To all the Imperfect Moms
Twenty five years ago, I lost my dad. And then I had my first Father's Day. Grief hit me hard on that holiday, like a punch in the gut. I tried to ignore all the Father's day cards, shirts, and presents lining the shelves at Walmart. It gave me a new perspective when it came to themed holidays.
Holidays can be really hard for some people! Mother's Day is Sunday, and as I was driving today, I thought to myself-
To those Mamas who have empty arms this year- I see you. I know the pain of having your womb betray you. I know the joy of seeing those two lines on that stick, and all the hopes, dreams, and plans you have for that new little one. I know the agony of finding out that there isn't a heart beat. I know the physical pain of losing a baby. The blood, the pain, the tears. I well remember seeing the due date come and go, while my arms remained empty. I remember the ache in my heart. I see you, and I want you to know that you are loved. Even if you don't hold a baby in your arms, you hold one in your heart forever. And those few weeks or months of carrying life made you a Mama, and you will always be a Mama to that soul in Heaven.
To those Mamas who can't conceive a baby, and will never carry life in your womb- I see you. I understand that this holiday must be so hard for you. A knife in your stomach as you watch thousands of moms celebrate the fact that they could bring life into this world, but you can't. You have gone through the tests. The surgeries. The medical procedures, and still nothing. Finally, you have accepted that it's not God's will for you to have a biological child, yet it still stings. Holidays like this only make the sting a little bit harsher. I see you, and you are loved.
To those Mamas who have a prodigal- I see you. I can't imagine the ache that sits in your stomach, day in, and day out, as you pray for your son or daughter. The worry you feel. The heart ache. The "What if I had done this" and the "What could I have done better?" type of thoughts that run through your head. The prayers. The tears. The longing for your prodigal to return. You are loved, and you are prayed for.
To those Mamas who are overwhelmed with tiny littles, I see you. I understand what it's like to be pulled in fifty million directions all day long. To be tired. To never sleep through the night. The exhaustion and chaos and never feeling like you are getting enough done. Please listen when I tell you this. YOU are enough. YOU are the Mama that God chose for your kiddos. YOU can do this. The days will be long. I am not going to gloss things over and tell you that it's always magical and wonderful and you will hear angels singing and float on clouds every single day. No. That definitely is not the case. BUT- the years are short. Forget about the jelly smears and the dirt and the crackers on the ground and bask in the cuteness and wonder of your babies and toddlers. Grab their grubby faces and cover them in kisses. Forget about the mess. You can clean cobwebs some other day, but you can't always cuddle a baby or toddler. I see you, and YOU ARE ENOUGH.
To those Mamas who seem to have it all together- I see you. It's tough being perfect, isn't it? Since you expect perfection out of yourself, you also expect it from everyone else. You have a schedule, and a routine, and God forbid anyone or anything gets in the way! It's hard to stay on top of your kids 24/7. To expect perfection, because, well, it's what you expect from yourself. You never relax, there is always something to do. Cleaning, cooking, training- it never ends. I am exhausted just watching you, but I understand and get you- Because you are me when I was a young Mama. Can I give you some advice, though? Breathe. Put the broom down. Put the switch down. Sit down on the couch with a cup of tea and a book. Look at your kids. Really look at them. Study them. Smile at them. Hug them. Kiss them. Enjoy them. Life is meant to be more than expecting perfection from yourself and everyone around you. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and cherished, and treasured, because it's a beautiful gift that God gives us. God still loves us when we mess up, it's ok for your kids to mess up sometimes, too. I see you, and I get you.
To those Mamas who are barely holding it together- I see you. You have been through a loss. Maybe a spouse betrayed you. Maybe you lost a loved one. Maybe you face a huge trial that you don't think you are going to survive. But I am here to tell you- you will. God will see you through. Lean on him. Nothing is over until we no longer have breath in our body. As long as you are breathing and alive, you can do this. You can do the hard things. Lean on the Lord. Get in his Word. Rely on his strength. He will carry you through.
To those Mamas who don't even feel like celebrating Mother's Day this year, I see you. Sometimes holidays stink. Sometimes they are hard. Sometimes you just want to pull the covers over your head and come back out once the stupid day is over. But can I tell you something? Forget the fact that it's even a holiday. Find one good thing in your life to focus on. One. We all have ONE good thing in our life. It could be a new book. A cup of coffee. A scone. Birds singing outside your window. A fresh breeze. A text from a friend. Every single one of us has something to celebrate. So, even if you don't feel like you have something to celebrate, find something to celebrate. Because, Mama- you are reason to celebrate. The fact that God created you is cause to celebrate. The fact that you brought life into this world is cause to celebrate. The fact that you carried a living soul in your womb, no matter how short, is cause to celebrate. The fact that you are alive, and moving, and breathing, is cause to celebrate.
No Mama is perfect. No Mama has it all together, no matter how hard we try. We are all imperfect people doing the best that we can. This Mother's Day, put up the expectations of having a perfect day with perfectly well behaved kids and a perfectly ordered life. Because none of us are perfect, or have perfectly well behaved kids, or have perfectly ordered lives. We are all perfectly imperfect people.
To all the imperfect Mamas out there- I see you, and I get you, because I am right there with you. Even if your Mother's Day isn't perfect, YOU are the perfect Mama for your kids, and I hope you never forget that.
Happy Mother's Day, from one imperfect, but perfect for my kids, Mama