Dear Lord, do I ever struggle with my shortcomings as a mother. I am so far from my ideal picture of a mother, that I feel a failure every single day. I wish I knew how to cover every shortcoming I had with some plethora of wisdom given to me straight from heaven above. But, I am human. Sorrowfully coming up short everyday, as I desperately try to put on a good show. Now, I have a few options her for coping out. Seriously.
#1 Not all my children live with me.
My lovely daughter Zoey is a rare blessing to any mother. She is intelligent beyond belief. Intellectual and sharp as a razor blade. She possess the heart of a tender, loving, soft human being. With every attribute I would wish for in a 13-year-old. Especially given the age and distance. I feel very close to her. She is easy to talk to and loving. She remembers every card, gift, and trip we have taken together. She is a rare gem. Everyone should have a daughter like her. OOPS…she just blew excuse number 1 out of the water….
#2 My child was murdered
Noah was murdered. It is a deep, painful, difficult scab to bear. It gets picked at when I least expect it. It bleeds and disrupts my current family. They don’t even know im bleeding from this particular wound. I allow the hurt to wash over and the pain to be real. Then I remember the blessings I have. I remember my son for every piece of growing up he afforded me. His suffering was never in vain. I know he paid a heavy price to be with The Lord today. I love him dearly, but holes in your heart don’t give you room for excuse.
#3 My child has cancer
This is a funny one. My son has cancer and has been given a death sentence. Do we put our faith in an outcome of healing? Do we trust the sentence of 3-9 months before death is expected? Do we excuse our role as parents and just neglect the shortcomings he has because we assume he is dying and suffering from brain damage and cannot control himself? No. We try our best to understand what parts of his brain are damaged and help him correct the wrongs. We understand that repetition can help the right half of his brain make up for what the damage on the left half has caused. We slowly struggle with him. along side of him. carrying him. pushing him. guiding him. regardless of what cancer might do. We think long-term and work towards those goals knowing full well that he may die. What choice do we have but to be parents? We are given a responsibility to teach our children. I didn’t find any clauses in that responsibility. so we press on!
#4 I have ptsd
Yes, I have ptsd. I have flashbacks. I have nightmares. I have trouble in general coping with difficult circumstances. I even have difficulty coping with normal circumstances. And yet, I have a job. It is to take care of myself in order to be a good mother and a God-fearing Christ Follower. I must take care of my problems in order to serve others. It is an imperative. So, I do make sure to shore up my short comings and work on healing. Ptsd is a long-term problem. I have a lot of trauma to unravel before I can truly be healed. In this situation, I have faith in Christ that the outcome is what HE has for me. I will continue to walk forward.
#5 I can’t keep up with the house
Since when did a clean house make a good mother? Im just sayin….I have so much on my plate. Even when I didn’t, the state of my home didn’t make a difference in my parenting unless I became obsessive. Then the more I idolized a clean house, the more my parenting went down the toilet. You can’t serve more than one master. Functionality is imperative and requires a delicate balance. Cleanliness is certainly NOT next to Godliness and should never define the ability of a mother to be a good parent or wife. Just let it go already. really…I did, and I am better for it.
#6 I can’t cook everyday anymore
My schedule of between 4-7 appointments a week is a major obstacle for me. We have 4 solid therapy appointments a week. One therapy appoint for me, and sometimes we have to go to Philadelphia for oncology appointments, brain surgeon appointments, or mri’s. Its not an easy road to be traveling down. What I do know is that I have at least one open day a week to do life. On that day, i do laundry, and cook like a mad woman on pms. There are 7 days in a week and if i can cook on one of them, were on! I cook 7 days worth of meals and put them in the refrigerator to be picked at buffet style. When it’s all said and done 7 days later, it gets tossed and I start over again. I reserve my rare free time for baking amazing chocolate laden desserts with exponential decadence…….yep, people her do get home cooked meals.
So, now I have told you how I struggle and come up with solutions. You can think I’m superwoman or realize that my house is a mess and we live off leftovers. My children are parented and loved. We live a chaotic existence at best. But, we are making a way in a hard situation. I pray it is encouragement to you who feel overwhelmed by the normal. That is not easy either. It’s just fewer balls to juggled. Be encouraged to let go of what is not important and press forward knowing you are a good parent….because you are..