Tales of Fostering

I Always Thought I Knew What a Good Mommy Was

It was a one year ago tonight, at just before 6pm when a little girl with the softest blonde curls and sweetest smile walked into my home and nestled her way into my heart.  I never knew how hard being a Mommy was until that night.  I never knew how many times I would have to bite my tongue or pray the same prayer over and over.  It’s the one that goes something like this… “Lord, give me patience.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love being the Momma that God has called me to be for this sweet princess right now, but it’s still hard. Like really hard.  On most days everything seems to go smoothly and I feel like I am that “good mommy.”  We are all happy while playing, giggling and singing “Let it go” for the one millionth time all while squishing Play-Doh together or scribbling in her coloring books.  But then there are moments…okay…days in which I think I am letting everyone down.  Days where I feel like I don’t have it all together and I am the worst Momma ever.  Days when I am exhausted and overwhelmed.  And days when I find myself barricaded in our bedroom and hiding in the closet just trying to find some peace and quiet while quickly eating a chocolate candy bar so that I don’t have to share a bite.

And it’s usually on those days, while sitting there in our closet, squished behind the sweaters and sitting next to the jeans that I start questioning not only myself, but also God. I ask Him why. Why did He pick me to foster and care for this precious little girl? I can’t possibly be a “good Mommy”.  Because let’s face it, my lack of patience, quick temper, and inconsistencies (no you can’t eat in the living room…okay, eat in the living room) are definite downfalls.   And I don’t even want to admit to you how many times I have seen the sweet high school teenager in the drive thru window at McDonald’s or asked for extra napkins while grabbing the box of chicken strips at Dairy Queen this week.  And if you only knew how many dinners have consisted of hotdogs and frozen pizza in the last several months while sitting in front of the television, you would squirm.  And probably shake your finger.

eating McDonalds

I hate to also admit that I have been that Momma who is always last to pick up their child from school and I can’t ever seem to remember the treat bags for parties, money for the pictures and yearbook, or the days that everyone is to wear red at gymnastics class.  And her Christmas program?  We were late.  And I forgot to purchase her a new outfit.  What kind of mother sends their kid on stage in an old dress that looked like it came from the 1990s?  Me.  I did that.  And I cringed during the entire program as she stood next to the other little girls in their new sparkly shoes and fancy Christmas bows.

But it’s funny because before she made me a Mommy, I thought I would be that good and perfect Momma that had it all together. I thought I knew exactly how a child should or shouldn’t behave and never in a million years would MY child throw a fit in Target or have the audacity to stomp their foot and tell me no. I even had myself convinced that when I became a Mommy, every breakfast would be wholesome and organic while every lunch and dinner would consistently include a vegetable.  And forget them at school? What kind of mother would do that?  Not me.  I was also going to make sure their outfits were never wrinkled, their shoes always polished and their hair perfectly in place.

pouting in target

But I have learned something in the twelve short months since she stepped foot into our home, nestled her way into my heart and made me a Mommy. I have learned that while all of those things and attitudes are good, they do not make a good mommy.  Because being a good mommy has less to do with the lists of do’s and don’ts.  It has less to do with the correct amount of vegetables on their child’s plate or how well they behave in the grocery store.  It has less to do with how many crafts they complete together in a week or how much laundry she gets done in one day.  And a good mommy isn’t someone who never forgets, never runs out of energy, or always has an endless amount of patience.

No friend, it is so much more.  Because being a “good mommy”  has more to do with how she loves without condition and serves her family without limits.  It is about how she keeps trying to do better even when she messes up.  It is about how she continually pours out her heart and energy despite being exhausted and feeling overlooked.  And good mommies are also those women who lovingly create a home with lots of laughter and hugs.  It’s a place where mistakes are met with grace and their children feel comfortable as they grow in confidence to be themselves.  Good mommies also make their children feel safe.  And secure.   And good mommies give.  They give it all and expect nothing in return.

Christmas 2014

So on the days where I find myself hiding in the closet, I realize that while I may not be perfect and I struggle to get it all right, God knew exactly what He was doing when He gave me this precious child to foster. He knew that despite the hard days, lack of nutritious meals or trendy outfits, as well as the moments when I mess up or don’t get it all just right, I am still a good mommy.  And if you are a Momma reading this today, may these words remind you that God picked you for a reason.  He knew exactly what He was doing when He gave you those sweet babies of yours to love and nurture.   He knew that you weren’t going to be perfect.  He knew that you would mess up, forget and struggle to get it all right.  But He also knew that you would still be a good mommy.  Which you certainly are.

And to my sweet friends who are reading this right now and who are still waiting patiently to kiss those precious cheeks of the child God has for you, may you also never forget the true definition of a good mommy.  Because when you do become a mommy and you start feeling overwhelmed and not good enough, remember that good mommies don’t always have it all together.  They will fall behind on the laundry, forget important events, and hand their kids a snack sized bag of gold fish for breakfast while running late to school.  And may you always know that all good mommies will at some point find themselves hiding in the closet…or the bathroom…or the laundry room eating a chocolate candy bar.

