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.

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3 Responses to “Happy Mother’s Day?”

  1. Lisa said

    I like that “a miracle and a mess” 🙂

    I’ll be praying for you to come up with some strategies that work!

    It was great to see you Saturday. That breakfast (brunch?) was by far the highlight of my week and weekend!

    • Leanne said

      Thanks, Lisa! I enjoyed seeing you so much, too! Today was a good day of some firm resolve to calmly correct and discipline our littlest. Constant vigilance! See you soon, I hope. Thanks for checking in here!!

  2. Mel said

    Hi Leanne,
    I think you are an AMAZING mom ~ you are raising 3 wonderful young ladies. Sometimes, kids are just kids, no matter HOW many times you tell them / teach them / discipline them. What’s important is that you ARE staying consistent and reminding them who’s the mommy!! Many parents just give up and it’s very evident that the kids run the show. And you very clearly have NOT given up even though I’m sure you sometimes feel like just throwing your hands up in the air (among other things) 🙂

    I had a GREAT time seeing you and Dave and the girls ~ just wish it could have been longer! Hang in there!! You’re doing one of the (if not THE) toughest jobs in the world! Tell everyone I say ‘hi’ 🙂

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