So, this morning, I had a wonderful and rare treat...Mommy time WITHOUT kids. I spent the morning with two wonderful women doing something I don't often feel able to do...be REAL. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I walk around being fake and lying. However, I do usually feel like I need to "hide" a part of me in certain settings and situations.
I think this is why so many of us, especially mommies, feel inadequate and often compare themselves to all the other moms and women around them. It's because we put on a "show" for others, and try to bury our faults. But the truth is that we all fall short EVERYDAY, and we always will.
Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." Another words, we don't have to be PERFECT. And we're never going to be!
Here's what I've decided over the years and experience as a mom. (watch out I've got nine full years under my belt! ;)) Moms, whether we know it or not, just want to be accepted by other moms. It's almost like we're in this secret competition that nobody ever speaks of. Like we're trying to be the "Stepford Wives."
Creepy. No thank you. So I am going to put myself out there and tell you who I REALLY am. If you were intimidated to apporaoch me before, you sure won't be now. You just may be scared to. :) Here goes nothing.
I am a complete walking tornado. My husband will eagerly vouch for that. You can literally find me by following the "trail of Katie." My car looks like someone threw up in it...they actually might have. If you think you feel something nibbling at your leg, it's probably not your imagination.
By the way, every part of me wants to counteract all these admissions with excuses, but I am going to resist that temptation and keep going. :)
There are days (a lot) where I just want to drop my kids off somewhere, get in the car, and drive until I run out of gas....which for me would probably be 10 minutes down the road because I also wait until my car is flashing neon lights to fill up. I love my kids more than anything, but there are only so many questions I can take until I just have to say, "okay, let's play the quiet game."
With my first child, I did everything by the book. With my second, I created my own book. With my third, I burned all the books and got on an anti-anxiety medication. Seriously, I have been taking Cymbalta for years now, and I HIGHLY recommend it. Do I think it makes me less of a mother that I need something to take the edge off? NO! In fact, I was recently talking to an older mother who said if they had offered her that thirty years ago she would have probably been a much more relaxed and loving mother. Then last week, my doctor suggested (or insisted) that I take Klonopin as needed throughout the holiday season.
I sometimes have complete melt-downs. I'm talking lock myself in the bathroom, drop to my knees, and cry. I look up at God and yell at Him. I ask Him why He's not making my life easier. Why is He putting me through this?! Truth is, when I'm in my right mind (not often) I know He's putting me though this because He loves me that much. He wants to grow me and increase my dependence on Him.
I often use bribery to get my kids to do what I want. "If you can get through the grocery store without completely embarassing mommy, then you can have candy at the checkout." Trust me, it's a small price to pay.
My oldest daughter called me out today in front of a group of people at a birthday party. Somewhere said a swear word, and I gave them a look. Kelsey proceeded to say, "mommy you say those words in the car when we're running late all the time." The truth hurts.
I have a past. Nooooo....not a past! Yep, and a pretty crazy one. I come from divorced parents, and I took advantage of that to the fullest. I threw wild parties every weekend, and skipped class on a regular basis. I ended up pregnant at nineteen, and was devastated. However, that little "surprise" is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. She has taught me more than I can ever express.
I have strayed from God MANY times, and I still fight Him on certain situations and decisions. At the end of the day though, that doesn't matter to Him. Just like we love our children unconditionally, He loves us the same way. We can go rob a bank (please don't) and He will forgive us. All we have to do is ask.
When it comes to other moms, I think we could all be so much closer if we let down our walls, and GET REAL. It takes away that defense we put up, and allows us to really dig deeper into a person's life and character. So come on ladies, let's stop pretending to be someone we're not. Let's openly bribe our children, and drink wine straight from the bottle in the carpool line. (okay, that might be a little too much) But seriously, you are not alone. Those days you fill you are not fit to be a mother, just know there is another mother, maybe right down the street, thinking the same thing. Lean on each other. Don't resent each other. We are all in this crazy motherhood together.
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