With Love

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67 thoughts on “I Always Thought I Knew What a Good Mommy Was”

    1. awe thanks sugars!! I’m heading over to yours now too 🙂 I love “meeting” and connecting with new people 🙂

  1. wow. Just wow. I am not a momma yet but hope that’s in Gods plan for my future. As I try to pitch in and help my friends who are momma’s I see this in them a struggle to be perfect but when I look at there children’s faces and hear them singing bible school songs, jabbering about momma and daddy and loving life I can see as an outsider that the house may be messy, the kids covered in sticky stuff and the laundry hamper overflowing but there true job is being done. They are honoring God and there family.

    1. I think it is so great that you pitch in and from the outside can see God’s hand working in the family. Make sure you tell that momma every day how great of a job she is doing…she needs to hear it…every five minutes. lol

  2. I find that the best moms are just like you. Sounds like you’re doing great!

    There are days that I am so grateful for a lock on my bedroom door. It doesn’t stop her from sitting right outside my door waiting to pounce as soon as the door opens, though! 😉

    1. awe! Thank you so much for your love and support. It really means a lot to know that I am not the only one that needs a few moments to myself 😉

  3. You definitely made me tear up!!!! When I was going through all of this with our foster infant, never being able to have a sitter for my husband and I to just go get a coffee together due to always being in the hospital *he has CHD HLHS, which is pretty much he only has half of a heart* or we just couldn’t leave him with anyone besides us due to we only knew how to take care of him medically, it was a big stress, along with dealing with the foster system itself. I caught myself losing my cool plenty of times, *emotionally* and have felt horrible, because he’s just a 3 month old and was most likely in pain. But this blog, my dear, has made me pull a smile through even though he is no longer with us, we still beat ourselves up for those moments we lost it. I was a good mommy, and he a good daddy, we brought him through the deadliest and hardest part of his life with him 85% of the time full of smiles and giggles. Thank you for this!

    1. awe you made me tear up sugars! It’s crazy how much we beat ourselves up. But always remember that you are a good mommy and you did the best that you could. You kept going when it was hard. You kept trying when you wanted to give up and above all, you gave it your all and sacrificed so much for him. Be proud of yourselves today 🙂 Not everyone could have done what you did. Feel free to share this with those you know who need to be reminded that they are good parents too. xo

    1. awe you are so sweet! And girl…you are a good momma too! I am sure you can relate to a lot of this especially after having your current placement 🙂 xo

  4. Yes yes yes yes!! Perfect mommy I am not either! I have done most of what you wrote and my boys are only one and a half! Sometimes I am just trying to survive this wonderful yet insane thing called motherhood! Sometimes I say out loud – This sucks! Lol but then I also say, God I’m so grateful!! It’s just so hard! Thanks for writing with honesty and being so candid! You are doing an amazing job and are not alone!

    1. So good to hear from you sugars! No, you are not a “perfect” momma…but you are perfect for those sweet lil boys of yours 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxo

  5. I loved reading this! Just yesterday I started crying to my husband that I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to be a good mom. Thank you for reminding me God gave me this beautiful little girl to love and cherish. I know I am not perfect but I have the best intentions. Your foster daughter is lucky to have you! 🙂

    1. yes, yes and yes! YOU are a good mommy! Don’t believe the lie that you are not good enough or that you make too many mistakes, etc. xoxo

  6. So beautiful. God has chosen you for a very important role… He has entrusted you with this precious gift, and you are honestly rocking it, momma. You are giving her a peaceful home, comfort and love… that is what makes a good momma. Someone who actually cares. It isn’t about the organic breakfasts like you said… for crying out loud, my kid had 2 strawberry poptarts and apple juice for breakfast. 😉 What matters is that we’re present… we’re here for them, and you are for goldilocks. God knew what He was doing when He put her in your home.

  7. God definately knew what to do when uniting you with that little girl.

    If it is any comfort I have forgot to bring Christmas cards or gifts for the teachers at our son’s playschool, have forgotten of neglected to buy him special outfits for every single special occasion other than his first birthday; because it is long and curly I often take him out in public (and send him to his day home and playschool) with wild, uncombed hair; I have let my son wear super hero costumes to all sorts of activities and public places despite frowns and judgment and my own occasional embarrassment); forgotten to brush teeth, read bedtime stories and all sorts of other rituals that should be second nature. I try to remind myself of Barbara Coloroso’s barometer – if it is not abusive, we are not complete failures as parents. Okay I am wildly paraphrasing but i hope you get the idea. You are an amazing mommy. Even on your downfall days. The fact that you reflect on and fret about it is evidence of that. 🙂

    1. oh thank you, thank you, thank you for this!!! And I must tell you that YOU are a good mommy too 🙂 OH…and yesterday, I let her go to walmart with me a a “Bell” playdress and her hair in three different pony tails (that’s how she wanted it). We got lots of stares but she was happy and felt beautiful 🙂

  8. Yes, it’s not about perfection, but about learning and accepting. I’m still learning 🙂 Really good post – thank you for sharing, and for following my blog. I appreciate it very much!

