Welcome to Parenting 101: I tried my best and I failed.
One of the first lessons when raising little human beings, is that doing your best isn’t ever enough. You can spend 100 percent of your day unselfishly loving, serving, cleaning, cooking and teaching and there’s always, ALWAYS someone (or perhaps many) who are going to think it’s not good enough.
I remember reading an open letter to moms a couple of months ago titled “You Are Enough.” It spoke to discouraged mothers about how their love and efforts were enough. Honestly, posts such as this fill my heart with hope. They’re touching. They’re encouraging. When I read them, my eyes fill with tears. I try to convince myself that they’re true and I’m inspired to keep going.
But the truth is, I really don’t believe them.
Because never, have I ever been enough for my family or my kids.
Not even on my good days.
Not even on the days where I manage to keep my cool from morning till night.
I’m not creative enough.
My food isn’t healthy enough…(and if it is, it doesn’t taste good enough.)
I’m not joyful enough.
I’m not fair enough.
My motives aren’t pure enough.
I don’t have enough time.
I can’t clean enough….(And man, do I EVER clean. All. Day. Long.)
I’m not pretty enough.
I’m not loving enough.
My apologies aren’t sincere enough.
I’m not encouraging enough.
My faith isn’t real enough.
I am NOT enough.
Reading through this list, I realize that none of these feelings or thoughts are unique to just me. These are the real thoughts and feelings that us mom’s struggle with daily. “You Are Enough” would’ve never gone viral if women didn’t have a deep desire to hear those very words.
It’s a wonder to me that any mom even makes it through motherhood. Is there a place more lonely? Is there a position in life that take as much blame? Are the consequences of failure higher in any other occupation?
To mess up, literally harms your own offspring. The cost of failure affects the very ones you love the most: your own precious children.
I’m sorry, are these thoughts too heavy for today? It’s just the kind of day I’m having.
I woke up this morning, bright and early. Our family had just had spring break, so I felt refreshed and ready to teach. I planned fun activities, lots of breaks, snacks and rewards. It was tons of work for me, but meant to be a relaxing day for the kids as there was very little real work involved.
Before noon, my best efforts had failed and two children were crying in their rooms. I tried to gently correct my son in his behaviour and it completely backfired. My boy told me that he felt like a jerk who always ruined everyone’s fun and that he was a horrible son.
My heart was devastated.
Here, I was pouring in time, care, love, and creativity. My absolute best efforts. Yet the day ended in tears and my son was struggling with condemnation.
Where did I go wrong? Why am I such a failure?
Motherhood sure is hard.
I honestly feel like I could end this post right here. But it’s not the end. Because the one thing that sets me apart from those who don’t believe in God, is HOPE.
Hope that things will get better.
Hope that God sees my heart.
Hope that he will take my best effort’s, and bear fruit from them.
Hope that when all is said and done, it will be enough.
But the devil knows where to hit us and when. And today I was really struck down. Today I felt like quitting. Like throwing my hands in the air and giving up.
Hope keeps me going.
I have long given up hope that I am enough, but I still believe with all my heart that Christ is. He will make up for my failures, for my bad days, for my lack of abilities.
In Christ alone, my hope is found.
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33