again tomorrow. Be confident with hope that though you might make a mess of motherhood, God can make a masterpiece of your mess.