I am currently reading a book called Desperate by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae. It is real-life dialog between two women of different seasons. One is a mom of young children “desperate” to breathe. The other is a mom of adult children finally seeing the “fruits of her labor.” One line in the book really spoke to me. Sarah Mae says, “I can only offer what has helped me: making a very conscious choice to be in the Word, eating the bread of life every day, and recognizing that I am not my bad days.”
As a mom of two young children, I often struggle with the idea that I am failing them. If I lose my temper, don’t feed them at the first sign of hunger, or skip their bath for another night because I am too exhausted, I start to get down on myself. The other night Ava really wanted to help me cook dinner, but I was rushing to get everything done. My husband, Daniel, was going to be home soon and everything had to appear to be perfect. I didn’t want him walking through the door and his first thought being, “What did you do all day?” Well, Ava wasn’t listening as I told her numerous times there was nothing I needed her help with. I was quickly dicing potatoes and cutting asparagus and had no time for her to slow me down. She went to her room and drug her chair into the kitchen. She reached in the drawer and got out her kids safe knife. She pulled up right beside me with a big smile again saying, “I want to help, momma”. I lost it. I told her (not so politely) if she really wanted to help, she would clean up her toys or play with her sister…anything that didn’t slow me down because any second her dad would be walking through the door. Well, Ava immediately began crying as I had crushed her servant spirit. She ran to her room broken hearted. Her screams disturbed Emmeline, so she began crying. And what happened next…Daniel came through the door just as both kids were screaming, timers were going off, toys were all over the floor…far from the “everything is perfect” look I was going for.
We will all have bad moments, bad days, sometimes bad weeks. But we don’t have to be defined by those bad moments unless we allow it to define us. We are given the ability to begin each day anew no matter how difficult yesterday was. Tomorrow is our chance to be better. To be the mom we know we can be. We have to stop, relax, breathe, and know that we were created perfectly for what our children need in a mom.
That night, I curled up in bed with Ava and asked that she forgive me for having a “bad mommy moment”. There were no and’s, if’s, or but’s to my apology. Just me, her mom, humbling myself because I am not that person. I am not my bad days. Thankfully, my beautiful child has unconditional love for me, and I was forgiven.