Happy Mother’s Day?
May 11, 2009
(Warning: this is a heavy, somber-feeling post. Beware!)
It’s Mother’s Day. I was given the luxury by Dave and the kids to sleep in, enjoy some coffee and the Sunday paper in bed, and be treated to hand-made cards and potted flowers. Very nice and simple.
Ironically, it’s been a tough weekend, mother-wise. A good friend from my college days (Hi Mel!!) came and visited from Friday to Saturday. It was so nice to see her, to catch up, to have some good conversation. What wasn’t so great was the display of defiance and chaos that our littlest daughter exhibited during my friend’s whole visit. Screaming, tantrums, manipulation, whining. It was humbling and embarrassing. Add to that a few well-placed sarcastic jibes by my older girls, and I have found myself having major doubt about my mothering skills.
Earlier this week, I had a moment (unrelated to parenting) where I experienced some good old fashioned “godly sorrow.” The kind where a sudden realization of pride and self-satisfaction and smug self-righteousness hit me like a ton of bricks, but softly. I felt chastened by the goodness of God, and bent down by my own sin. It was a sad place to be, but a good one, because it reminded me of the all-too-easy-to-forget truth: that apart from Him, I can do NOTHING. Those are painful, terrible words to hear when I think I’m doing a pretty decent job on my own. They are words of hope and consolation when I see the truth – that I am clueless without Him.
I want to be a good mother. I wanted to have the feeling of satisfaction that I am a good mother today. Instead, I’ve felt helpless and rather miserable. Children are a miracle and a mess. And so am I.
It’s not been a Hallmark card Mother’s Day in my soul. But some of these truths are creeping into my thinking, and I’m bending the knee and trying to listen to that tiny voice of God that reminds me that in Him, I can do all things. And from that place, I’m trying to gain some calm wisdom and think of some good strategies to re-establish with my daughters who is in control and how they are allowed to speak to me.