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.
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.
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.
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.
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