  9. you are a good mom. My children are all grown now and your post reminded me of things I used to go through.as a young mom and I used to worry if I was doing a good enough job. Now I reflect back and realize that my children all turned out just fine. Your post was lovely today and your little girl is blessed to have you for a mom.

    1. Awe thank you so much! Pray for continued cycles to become normal and baby josiah to come forth! lol! And pray for lil miss….:)

  10. You are SO right! It’s a battle not to insist I’ll be “this” or “that” kind of mommy. And to remember that kids are kids… no matter how on-the-ball a mommy is, they will throw fits and cause a scene in THE worst of places on any given day. They are still learning and still growing and it doesn’t mean that mommy has it wrong. YOU are a GOOD mommy, Elisha. And showing sweet Goldilocks what forgiving yourself and giving yourself a bit of a break looks like… that’s important, too. She’s so blessed to have you, friend! 🙂

    1. thanks so much sugars! I want you to know that you have been in my prayers! God has you in the palm of your hands and He wants you to remember that when you start to feel your world falling apart. xo

  11. I’m sure it wasn’t funny in the moment, but the pic of her with her head down in the Target cart made me giggle. I know you are a wonderful mom to Goldilocks and such an encouragement to anyone else who sometimes feels like you do. xx

    1. Oh it was pretty funny! LOL! It all started because apparently I didn’t know ALL of the words to “Mary had a little lamb.” and then she asked to stop by DQ for chicken strips and I told her that Daniel was already at home making dinner….that’s when her forehead hit the handle of the cart and she pouted. bahahahaha

  12. I agree. I would also add that those women who are waiting to kiss the cheeks of their little ones are already good mamas. They have been praying hard for their little ones, preparing their hearts and lives. That’s the start of motherhood. 🙂

  13. Happy anniversary of being a mum!! What a beautiful, inspiring and touching post. I love the pictures!! I love how you say good mums lovingly create a home with laughter and hugs. It’s the best definition ever! xx

  14. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me I am not the only one who blows it. Thank you for pointing out that though I planned on doing everything perfect I am human and I fail…often. I am a fifty year old mother of a five year old boy….I also prayed for a baby for over 25 years! God has a sense of humor! I love your blog!

  15. Loved reading this! Please dont beat ur self up over the mommy image u may have created in ur mind….ur doing the best you can every single day and this child loves u for that. Its not easy to assume the role of a mother one fine day. So watever u’ve accomplished with Goldilocks is quite fantastic. When a child is born…so is a mother. Both have an inseparable learning curve that they take together. Conventional motherhood comes with so many forgiving moments that will not happen when you’re entrusted to care for a toddler one fine day. But God chose u to look over her for however short or long time u guys have together. So please dont beat urself up over this. Wish and pray a beautiful life for Goldilocks! God bless her!

  16. Know how many couples will get pregnant with their first child and while they are waiting for that child to be born they get a pet? Well that’s what my husband did while we were waiting to start classes for becoming foster parents, he got us a new kitten. This kitten has been sooo much harder to train than our dog or cat. We’ve had her 8 months now and she still drives me crazy! I can’t enjoy a cup of coffee in the mornings without her walking back and forth on my lap wanting my attention. I have put a very comfy bed in her kennel and sometimes she ends up in there several times in a day because she won’t quit getting into and on to stuff she’s not allowed. Sometimes I feel like all I do allll day is tell her no, and would you believe this kitten verbally objects to when I say no??? So sometimes I feel like a terrible momma and I don’t even have a child yet. So even as a pet owner this post talked to me, lol. And as a future foster momma, thanks.


    1. I know what ya mean 🙂 My cat is always in my lap when I am trying to type or read a book. Thank so much for reading and commenting 🙂

  17. Ah! God is so cool because the timing of this is just perfect. It seriously made me tear up. Thank you. I have a feeling you are an excellent mommy. I should probably be taking notes from you!

    1. uhhh…don’t take notes from me :/ It was a long day in court so she is camped out in front of the tv eating “chicken poppers” I pulled from the freezer and put in the oven. :/

    1. Thank you! It’s one of my favorites too. It came after she gave me the Christmas gift she picked out for me. It is a HUGE gold necklace with a bagillion white pearls dangling from it. It hurts to wear it and it is…well…ugly. LOL! It was 3.00 at Wal-Mart, yet I still love it.

      The deal was that Daniel would take her to Wal-Mart and he was to let her pick out ANYTHING that she wanted to get me. I joked that maybe next time he can lead her into the “real” jewelery section. hehehe

      1. Ohhh i love the story behind the picture even more! That necklace sounds unique and beautiful. 🙂 Love that she picked out that special gift for you!!! Xoxo

  18. “Because being a “good mommy” has more to do with how she loves without condition and serves her family without limits.”


  19. You are so honest Elisha, I just love your realness, it’s so relatable. You’re definitely a “Rock-Star Mommy!!! ;=)

    Be Blessed!


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