Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids

I Was a Really Good Mom BEFORE I Had Kids.  That is the name of a hilarious book I read a few years ago.  I know we are told not to judge a book by its cover, but this book’s cover showcases a larger than life cupcake with hot pink frosting.  Hot pink is one of my favorite colors.  Cupcakes are one of my favorite foods.  The title of the book is great.  I had to have this book.  I devoured the contents of this book like I would like to devour the cupcake on its cover. 

This book made me laugh out loud and also offered me comfort in a comical way.  I love when people get real and admit that they aren’t perfect.  This book does just that.  There are what the authors call “dirty little secrets” on every page.  Moms admit something that’s not perfect that they do, say or think.  One mom admits that she tells her two year-old daughter, “See you are only two.  It says right on this cookie package that you can only have two cookies.”   I’ve done things like that.  I have told lies like that.  And, no I don’t think I’m a bad person because of it.

Motherhood is exhausting.  Some days I feel like an octopus and all of my 8 arms are being pulled in different directions.  There are so many things to remember.  Phone numbers, kids’ parents names, practice times, appointments, lunch menus, shot schedules, shoe sizes…the list goes on.  I didn’t know my brain was capable of holding so much information until I became a mom.

I had all these ideas of what being a mom was going to be before I had kids, don’t we all?  We critique others moms before we have kids (and even after) and make mental notes of what we won’t do.  That all gets thrown into an overstuffed washing machine after the kids arrive!   A baby is like a CEO that moves in and sets up his office right in the middle of our lives.  We conform to HIS schedule.  We follow HIS rules.  HE calls the shots.  We don’t even get a raise to deal with the extra expense or loss of sleep!  We use words like “potty” instead of bathroom.  Although Elliot did ask me recently to stop using that word, “Just say bathroom mommy, I’m not a baby anymore.”

There is so much unnecessary pressure that comes from being a mom, and I think a lot of it we put on ourselves.  Yes, kids are exhausting.  Yes, kids are demanding.  But, I’m the one that gets sucked into attempting to be the perfect mom.  And, here’s another thing.  I’ll never be perfect.  It’s not what God wants for me or expects from me.  As I’m told in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  So, I have made a new mental note…let go and let God.  My kids don’t care if the floor isn’t clean.  My kids don’t care if they wear a shirt with a stain.  Sydney purposely wears unmatching shoes!  When I let go and let God show me what being a mom is, that pressure melts away.  I don’t have all the answers; I’d be foolish to pretend I did.  All I can do is be passionate about finding the best way for my family. 

I know that people say, “These are the best years of your life.”  I know too that they are right.  Someday the house will be clean.  Someday there won’t be sippy cups in the cabinet.  Someday there will be books on the bookshelves instead of board games and Barbies.  Someday I won’t wince in pain after stepping on a Lego.  But, someday I will long for these days to revisit me.  Someday I will long for a small hand to reach out for mine in the grocery store parking lot.  Someday soon I will become “mom” and not “mommy.”

I’m glad that someday isn’t here yet because for today I let go and let God.  I will pray that all of us moms, especially on mother’s day let go and let God.  Let God show you the best way for your family, for yourself.   He is showing me the most wonderful things that this life has to offer.


  1. Ahhh I feel you. Sitting here looking at the tornado that is the Clarke home wondering if I'll actually have time to clean it up today.... probably not! :) So thankful to have such a wonderful person living down the street! XO!

  2. Let see if this works....... I'm not sure if you realize that I have been sending my responses to your Mom to forward to you. That's right - I'm a first-time blog reader. I have laughed & cried with all your blogs and I thank you. Happy Mother's Day Kathy

  3. Happy Mother's day!

  4. The photo is priceless!! It has captured a great memory for you all to share for years to come. You are a fun Mommy and your kids will appreciate that in you while they are young. I say that from experience. Right about young teenage years, all of a sudden . . . you are embarrassing. But have fun anyway! They will enjoy the stories later.

    I too have laughed and got teary eyed reading your blogs. Love them!!

    Have a great weekend with your family. Happy Mother's Day!!

  5. This blog is the perfect Mother's Day gift for me.I am so proud of the wonderful way you care for Syd and Elliot.I'm also grateful to have you in my life as a daughter. Thank you for being you and for sharing this gift.

    Love, your mom

  6. Thanks! I needed those words of encouragement today.