When is the last time you focused on something you did right as a mom?
Not just “I kept everybody alive today” or “no one burned down the house this week” but “I did ____ to encourage my children” or “I helped my child ____”.
If you’re anything like me, it’s probably been a while since you’ve allowed yourself to reflect on your successes of motherhood rather than listing your perceived (and maybe real) failures at the end of the day.
When I was in high school, I starred in a one-act play called “This is a Test” by Stephen Gregg. It tells the story of a teenage boy who gets up on the wrong side of the bed on the day of a very important exam (which he is convinced will determine how the rest of his life turns out) and the mental anguish he experiences trying to just finish the test before the bell rings.
Throughout the play, as the flustered boy and the stern teacher (that was me!) interact, he is driven nearly crazy by a phrase that plays over and over in his mind, a chorus chanted by the other students in the room:
“This is a test.
Oh, a test.”
No matter what he does, or what efforts he puts forth to pass this all-important test, he cannot seem to succeed. A fellow student constantly interrupts his thought process. The questions on the exam don’t have sensible answers. Nothing he does is ever enough to please his demanding teacher.
“This is the end!” he finally laments, covering his face and putting his head down on the desk. And the stage goes dark.
The day-to-day experience of motherhood sounds a little like “This is a Test”, doesn’t it? Or maybe a lot like it.
Each morning I stumble out of bed, in haste, many times on the “wrong side” from lack of sleep or interrupted sleep the night before. A chorus of small voices interrupts my thoughts, jumbling any fleeting moment of sensibility that I am able to muster as I walk bleary-eyed toward the coffee machine.
After we rush through the morning routine and my husband is gone, I make one mistake after another. No one is pleased by my efforts. Everyone balks at my requests to clean up, get along, take a nap, or do their school work and it seems like I can’t ever accomplish anything that moves us along the path of success.
The sun goes down and I do my due diligence to see that my table is wiped clean (even though the dishes may still be piled in the sink the next morning), the laundry is semi-folded (with a large hamper of clean clothes left to fold the next day) and everyone is asleep (finally).
This is the END!, I lament, thankful that the day is over and I can collapse into bed once more.
I feel like a slacker mom.
My craft supplies aren’t organized. They’re shoved into a cupboard.
The children don’t remember the Scripture verses we’ve taught them. They’d rather call to mind their siblings’ every offense toward them since last September.
Instead of using a gentle voice to turn away wrath, my harsh words stir up anger.
I’ve failed the test.
If these thoughts of inadequacy have ever hung around in the back of your mind (or maybe just slapped you right in the face), it’s my prayer that you’ll remember this:
God created you to be the mother of your children, and He is for you, and will not leave you floundering.
God’s grace is so much more powerful than our emotions, and He can truly help us to overcome the defeat of our “mom fail” days.
Our days don’t have to end like that one-act play, feeling frustrated, drained, and relinquishing our soul to never-ending disappointment. When you believe you’ve failed, be encouraged that there is hope. There is forgiveness. God is with you.
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.You hem me in behind and before,and you lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139
Further Truths and Practical Encouragement
Sometimes we need a little practical encouragement in motherhood as well.
A few years ago when I was into the craziness of mothering four very young children and had just come out of a period of deep discouragement, I wrote an ebook called Rediscovering Joy in Motherhood.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and struggling to appreciate the day-to-day of motherhood, this eBook will provide real-life encouragement, spiritual refreshment, and many practical tips to help you rediscover the joy of being a mom!
In it, you’ll learn how to identify hang-ups that steal the joy from being a mom, find out two key factors that affect your daily attitude in your home and how you can make a change, and tune in on the one viewpoint that can transform your entire outlook on the difficult seasons of motherhood.
Find Rediscovering Joy in Motherhood in our online shop!
I’m praying for you!