When I became a mother, I never dreamed how simultaneously difficult and rewarding it would truly be. I envisioned motherhood like Little House on the Prairie – my kids being around me at all times and me loving them there. As for the difficult times, I never really saw those my mom went through as we were growing up, so the first time that happened I was lost. I cried for hours, feeling like a failure.
Have you ever felt like your motherhood journey is made up more of failures than successes? It is difficult to see the success when you’re in the trenches. However, the Lord has blessed me these past few weeks and I have been able to see a couple of successes with our oldest. First, he has found a brand new passion for reading. He read the entire Spiderwick Chronicles (all 5 books) in 3 days and now he is on to a new 5-book series as well as the Harry Potter series. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that child would love to read. We even had to “ground” him from reading before his school work was done. And we’ve had to give him a “lights out” curfew at night. What a joy!
Second, he has always had a tender heart, but has trouble expressing himself. This past week he blessed one of his good friends with the pair of shoes he had outgrown. Now keep in mind we live in a very poverty stricken town and this poor boy was cramming his foot in to a size 9.5 men’s shoe. When he tried on my son’s 11.5 shoe, his big toe was less than 1/2 a thumb width from the end. This small act of kindness brought serious waterworks people.
However, I know what it is like to be in the trenches and think you’re a complete failure as a mother. Hear me, dear Mothers…You’re NOT! And, you are not alone! We have all been there and some of us are still there. So, I want to encourage you with some of my own failures.
I get preoccupied easily
I am a task-oriented and list person. When I have a list of projects to complete, I am rather OCD about getting them done and usually in the order I wrote them. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it causes me to have tunnel vision and I don’t like stopping until I’m done. I don’t like being interrupted when I’m working and that leads to my second failure.
I am a yeller
My house growing up was a loud house. Not only did I have two brothers, but my Dad was a yeller, so I became a yeller. I have struggled with this for years and some days are better than others. I have realized the less sleep I get and the more I have on my “to do list” I lose control easier. So, I have started making my daily or weekly list, but put it down when my work time is over to spend time with the kids.
I dislike cooking
I have never been a big cooker. I like to bake, but not cook. I am a rule-follower, so deviating from a recipe just stresses me out…literally. So, most of the cooking in our house is done by my husband. You may not think this is a big deal, but my mother and grandmothers always did all the cooking in their house and because I didn’t, I felt like a failure.
I am not a cuddler
I want to be a cuddler, but I’m just not. I like my personal space. The Lord has been working on me though, because my girls love hugs and want them multiple times a day. We’re working on compromises though, because they usually want a hug while I’m on the phone with the doctor or in the middle of a train of thought – not the best timing. However, I am learning to be more flexible.
I am not crafty…AT. ALL.
If you want to send me in to stress overload, just plop a bunch of craft supplies in front of me. I want to love, I really do…but I just can’t. I am too much of a perfectionist to just do it. You know those painting parties at those shops now, yeah…they look fun, but I’m terrified mine would turn out terrible. So I don’t go. However, the Lord is working on me in this area as well (as He does in all areas), because my girls love to color, craft and make things. Through them, I am learning to let go.
I am not a frilly, froo-froo girl
Now this is one I’m not sure I’ll ever change, but I have a new appreciation for frilly now. My youngest daughter is a spit-fire full of Joy and life. She sings and dances every where she goes and loves all things girly. She wants bows in her hair, pink and purple skirts and her newest craze is Shopkins. She loves princesses and wants to live in a castle. While those might have been dreams of mine as a child, I still loved to go out and play in the dirt and swing from the monkey bars. There was balance. haha
I am not patient
If we’re honest with ourselves, many of us are not patient by nature. However, that doesn’t mean we’re a bad or terrible mother. It also doesn’t mean we can’t change. As with the yelling, I have learned that little sleep and stress cause my patience to go out the window. One way I have alleviated the stress that causes impatience, is setting time limits on my work time. Putting down the work and concentrating on my family really helps me control my patience.
Being a mother is a full-time job and no one can have it all together all of the time. However, knowing that we all struggle helps us pull together and encourage each other in this journey of motherhood.
What are your motherhood failures?