It’s a lie that you are ruining your kids. A really big lie. You are one of the best things that ever has, and ever will, happen to them.
It’s a lie that you can’t do this. You already are, Momma. I get that it doesn’t always look pretty. But pretty is overrated. Real warriors almost always have dirty hands.
It’s a lie that you’re the only one who loses it. This one’s a bully. Meant to push you into a shameful little corner. Here’s the truth: You yell sometimes. So do I. I don’t like it. Neither do you. So we apologize. We mean it. And we remember to breathe next time. And we do better.
It’s a lie that you’re not enough for them. Not true. Just no. You are enough. Better, you are just right. Or you wouldn’t have gotten this gig in the first place. What you have is what they need. Hold on to that.
It’s a lie that when your kids act awful, it’s because of you. More discipline, less discipline, earlier bedtime, later bedtime, more screens, no screens, more gluten, gluten-free, homeschool, public school, McDonald’s, broccoli — even it you did it perfectly, they would still have moments of awful. They are amazing, broken human beings. Just like you and me.
It’s a lie that you have to get it all right. Even if you could, their one-day spouses never will. And that will just lead to a lot of conversations with the theme “My Mother Never Did That.” So not helpful. You do want to see your grandchildren, right?
It’s a lie that mothering always feels good. It doesn’t. Some days are hard. Or frustrating. Or painful. And some days you’re pushed to the end of yourself. And that’s where it gets dangerous. Because that’s where you can start to wrap your heart in even more lies.
But right there, in the middle of weak and fragile, is where we have to contend for the truth.
Truth that says there is grace for this day, for this moment. You can do this. Imperfectly, yes. Fumbling, absolutely. But with more heart and more beauty than anyone else on earth.
No one can do what you do.
At 11:37 a.m. in the middle of spilled Cheerios and an angry toddler. Or at 1:17 p.m. when the school calls again. About what he did. Again. Or at 4:45 p.m. when there are tears because kids have been mean to her. Again. Or at 6:35 p.m. when you leave him waving and smiling, ready to take on his 18-year-old adventure. And all you can do is remember the days at 3:25 a.m. when he wouldn’t sleep and was still small enough to fit in your arms.
There’s grace for all of that. You were made to walk in it. You were made to stiff-arm the lies. To totally and completely reject them. You were made to walk in truth.
No one can do what you do.
So let’s get after it, Mommas.
We’ve got this.
-by Jai Wallace Tracy